The sound of silence

We all experience silence. Even when living in some of the world’s biggest cities where there’s a constant background noise, we still find ourselves in perfect silence (in our bedroom before going to sleep, in the elevator, early in the morning on our way to the bus station etc.).

Ever thought what silence sounds like? Can you imagine living in a world that has no sounds? Many would say that silence, by definition, has no sound. So far, sounds have played an essential role in people’s lives. Different sounds, put together, create music. But what is music? Why does it have such powerful influence in our lives? It gives us goose bumps, it is a way to express feelings, it makes us happy when we are sad, it helps us celebrate together on different occasions, it’s a way to communicate and relate to other people, it’s a lifestyle, it’s our morning pill of energy, it gives us rhythm, it defines our mood and the list can go on and on.

Going back to the sound of silence…would you be able to describe it? Have you ever thought what sounds look like for deaf people? Many would say that they do not experience sounds as they lack the sense of hearing, but one incredible artist proved them wrong! She is one of the world’s greatest percussionists and she is completely deaf! So how is she able to create amazing tunes when she is not able to hear?

She showed us that the secret of sounds and music lies in vibration! Human body has one incredible and complex structure. It has many perception sensors and it reacts accordingly to the outside factors. Whenever the organism lacks one of its main sensors, like hearing, it concentrates on developing some of the other sensors, making them more powerful than the average level. When you hear sounds or music, you experience them with your whole body not only through your auditory system. That is how Evelyn Glennie was able to figure out a way the experience sounds, even though she lacks hearing. It was so fascinating when I first saw her playing, bear feet – so that she can feel the vibration of the tunes, using just some empty cans on a street, creating rhythms maybe way better than people who can also hear what they play. If you’re not convinced by my words, I invite you to see for yourself:

Going back to silence, it can sometimes be pleasant and relaxing, other times a bit uncomfortable (like the awkward elevator silence when sharing it with others), but in the end, silence is something that we frequently experience and feel. Silence has its own vibes and we experience it differently, depending on the setting, the other people around us, depending on our mood at that time and other external factors. In the end, silence is sexy (as Einsturzende Neubauten say 🙂 ); silence is not a sound; silence is present and we can feel it. Have you ever tried to hear or feel silence?


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