Guide The Quest for Silence

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The increasing popularity of 3D and IMAX experiences in film-going is indicative of this, with audiences becoming more immersed in cinema as mere stimulus. However, for many filmmakers, silence can be one of the most effective tools in their arsenal. It can relay boredom, the sensation of falling in love, or the fear of death.

Austrian director Michael Haneke is perhaps the master of silence. His work is often criticized for being too violent, yet actual instances of violence in his films are rare.

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These instances of silence can, at first, feel like a salvation, but in reality merely act to underline the cruelty Haneke sees in the world. The film opens with silence, almost 5 minutes of it, an alienating experience for audiences accustomed to the excessive rumble of the multiplex. When Cage first premiered the piece in in the bustling metropolis of New York, audiences were perplexed, unsure of what to make of the quiet. Zhou pays special attention to how Scorsese uses silence to amplify the tension of key narrative moments where characters are forced into making difficult decisions.

But why exactly do we need more silence in our lives, after all loudness can be thrilling.

A Quest for Silence

Loud sounds excite us because our bodies are preprogramed to react to them by raising our adrenaline levels. Sadly, this hunger to thrill, to keep energy levels constantly high has resulted in an onslaught of loud, yet largely superficial films. He explains to Shen how noise affects our bodies in four different ways: physiologically, psychological, behaviourally and, perhaps most importantly when discussing sound in cinema, cognitively.

It was fabulous.


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At the same time, it felt strange to travel halfway around the globe to disconnect. Recognising that few of us can indulge in serenity tourism, and fewer still can spend months walking or sailing to the ends of the Earth, Kagge reassures us that "the silence I have in mind may be found wherever you are, if you pay attention, inside your mind, and is without cost. You don't have to go to Sri Lanka: you can experience it in your bathtub. Like a fair number of passages throughout the book, this one sounds trite and plodding in English translation, however it may sound in Norwegian.

Consider the opening of Section One: "A lot of things in daily life boil down to wonder.

Silence please: on a quest for quietness

It is one of the purest forms of joy that I can imagine. I enjoy the feeling. And consider the book's closing lines: "It feels good to wonder on your own. Fortunately, there's no magic spell.

Be Quiet – I’m Thinking!

I had to use my legs to go far away in order to discover this, but I now know it is possible to reach silence anywhere. One only need subtract.

You have to find your own South Pole. There is little to object to in such passages, and yet, even allowing for what may be lost in translation, there is also little fresh insight to be gained from them. Literature extolling the virtues of silence has been accumulating for millennia, in Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, in sayings of Christian hermits and mystics, in teachings by modern yoga adepts and meditators.

Kagge refers to this body of wisdom only in passing, perhaps because he does not share the view, common to this tradition, that cultivation of inward stillness is a way of escaping the small self of the ego and experiencing a transpersonal reality.

The quest for silence, from Antarctica to the bathtub

Sound masking increases speech privacy. It also reduces the amount of disruption caused by noises, either by covering them completely or by decreasing the magnitude of change between baseline and peak volumes. While every sound masking system fulfills the basic function of introducing a background sound into the space, the methods they use to create, distribute and adjust the masking sound differ.

The oldest type of system is known as a centralized system, which consists of a centralized rack of equipment, including a sound generator, amplifiers and an equalizer, connected to a grid of speakers installed in the ceiling.

‎The Quest for Silence on Apple Books

This technology offers the highest number of localized masking, paging, timer and keypad adjustments and allows them to be made centrally from a control panel or software. Changes can be applied to one speaker, a group or the entire system within minutes. Sound masking is easily installed in existing facilities, providing an effective way to treat acoustic problems at nominal cost. However, early inclusion can reduce project costs by eliminating the need for extra insulation or layers of drywall, plenum barriers, and high-spec or permanent walls around private offices.

In this way, masking also helps to maintain the flexibility of the space. In open plan spaces, masking can also help to maintain a level of acoustical control as density increases and workstation partitions become lower. If the sound masking is augmented by strategies such as including physical barriers and absorptive materials in the design, the result will be an even more comfortable acoustic environment.

This article was provided by Environmental Acoustics Inc. Contact the company to discuss a project or to request a copy of their Understanding Sound Masking brochure, which responds to the questions most frequently asked about this technology: Tel: , Email: info enviraco. Back to Archived White Papers.