Friday, 18 September 2009

The Art of Silence

I apologise for my lack of substantial posts, a lot's been going on lately so my mind has been elsewhere. Truth be told, for the past month or so I've become musically apathetic. Now, for any normal music fan this might seem a little strange but nothing out of the ordinary: people go through music phases all the time, but for someone who has music practically coursing through her veins, this struck me as a little odd when I came to think about it.

I've been obsessed with music from as young as I can remember; my mother never ceases to bring up the embarrassing tale of when I was but 4 years old, sat in the car in traffic with my mum, Radiohead's Creep playing with the windows down. I'd only really just got past the stage of singing nursery rhymes but appeared to have fallen in love with this band, as I allegedly started singing 'You're so fuckin' special' at the top of my lungs. To me that was my first rockstar moment, to her it was completely and utterly cringeworthy, the looks she got from other drivers stuck in traffic were a picture to behold, so I'm told, I mean what innocent blonde haired blue eyed kid would be expected to be a fan of Thom Yorke's?

I was raised on a strict diet of The Smiths (hence my Morrissey addiction, see older posts for evidence), Placebo and the aforementioned Radiohead, and when music wasn't playing, there was always something else going on in the background, I can scarcely remember a time of silence in the past 17 years of my life at home. Everything was always so up tempo and loud that it's made me wonder why I've always needed something to block out the rest of the world.

So, a few Saturdays ago, with nothing to do, I logged on to the interweb as per usual, but instead of blasting some Pixies through my pathetic excuse for speakers or aurally attacking my neighbours with some Peaches, I just listened. I listened to the stillness of the house, the garden, the dog, everything- just to stoic and calm. Instead of being mortified of this sudden exposure to the world around me, I indulged in the quietness for the first time. Obviously I've been in silent conditions before, living in one of the most tested countries in Europe, but this was the first time I'd chosen to just sit and hear the silence, and I have to admit, it was a lot more powerful than anything Thom could have written.

So this is my weekly routine now. Instead of coming home from college and putting the first song I can find, playing it full throttle on my iTunes, I just sit and enjoy the nothingness.

I know this sounds very airy fairy and state of the obvious, but to me it was some kind of epiphany. In order to really enjoy music you have to be able to relish the silence that goes along with it. For if there was no silence, then the music wouldn't be half as fulfilling.

I'm taking a break from my blog, a mini hiatus if you will. What with college work and a thousand and one things to think about, I think I'll just enjoy the silence for a while.