Survival of the quietest


That stormy sky was photographed when I was hiking on the slopes of Mont Ventoux in southern France a couple of weeks ago. It is the quality of the silence that always strikes me in this region. By choice I was travelling with only a basic mobile phone for emergency use; so I was isolated from both environmental noise and the virtual online noise that increasingly deadens our senses in daily life. The assumption that the loudest virtual noise wins is breeding a dangerous strand of dialectic extremism. And it is one of the many ironies of our time, that in the arts sector many who claim to revere John Cage's advocacy of the music of ambient sounds are drowning out those lauded ambient sonorities with their remorseless self-interested virtual noise.

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