Silence is disturbing

Silence is disturbing because it is the wavelength of the soul. If we leave no space in our music, then we rob the sound we make of defining context...It’s almost as if we’re afraid of leaving space. Great music is as often about the space between the notes as it is about the notes themselves...What I’m trying to say here is that if I’m ever asked if I’m religious, I always reply, "Yes, I’m a devout musician." Music puts me in touch with something beyond intellect, something otherworldly, something sacred.

~ "Silence in Music" from a commencement speech by Sting

Silence is at the heart of music

I'm coming to believe in the importance of silence in music.  The power of silence after a phrase of music, for example: the dramatic silence after the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, or the space between the notes of a Miles Davis solo.  There is something very specific about a "rest" in music.  You take your foot off the pedal and pay attention.  I'm wondering as musicians whether the most important thing we do is merely to provide a frame for silence.  I'm wondering if silence itself is perhaps the mystery at the heart of music.  And is silence the most perfect form of music of all?  Songwriting is the only form of meditation I know.  And it is only in silence that the gifts of melody and metaphor are offered.

~ Sting--from a commencement speech
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