As artists, I think we can all agree that silence can be a blessing. Though, I’ve noticed that it depends on the person. Some people need utter silence and solitude to get any work done. Other people need some type of noise like a radio or the television. Maybe those people (like me) need something to remind them that they’re still in the real world.
I’ve wondered why I can’t get work done without music, but the noise of family breaks my concentration. A lot of it could be the idea of meditation or focus. Music helps me drift off into my own thoughts while someone talking to me (say a wife chatting to me while I write this post) drags me back to reality. It has been suggested that music doesn’t demand that I listen to it. If I miss a lyric, the song doesn’t start cursing at me and make me sleep on the futon in front of the entertainment center. I’m digressing here.
It seems to be different for every artist, but is it really the silence or the overall environment that it comes with. Silence is a sign of peace, solitude, and no distractions whatsoever. When you’re in silence, you know you won’t be disturbed. So, it might not be the silence, but the sensations that come with it. The downside to pure silence is that the slightest noise can derail you, so that telemarketer or Jehovah Witness is going to become an epic threat. That’s the trade-off though.
I write this as I finish a month where silence was a foreign word in this house. Yet, I got work done on days where it was only me and my son. He would play by himself for a bit while I sat nearby to edit. Whenever one of us felt like entertaining the other, we’d drop what we were doing and play for a while. He made noise and babbled away, but it didn’t derail me. So, another part of the silence equation might be the type of noise and the urgency that comes with it. My son’s quoting of Ninja Turtles is not a ‘do or die’ conversation. So, I can take it casually and slip in and out of author mode to react to ‘Halt, villain!’. Think I have a post for tomorrow now: Track Switching.
So, does anyone else create with music or do they need pure silence?