Matt Hay is a sophomore in college when he finds out he is going to lose his hearing. He coasts through the early years of his diagnosis in denial, but as his hearing aids get bigger and bigger, Matt realizes he wants to capture the sounds that are slipping away: his girlfriend’s voice, the click of her heels; and especially, the songs of their invincible youth.

Matt starts listening to music with a new appreciation — truly studying it, as he curates the soundtrack for the rest of his life. Behind each song, there is a coming-of-age story about freedom, tragedy, and falling in love. When Matt’s hearing eventually fades to nothing, the silent soundtrack in his head takes on a role he never imagines.

Listen to the Soundtrack of Silence on KQED’s new storytelling podcast, Q’ed Up.

Soundtrack of Silence 12 April,2017April Dembosky

Author

April Dembosky

April Dembosky is the health reporter for The California Report and KQED News. She covers health policy and public health, and has reported extensively on the economics of health care, the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act in California, mental health and end-of-life issues.

Her work is regularly rebroadcast on NPR and has been recognized with awards from the Society for Professional Journalists (for sports reporting), and the Association of Health Care Journalists (for a story about pediatric hospice). Her hour-long radio documentary about home funerals won the Best New Artist award from the Third Coast International Audio Festival in 2009.

April occasionally moonlights on the arts beat, covering music and dance. Her story about the first symphony orchestra at Burning Man won the award for Best Use of Sound from the Public Radio News Directors Inc.

Before joining KQED in 2013, April covered technology and Silicon Valley for The Financial Times, and freelanced for Marketplace and The New York Times. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Smith College.

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