Perspectives on silence

The US public radio program “To The Best Of Our Knowledge” (TTBOOK) recently repeated an hour-long segment on silence titled “Taking Comfort in the Sound of Silence.” The program features several segments, the descriptions below are from the program.

These versions of silence are not explicitly eremitic but are certainly interesting applications. Norwegian writer and adventurer Erling Kagge wrote of his South Pole experience in Alone to the South Pole (1993). He has written a 2016 book Silence in the Age of Noise and, most recently, Walking: One Step At A Time, both recommended to Hermitary readers. The role of silence in the works of John Cage have been addressed here:

The Contemplative Silence of A Long Cold Journey
In 1993, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge made history by becoming the first person to cross Antarctica alone. He was by himself for fifty days and during his trek, he learned a lot about the power of silence and the importance of making time for it in our noisy, hectic lives.

A Nature Preserve For The Quiet Of Nature

If you’re looking for silence here in the U.S., you might want to visit “One Square Inch of Silence.” It’s a spot inside the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington State’s Olympic National Park. Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton created it, as part of his life mission to record the sound of silence.

The Volume of Absolute Silence
The world is getting noisier and it’s hurting us. When George Mickelson Foy got worried about all of the toxic noise in his life, he set on a quest for absolute silence.

The Tale of A Mute Piano Performance
John Cage’s “4’33” was first performed on August 29th, 1952, by pianist David Tudor. He came out on stage, sat at the piano, and did not play. The audience was not impressed. Kyle Gann tells the story in “No Such Thing as Silence.”

A Silent Soliloquy From The World’s Greatest Mime
For more than 60 years, the great French mime Marcel Marceau dominated stages around the world without ever saying a word. Shawn Wen documents Marceau’s story in a book-length essay called “A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause.”

The Pauses Between Chords of Iconic Rock and Roll
For author Jennifer Egan — whose novel “A Visit From The Goon Squad” documents the inner life of lifelong rock and roll stars—the pauses in rock ballads might say as much or more than the riffs.