The process of making sonic work for my PhD was very much about discovering the something that lay beyond the noise. Difficult to verbally articulate, or express through words, the something remained unknown until the violence of the noise was finally embodied. It was only through taking the noise into my body that the concept of silence could be fully comprehended. Simon Reynolds writes about noise as “a wordless state in which the very constitution of ourselves is in jeopardy,” “an eruption within the material out of which language is shaped” (2006).
Noise: It’s 2012, I am seated in an auditorium in Plymouth, listening to noise musician Merzbow played really loudly by Salome Voegelin. I have a flashback. The past becomes present and the current present disappears. I am back in New York. The Twin Towers falling, and I am hearing their collapse for the first time, despite having been there on the day.
This essay is an exploration of the differing qualities and layers of silence into which the loudness of the falling towers had become enmeshed and the necessity to unravel their noise in order to locate the concept of an inner silence.