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December 2016

In this issue:

- New piano music
- 2016 Artist Residency Award
- Upcoming Chicago performance
- New videos:  Live at ESS & Live at CIMMFest
- Stocking Stuffers (& more)
Howdy <<First Name>>!

Wow... What an interesting year -- to say the least.

We need therapeutic music in our lives now more than ever!

This year hasn't been the easiest for trying to stay positive and finding inspiration, but I am so thankful for music and the wonderful friends and family and musicians in my life.

Oddly enough, this has been one of the most fruitful and productive years for me as a composer.  I've been trying to focus on taking all the global negativity and over-saturation and churn it into new music.

I have new music inspired by characters and stories of new film projects, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, a downtown walking-meditator, my relationship with my wife-- and new music that came about through trying to process recent police brutality incidents and the experience of online-over-saturation... and the continuing difficulties surrounding my tinnitus and hyperacusis and the nerve issues in my hands.

Luckily, I've also been finding a lot of my inspiration from the piano this year-- and have written over 20 new piano pieces in recent months.

And I just had the opportunity to record them as well-- thanks to being selected as a 2016 artist in residence at the Experimental Sound Studios in Chicago.

I am so honored to have been picked... I've been recording and also creating new music inspired by the space at ESS and it's really been an amazing, stress-free recording experience.

Joel Styzens:  2016 Artist Residency Receipient

I can't wait to update and share more soon!

There are also some exciting new collaborations and new film projects in the works as well.

So, please-- look on... and thank you from the bottom of heart for your continued support and interest (even when I disappear for months and months at a time!).

I look forward to hearing from you and sharing more with you in the coming new year.

In the meantime-- here are a couple sneak peeks below.


New piano music - Recording at Experimental Sound Studios

featuring Saxophonist Casey Fitzpatrick  [video: Fernanda Styzens]
Upcoming Chicago Performance


Saturday, December 17, 8pm Free Admission

Featuring New Music by Joel Styzens
with special guest cellist Lilianna Zofia Wosko

Also featuring 3 other Chicago-based artist-residency recipients.

Experimental Sound Studios
5925 North Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
Check out part of of my original-score performance to the short-film "Devil's Work":
Clips from the Live Music & Film Event - @ CIMMFest 2016
Joel Styzens - Devil's Work - Live Music and Film clips (CimmFest Chicago 2016)
"Devil's Work" Wins Best Short Fiction Movie
Uranium Film Festival, Rio De Janeiro
Official Trailer
Devil's Work - Political thriller
Directed by Miguel Silveira / Music by Joel Styzens

Dancer Davonte Williams  (with yours truly on hang drum)

Fused Muse Ensemble with YEPP (November 2016 concert)

Last month I was very fortunate to collaborate with the Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP) through the Fused Muse Ensemble.  An ensemble I am a member of-- created and led by my friend Sophie Webber.

It was an amazing and powerful collaboration.  I look forward to sharing some video footage with you in my next newsletter.

One of the Y.E.P.P. artists I worked with was the incredible dancer Davonte Williams.  We collaborated on a percussion and dance/spoken-word piece.  I look forward to collaborating with him again in the future and potentially working with him within the framework of my new piano and cello music.

Another source of inspiration this year was getting to travel to Boulder, Co for a performance as well as some hiking.  It was so incredible to get to connect with nature again in this special way.  Very inspiring!
In case you missed it...
A while back, I mentioned about my gig from Chicago to New Orleans through the Old Town School of Folk Music where I teach.

A gig ON a train... I called it an "80 MPH gig!"  It was miiiiiighty tricky playing the hammered dulcimer on that bumpy ride, but somehow I managed.

Here's a video clip:
80 MPH GIG!  Chicago to New Orleans - The Pullman Train
Oh-- one more thing!  I always forget to ask... Before you go
please make sure you've: 

Subscribed on YouTube
2.  Liked my music on Facebook
3.  followed me on Twitter
Interested in my other projects?  Check out the Film page of my website:

Now accepting new music students!  Locally / Nationally / & Internationally!

Over Skype and locally in Chicago, IL U.S.

Drum lessons : Piano lessons : Guitar lessons : Theory/Composition lessons
& Rhythm Lessons for:

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

Improve Your

  • sense of rhythm
  • coordination
  • sense of time
  • creative ideas and inspiration
  • 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 & the 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)

Otoharmonics Update:

I just haven't been able to deal with sleeping with the in-ear monitors in my ears... they ended up causing too much pain because of the physical pressure from side-sleeping.

I stopped this therapy quite a while back, but luckily I recently received another opportunity.

And it looks to be one of the most promising therapies to date.  Video and websites below:
Desyncra for Tinnitus - Overview Video
Desyncra - for tinnitus
100 strong!  We now have over 100 members of the CTSG.  Not in Chicago?  Find a support group near you.
In Chicago?  Email me to sign up for the CTSG list:
Next Meeting:  February 2017.  I will update ASAP.  Thanks!  I'm trying to keep up with everything.  If you are not on the separate Chicago tinnitus support group list, please email me.
Support Original and Independent music this holiday season.  Order to give to someone yourself or send it direct as a present.  Just click to purchase and type-in the name and address you want it to go to, and any note you want to send-- and voilà:  it'll be on the way!  Order/send by December 16th!
Before you go - check out cellist Katinka Kleijn's new website
Copyright © 2016 Joel Styzens: Relax Your Ears, All rights reserved.

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