I'm always baffled by our fascination with sound. White noise, music, news, or even silence. Most people get dressed for work in the morning (or whenever you happen to work) and they instinctively turn on the TV or the radio and put on the morning news, weather, cartoon or what not. It's just on to be on. There is no focus on it - the focus is on preparing for the responsibilities ahead. But we turn it on anyway - myself included. It's become our daily need for white noise to fill that seemingly uncomfortable silence.
I always keep my box fan on inside my bedroom. The temperature gets high and low and the air sometimes doesn't circulate well, so the fan helps to regulate the room a bit. I pulled the plug by accident and suddenly the fan shuts down. I stopped my assignment to listen. I was puzzled by the lack of noise. Silence. Silence. Silence. At first I didn't realize it was the fan exactly - just that something wasn't right.
Sometimes I am irked by silence. Perhaps it is because I am a music major - I am constantly surrounded by sound and pitch and always I am listening. Music surrounds my life, and even in my brain I am uncomfortable thinking nothing. I always hum or sing a tune to keep my mind from dwelling on the silence.
== (Music Moment Below)
That's what I find so intriguing about John Cages, "4'33". He sits musicians down and they rest for 4:33. The audience is the one creating the music. Through their fidgets, coughing, adjusting their zippers, sighs, stiffled sneezes they create the piece.
I imagine that this must be incredibly unsettling for these folks - here they are anticipating some grandiose musical expression and it's musical silence. That's what sets off the fidgets - people are unsettled by silence, even if it is musical.
I think that this is why so many people talk without listening. They're not used to listening - they are blinded by the concept that almost all noise is white noise - computer whirring, keyboards typing, fans going, televisions blaring, even the radio or iPod in the car becomes white noise. The focus is somewhere else - driving, working, dressing, or even overanalyzing music that one doesn't hear the piece, but the elements.
------------- side note about perfect pitch -------------
I think perfect pitch isn't good. I don't have it, but I think for some it's distracting from the music.
Anyway. Silence. I think it's about time we started being friends.