Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Noiseless words, hovering like flies

In the FT, Peter Barber comments on a new book by Stuart Sim called "Manifesto for Silence". Having trailed round a few cathedrals last week, and being subjected to high-spirited students alighting in the upstairs flat before term starts, it'd be fair to say that I've got a hankering to go out and buy a copy. However, reading about silence when all around is noisy would probably be the most irritating endeavour in the world, and I don't fancy going to a church just to read. (Going to think, and to not think, is infinitely nicer.) Still, silence is worth considering in a world where the closest we get to deliberately constructing it is on "quiet zones" in trains, and when everything else seems intent on breaking our concentration with audiobuzz.

Elsewhere, I've decided to have a go at short, dirty, noiseless words after seeing Amy's great attempts over there. One pasted below, the others can be found alongside it over at

An incoming message. "Whaddya think of this? 17v07b629n2c72n827c038c27e"

The genetertainment software whirled instantly into life, a thousand network connections unfurling into the ether to lasso samples from across the world. The track began: randomly-generated, encapsulated in a single string, each layer dancing giddily with itself, yet weaving like straw in a landscape of beats, loops and harmonies.

I listened. It pulled me in. I left it, looping over and over like the life of a Universe in endless repetition. I clicked, forwarding the genome on. Months later, it was still top of the worldwide chart.

"Umb-er-ella", it croaked. "...ella, ella..."

Might have to make it along to the nearby Short Story Festival at Charlestone in a few weeks.

1 comment:

Adrian Howard said...

... how I wish the silent carriages on the train were actually silent.... sigh...