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Melodic Memoirs – Evansville Living Magazine

Melodic Memoirs – Evansville Living Magazine

Matt Hay never considered that he might lose his hearing when he was young, but a medical diagnosis while at university made him realize the idea. Hay responded by putting together a collection of songs that made him think of the people he loved most in his life. The playlist became known as the “Soundtrack of Silence” and Hay later wrote a memoir of the same name, which was published in January.

In the late 1990s, the Newburgh, Indiana native was a sophomore at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, when he noticed that his hearing in one ear was getting worse.
An MRI scan at Riley’s Hospital for Children in Indianapolis revealed many disturbing facts. For one thing, Hay was going to lose his hearing and there was nothing he could do about it.

Even more urgent was the doctors’ discovery that he was suffering from neurofibromatosis type 2, an autosomal dominant disease characterized by tumors in the central nervous system – in Hay’s case, these were brain tumors on his auditory nerves.

“Getting all this news was a lot to take in,” Hay recalls. “Even though (the doctor) told me the hearing was no big deal, it felt like a pretty big deal.”

Faced with the prospect of losing his hearing, he thought about what songs and sounds he wanted to listen to again and remember. the rest of his life. Hay asked himself, “What is the soundtrack for the little life I have already lived, and what should be the soundtrack for the life I have not yet lived?”

Songs by The Who, Simon and Garfunkel and Elton John included the Beatles’ 1969 hit “Here Comes the Sun,” which reminds Hay most of his current wife Nora.

Hay considers himself a lucky man for the life he has led. He works as Director of Metabolic Advocacy at Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. in the United States.

“What an honor to put something into the world that makes someone feel a little less alone, a little more connected, a little more grateful for their health or a little more appreciative of their support network,” Hay says. “That’s what I want to take away from this.”

AN AUDIBLE CALL

us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280220/soundtrackofsilence