Paul Simon spoke about his hearing loss in his left ear and his ability to continue playing and even perform his music live during a question and answer session after the screening In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simonthe documentary by Alex Gibney, which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday.
“I haven’t fully accepted it yet, but I’m starting,” Simon told the audience at the Princess of Wales Theater as he spoke on stage alongside director Gibney. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter first announced his hearing loss in May.
“I play guitar every day. It is the instrument that allows me to express myself creatively. But it’s also the place I go for solace. When I feel like… ‘whatever’. That’s why it’s a very important thing for me. You know, something happens to you when you have a disability that changes your consciousness or changes the way you interact with life,” Simon added while opening up to the TIFF audience.
He noted that the hearing in his left ear did not recover, making returning to live performances challenging. “Usually when I finish an album I take it on tour and then I have the opportunity to really examine the piece. And then it evolves to a different standard and goes further,” Simon emphasized.
“Although in a week I’m going to try to work with two guitarists who play the parts I played on the record and see if I can sing the piece. I’m not sure how to combine my voice with the guitars,” added the famous half of the legendary ’60s duo Simon & Garfunkel.
Gibney’s documentary shows Simon in his home studio in Wimberly, Texas, crafting the sound of his latest album. Seven Psalms. In Toronto, Simon said he wasn’t listening Seven Psalms in some time, but has finished a new song.
“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 told the audience at the TIFF premiere. The Toronto Film Festival runs until September 17th.