The (Suspicious) Sound of Silence

by Kittie Bernott


I rarely choose to work in a silent room. 

(By silent, I mean an absence of purposeful noise; the subtle hum of electronics and the outside world is almost always there.)

When I work at home, I almost always have a movie or TV show playing, usually on theme with the day's project. Last Friday, for example, I watched Captain America while working on new Marvel Vintage pieces. Sometimes I listen to music instead, especially when working on something that requires a lot of concentration; photography comes to mind.

I find sound fills a certain void, makes me feel less alone. It is also great for little bursts of inspiration. 

Sometimes I get caught up in work and forget to play media. I do not miss the noise while I am working - especially it is difficult by nature and I am focused - but when I come up for air, and realize the house is near-silent, I feel strange. It is a suspicious feeling.

When I was learning to drive, my mom did not allow me to turn on the radio while the car was moving. She felt it was a distraction. My primary arguments of, "YOU listen to the radio when YOU drive," and, "I'm just going to do it later, I should get USED to it NOW," went unheeded, and I was unable to voice deeper logic at the time because I was a teenager and well there you go. 

I think about those driving lessons, now and again, when I am working and something is playing in the background. I think about driving in silence, and how it never felt comfortable. I was suspicious of the noise void and the potential for sound intrusion throwing me off my game. To this day, my mom still mostly works and drives in silence. She does not seem to have my suspicions, but if it boosts her productivity, I am not one to judge. 

I do think she is missing out, though. Sound can be awfully gorgeous.

Hello darkness/my old friend/

Hello darkness/my old friend/