I saw a quote once that said “After silence, music comes closest to expressing the inexpressible”. Another is that “music at its simplest is just the silence between notes”. I don’t know whether I agree with either or both but I find them hard to disagree with at least.
I’m sitting here in bed using my newly downloaded WordPress App (iPads rock) and everything is in total silence. It is deafening; the nothing seems louder than the music I had on my headphones only minutes ago. There seems something ironic in that the more loud music you listen to in your life the quicker you reach the stage of being able to hear nothing at all. On a broader scale, the concept of nothing defining something; being essential to something else is common to us and yet it strikes me how little I think about it. Light and dark, good and evil are the obvious ones bandied around of course, but the concept can be applied to most things. Have a think.
Anyway, the reason this post is called Sound is twofold. Not only am I contemplating in this public space about the nature of silence, but “The Sound” is also the name of an album I’m currently working on. As a synth player, among other things, I manipulate sound. That’s the entire purpose of the instrument, if you didn’t know. So I was sitting at my computer, manipulating sound, when the gravity of my whimsical actions hit me. I, an ill-informed 17 year old, can with a touch of a button create entirely new sounds, never before heard. I can bring up the waveform of a noise and see it, edit it, enhance it. I have the full power of 46 vocal choirs, to take an example, at my fingertips. And this power is not only for sound of course; special effects in films are another good example of sensory manipulation. But is it really creating new sounds and new images? They exist only on the computer, the TV, the radio, the CD player but not intrinsically in reality; so are they real? What is real? Can we even conceive the idea of real without the idea of virtual, or of fake? This of course brings me back to my original point. A world without contrast is not a world at all. I believe this also affects people to the same degree. Don’t ask what you are, ask what you’re not. The answer is the same, much as there is no music without silence, but deeper, like the noiselessness that surrounds me right now.
I hope you enjoyed this post