Speaking of Sound and Silence

Silence is a precious gift. An inalienable right omitted from the US constitution. From the field of silence all sounds can spring. It is the space of breath and the place of listening. 

In the silent spaces among between and within sound is the place that allows the assimilation of what is heard. The nervous system, heart and cells of the body of necessity are faster to know what is experienced than the mind. Creating breathing spaces in music allows deeper listening and an opening by the body on all levels to allow the sound in. 

Too often sound is perceived as an attack, a bombardment and the body defends itself against the onslaught of loud and monolithic sound. The ears will over time if the decibel level (energy of the sound) is too intense protect the nervous system by going deaf through the withering of cilia in the inner ear that transmit certain frequencies to the auditory nerves. 

In our youth we stand in close proximity to high stacks of pa system speakers to feel the thumping of the base notes in our chest and the high lines of the lead instruments that stimulate our feet to frenzied movement. Tribal instincts and abandonment of the body in an age of technical know how that exposes us to too loud sound can leave our ears ringing for hours in the aftermath and over time can create deafness. 

Wearing stereo earphones or ear inserts will result in the same if the volume over time is not mindfully adjusted. If you can hear someone else's music coming out of their earphones while you are across the room you know they are listening at dangerous levels. 

Becoming mindful of the sounds around us and the sounds we make, and the effects they may have on others and ourselves is important in a world out of balance. From listening can come learning. To be continued...

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