He describes his experience as he was surrounded by all the sounds and unable to control it as it was by his neighbors. It influenced him in ways that made him see the passion that others have for music; and made him appreciate music and how he heard it.
He means that you can live music by hearing the sounds the neighbors produce, understanding that it’s a passion for them. In turn, you’d make the best of it and create your own. Die with the noise means that hearing all the sounds coming from the noisy neighbors and not doing anything to block it out could leave one feeling irritated and mentally drained by the constant sound of music.
The comparison between Ellison and Damon Krukowski is that they experience similar noise from the neighborhood, and had to find to deal with it. The solution to that was music and how they hear it.