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May 2015


Well... once again it's been way too long-- 6 months in fact!

I've still been having some nerve issues with my hands and my ear problems have still been difficult, but I'm doing well overall.  (We all have our own challenges in life.)  Luckily, I've also had some incredibly wonderful things happen in the last handful of months... for instance:  I fell in love & got married! :)

...and lets see-- what else?  I'm getting back to my music... you can preview some new music below.  As well as a ton of other stuff.

I look forward to hearing from you soon--  And please feel free to share this newsletter.

Cheers!  Joel
After two years of nerve issues in my hands I'm happy to say I'm getting back to playing again on a more regular basis.

I just recently had a lovely performance at the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House here in Chicago.  I played some of my newer hammered dulcimer pieces with the talented cellist Sophie Webber and Sarah Holtschalg, a wonderful musical saw player.

And I just played my first jazz gig on drums in over 2 years!  My hands did alright! felt pretty great!

I also had a few performances last October with the Fused Muse Ensemble.  Here's a photo (above) and a really inspiring video of one of our collaborations:
'Bike Again' - a collaboration based around a new hammered dulcimer piece of mine with the Fused Muse Ensemble & The Chicago non-profit the Recyclery Collective.
New Bicycle Notes animation Interview with Fernanda and Joel:
Fernanda and I are excited to announce that 'Bicycle Notes' was just featured at the Future Film Festival in Bologna, Italy.  And also, she's in the process of a licensing deal for 'Bicycle Notes' with a new short film streaming service called SF4U (short films for you).

We're very happy-- so far the animation-short has been featured in 12 different film festivals across the globe.

Still haven't seen Fernanda's animation short?!  (I did the music and sound design.)  Go to
A new Film by Miguel Silveira, Music by Joel Styzens (coming soon)
'Devil's Work'...The political-thriller I recently wrote the music for was just screened at the Athens Film Festival in Greece... and I am excited to announce that it makes it eligible for a potential Oscar Nomination!

It has also been featured so far in film festivals in London and New York where it received 'Top Honors.'

* I'll have a sneak peak of the music for you in next month's June Newsletter *

I will keep you updated about the Chicago premiere as well as other screenings around the U.S. and abroad!
Now accepting new music students
Over Skype & in Chicago

Rhythm Lessons for:

Guitarists / Pianists / Drummers / Bassists String players / Dancers & more
Beginners to Advanced

Improve Your

  • sense of rhythm
  • coordination
  • sense of time
  • balance
  • musical confidence
  • And relate everything to your own specific instrument or art form
Lessons available over Skype and at two Chicago area locations:
My Ravenswood studio & Lincoln Square Old Town School of Music:

*Also available to travel to your home or studio within the greater Chicago area

For further information & rates contact:
Joel Styzens //

Tinnitus (& hyperacusis)

Here are a couple newer related articles that were sent to me:
1.)  Ringing In Your Ears? Finally, Researchers Finding New Clues About Tinnitus

2.)  Boston Marathon bombing survivors deal with a lingering, invisible injury — tinnitus

100 strong!  We now have over 100 members of the CTSG.  Not in Chicago?  Find a support group near you.

In Chicago?  We will be meeting next on June 27.  Check back above for details or make sure you're signed up for the CTSG list by emailing me at


1.  I recently discovered the easiest & most delicious concoction for salad dressing. So simple, so good!
  - Dijon mustard
  - Olive Oil
  - Maple Syrup!
  - fresh lemon juice
  - black pepper . . . .
(side note: try also mixing quinoa in with a spinach salad. Yum!)

2.  Toothpaste.  Seriously :) ...recently discovered the best toothpaste I have ever used in my life. Tea Tree Oil & Cinnamon.  Try it!

3.  Current favorite tea:  Lavender Dreams by Teavana

4.  Music I've been enjoying recently:
  • Gustavo Cerati, Bocanada: Argentinian artist.  Nice variety of sounds-- excellent driving music, especially at night. (Listen to the album on YouTube. And then buy it.)
  • Fever Ray:  A Swedish electronic duo.  Sounds fresh to my ears.  My particular favorite track is "When I Grow Up." (YouTube)  Uses a pentatonic scale which is commonly found in Asian music (but also lots of other ethnic folk music.) [Buy here]
  • Anais Mitchell, Xoa:  One of my favorite singer-songwriters.  Just got to see her perform at my school here in Chicago a few months ago. [Preview/Buy my favorite album of hers here]
  • Joshua Redman, Elastic.  One of my favorite jazz-funk albums.  Never tire of this one.
  • Kenna, Make Sure They See My Face.  Ethiopian artist & producer.  Again, very fresh to my ears-- very interesting fusion of soul, funk, electronic, hip hop and rock. [preview]
Oh-- one more thing!  I always forget to ask... Before you go
please make sure you've:
  1. Liked my music on Facebook
  2. Subscribed to me on YouTube
  3. followed me on Twitter
Copyright © 2015 Joel Styzens: Relax Your Ears, All rights reserved.

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