Paul Simon says he’s coping with his hearing loss by “playing the guitar every day”

“It’s the instrument that allows me to express myself creatively. But it’s also where I go for solace.”

Paul Simon

Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

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Paul Simon has spoken about finding solace in his guitar as he copes with the sudden loss of hearing in his left ear.

Speaking at a post-screening Q&A for his documentary In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, the musician says of his condition [via The Hollywood Reporter]: “I haven’t accepted it entirely, but I’m beginning to.”

“I play the guitar every day. It’s the instrument that allows me to express myself creatively. But it’s also where I go for solace. If I’m feeling … ‘whatever,’” he explains. “So it’s a very crucial thing to me. You know, something happens to you when you have some sort of disability that changes your awareness or changes how you interact with life.”

Simon admits that the loss has made performing live a challenge, though he says that he’s been finding ways to work around that.

“Usually, when I finished an album I went out and toured with it, and then I have the opportunity to really investigate the piece. And then it evolves to another standard, and goes further,” he says. “Although a week from now I’m going to try and work with two guitarists who will play the parts that I played on the record, and see if I can sing the piece. I’m not sure how I can integrate my voice with the guitars.”

The 81-year-old, who earlier this year released his new album Seven Psalms, also told reporters that he has completed a new song of late.

“I wrote a new song called ‘When I Learned to Play Guitar,’ but I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything with it,” he says.

Directed by Alex Gibney, In Restless Dreams takes us through Paul’s six-decade career, covering his days in folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel as well as his recording journey as a solo artist over the years.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last Sunday (10 September), and does not have a release date as of yet.

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