These days my musical preferences are mostly towards the quieter, instrumental end of the scale.
In fact, I’ve always found there’s a fine tipping point, where music is so loud and dense, it becomes quiet.
Or, perhaps better explained, it evolves from a collection of separate loud noises, into one amorphous, gently undulating ocean of sound.
The latter half of Red Sea by Asobi Seksu, linked to above, is a great example of this.
One can imagine sections of it looped for 10, 20, 30 minutes and it becoming very similar to Stars Of The Lid’s longer ambient pieces.
The same is true for the visual sense.
There are photographs that are undeniably minimal in their composition.
But then others which consist of dense layers of individual forms, combine en masse to create a similarly minimal impression.
I remember the first time I saw a Mark Rothko painting in the flesh after admiring them in poster form for years.
Previously I’d enjoyed the pictures for their bold, sometimes almost luminescent blocks of colour. Seeing one up close and the incredible textures that indicated how many layers of paint had actually been used, gave them a whole other depth, and three dimensional weight and presence.
Plus again, it demonstrates this idea where if you add enough layers, it eventually becomes one merged layer, the noise tending every closer to silence.
This tipping point is fascinating to me, finding a way through what appears to be chaos and disorder, to find something stripped down and tranquil out the other side.
What are your thoughts on this, with both music and photography? Have you experienced examples where something is so noisy, it becomes quiet?
As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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