I first met Mark De Vita when he posted some comments on this blog. He then showed tremendous support for the Kays both through his e-mails to me and on his wonderful blog Argos Barks. It really is worth checking out and he has written the second piece for the Why I Love series entitled Why I Love Silence. It’s just great. Enjoy.
Fragile, unspoken, intimate, personal… I love silence. It’s a precious good that is often hard to find, but if you pay attention, you can find tiny bits of it everywhere.
My headphones are almost always on me, playing music incessantly, except right at this very moment. Usually music gives me the inspiration to write but, if I am writing about silence, then shouldn’t I dedicate myself completely to it while I write? And yet, so fragile it is, my constant tapping the keyboard breaks the silence. I’ll try to press more gently.
Not many people stop to think on the impact silence makes in music, which is absolute and essential. Unless you can actually play an instrument, it’s sometimes a bit difficult to think that the silence between each note played can make or break a song. I only truly found out about this when I started to learn how to play the piano. In my first attempts, I quickly found myself comfortable and after a couple of weeks I was already playing simple things, and yet, there was something escaping me. All the right notes were there, in the right sequence, my hands moving in the right way, but there was something that wasn’t quite right.
And then it struck me. The silence. What a precious element. Anyone can play an instrument after trial and error, but to give music a soul, to make it connect and be what it truly is meant to be, well, it’s not in the notes, or in the quality of the instrument. It’s in the ability of giving the right weight, space and value to the silence that precedes every note.
Just like in music, when we speak to someone, what often proves most valuable is not what we say, but what we don’t.
I feel like I could go on for hours about what silence means to me, but then again, didn’t I just say that silence is sometimes more important than saying things?
Let’s make this one of those times.