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Cloud nothings nov16

shh: Cloud Nothings on the power of silence

26 January 2017, 09:00

Teej Duke, of Cloud Nothings, writes about the virtues of silence – if only you'd stop and listen.

In the silence you can hear everything and nothing all at once. You hear deafening white amalgamation of all sounds in tandem. It’s an intoxicating sonic world to experience. Simultaneously, silence provides us an empty palette with which to absorb and make room for highly focused thoughts and ideas to come into view.

In these moments of sonic and environmental peacefulness, we are allowed the uninterrupted and true flow of thought. A position both full of potential and often an overwhelming swirl of sound and vision. Even more importantly, it affords us the opportunity to listen.

Being a resident of a city, I’ve become accustomed to a symphony of ever changing noise, and to a large degree it’s comforting. It provides a sense that I am out of focus… just a visitor… only here to experience… not to contribute but to absorb and realize my environment. There is peace in the chaos.

And so I walk. The simplicity of placing one foot in front of the other, without real direction is my path to harmony. These moments of silence are extremely helpful to bring into focus ideas both musically and philosophically. When no one is telling you what to think, what to buy, where to go… you enter a calm lucid state in which everything is possible. Ideas can freely flow and change and distort at your whim. This is a precious state of mind. It’s in these moments that you can create entire worlds to be later brought into existence.

And although silence is intrinsically beneficial in bringing order to the chaos of your mind, the real power of being quiet is in its effect. Simply put, you listen. Listening is the single most important tool we have in bringing ourselves as humans closer to one another. As we quickly learn to speak, we must keep in mind that listening is the yang to the yin. Irreversibly connected, and essential to its counterpart. Silence is in essence, the building block to understanding. Understanding leads to acceptance, and acceptance to compassion. Internalize this, and you’re already a part of the solution.

In my own quest for musical inspiration and to be truly surprised and excited, the path has led me to experimental music. The artist reaching for uncharted territory is in my opinion, essential to the growth, evolution and sustenance of art. To hear something that you’ve never heard before is to be a child again, and in the case of field recordings (which is a deceivingly vast genre), it can provide a wider scope of the world that you are living in. This is again, the point. Don’t be a prisoner to your taste. See and hear what’s out there and be open to it. Thanks for listening.

The new Cloud Nothings record, Life Without Sound, is out 27th January via Wichita.
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