The sound of 4'33"

'I notice the kind of background sound which I refer to as the sound of silence, a resonating, vibratory sound. Is it a sound? Whatever it is - "sound" isn't quite accurate - I begin to notice a high-pitched kind of vibration that is always present. Once you recognise this point - at which one is fully open, receptive; when you recognize this sound of silence your thinking process stops - you can rest in this stream. It's like a stream. It isn't like ordinary sound that rises and ceases or begins and ends. The sound of the bell has a beginning and ending, and so does the sound of birds, the sound of my voice. But behind that, behind all other sounds, is this sound of silence. It's not that we create it or that it comes and goes - in my exploraration of this it's always present, it's just there whether I notice it or not. So once I notice it - and it sustains itself, I don't have to create it - then it's just present, pure presence. '
From The Sound of Silence: The Selected Teachings of Ajahn Sumedho. And that mention of resonating vibratory sounds leads to a different Buddhist tradition - Eliane Radigue's electronic masterpiece Trilogie de la Mort inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

All photos taken at Les Jardins du Loriot, Venansault, France and (c) On An Overgrown Path 2012. Any other copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images etc to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Also on Facebook and Twitter.


Thanks for posting these wonderful photos - found myself breathing more deeply just looking at them while imagining the sounds of those water sculptures.
casualasbirds said…
Thanks - I'd sometimes wondered if other people heard sound in silence too - turns out they do!

Recent popular posts

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Classical music must not cease from exploration

There is no right reaction to great music

Why cats hate Mahler symphonies

Nada Brahma - Sound is God

Dresden Requiem for eleven young victims

The act of killing from 20,000 feet

Revisiting the Master Musicians

Untold story of the counterculture's Islamic connection

Master musician who experienced the pain of genius