Silence #2  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm still thinking of silence. John Cage's Silence isn't really a new idea. Shackleton wrote about it in his diary and many writers before him used the connotations of silence within their work. What would radio be without silence? Silence plays an important part in art and poetry. I wrote a dissertation about snow and its connotations of silence. In my delirium of solitude I was associating his silence and all the snow in some sort of pathetic fallacy. Snow - a blank field - is both empty and full of promise. Silence carries the same duality. Perhaps his silence means he's trying to forgive me? Perhaps it means he wants to punish me? Maybe he hasn't given it a thought? How can people say silence is nothing, when its so full of options? I'm filling my time with music and making, reading and writing because it detracts from the over-possible-ness of silence. Similarly, Cage experimented with sounds - claiming that any sound constitutes music. Sometimes when there's too much sound I need to empty my head, and like Jenny Diski; seek refuge in ice and snow to escape from it all. It's interesting how, prior to this recent Arctic blast, we connote snow in such a way. People's attitudes towards silence and snow are changing out of some necessity for them to do so. We'll see if 'Cage against the machine' make it to christmas number one this week...

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