Many of us strive for silence. Noise being a nuisance or distraction. Especially in the city where we crave for the alarm next door to stop beeping, the police cars and ambulances to stop their sirens. Neighbours arguing or partying at inappropriate hours.
But there are some city noises I find comforting. A stationary taxi chugging away outside. The electric spark of the underground. Or less specifically the hum or ‘ambient noise’ of the city. The culmination of all the city elements coming together to create that unified sound of the city.
I started thinking about the above whilst reading an article on a man’s quest for silence. A fascinating story where he ended up in the quietest place on earth – 99.9% sound absorbent.
His personal experience describes the sound of blood flushing through his veins and the sound of his skin moving across his forehead. Nice.
Far from what he thought would be pleasant he learnt that being deprived of sound can be a form of torture. Those exposed to 15 minutes of being in the chamber had extreme symptoms such as claustrophobia and nausea to panic attacks and aural hallucination. Given some thought, I can perceive how nightmarish it could be. Especially if you have an active imagination. I’ll stick to ear plugs and headphones for sonic comfort.
It would seem that whilst we’re alive, there is no such thing as silence. So be careful what you wish for…
Read the article here: