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Silence

On Being

Gordon Hempton — The Last Quiet Places: Silence and the Presence of Everything [remix]

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gordon Hempton says that silence is an endangered species. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a "solar-powered jukebox" and quiet is a "think tank of the soul."

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On Being

[Unedited] Gordon Hempton with Krista Tippett

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gordon Hempton says that silence is an endangered species. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a "solar-powered jukebox" and quiet is a "think tank of the soul."

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On Being

Carrie Newcomer — A Conversation with Music

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Something of a celebrity in Quaker circles, Carrie Newcomer is best known for her story-songs that get at the raw and redemptive edges of human reality. For Thanksgiving, a musical conversation with the Indiana-based and born folk singer-songwriter.

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On Being

[Unedited] Carrie Newcomer with Krista Tippett

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Something of a celebrity in Quaker circles, Carrie Newcomer is best known for her story-songs that get at the raw and redemptive edges of human reality. For Thanksgiving, a musical conversation with the Indiana-based and born folk singer-songwriter.

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On The Media

TLDR #20 - Silence

Monday, April 07, 2014

A band called Vulfpeck has asked fans to stream an entire album of silence on Spotify while they sleep, so the band can use the royalties to tour without charging for their shows. So far, the scheme has worked. We talk to Vulfpeck's Jack Stratton about hustling as a musician on the internet.

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Studio 360

Aha Moment: Kenneth Goldsmith & John Cage

Friday, August 09, 2013

Kenneth Goldsmith trained as a visual artist at the Rhode Island School of Design.  In the 1980s, his work became wildly popular with collectors and was shown at some of the best galleries in New York City. “What I had become was a businessman,” he says. “And I did this so I wouldn’t ...

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Radiolab

What Is 10 Trillion Times More Powerful Than A Heartbeat?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How loud is the loudest sound we can produce? Kiss fans got a taste at an Ottawa concert, but Chris Butler got closer in his sealed, reinforced, amped-up car. Bombs aside, (we'd rather not, thank you ) can we go louder? How much louder

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On Being

Gordon Hempton — The Last Quiet Places: Silence and the Presence of Everything [remix]

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Gordon Hempton says that silence is an endangered species. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a "solar-powered jukebox" and quiet is a "think tank of the soul."

Comment

On Being

[Unedited] Gordon Hempton and Krista Tippett

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Gordon Hempton says that silence is an endangered species. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a "solar-powered jukebox" and quiet is a "think tank of the soul."

Comment

Soundcheck

Tell Us: How Do You Block Out Noise?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Joyce Cohen recently wrote on BuzzFeed about living with hyperacusis, a condition which makes soft sounds unbearably loud and painful. After Cohen joined us last week to talk about it, we received some great emails and voicemails from you, with a wide range of feedback. The segment got us talking here in the Soundcheck office, too.

Here's why: Joyce described how she blocks out noise while living amid the sonic chaos of New York.

In my situation, because I know I'm going to be subjected to a lot of loud noise, I always protect my ears. I have industrial-strength earmuffs, so I look like the baggage handler [at an airport].

Even if you don’t have hyperacusis like Cohen, even if you don’t live in New York, you might still take measures --- some of them extreme -- to find peace and quiet.

All this week on the show, we're asking our listeners and in-studio guests: How do you block out noise? Where do you find quiet?

Sam Beam, the singer-songwriter who records as the indie-folk act Iron & Wine, told John Schaefer that he finds peace and quiet while driving, despite the hum of the car interior and the tires on the road.

I've had to make a habit of not turning music on in the car. It used to be where I listened to music, because it was really the only place I had where you were stuck. I feel like it's also a matter of perspective, because I have a bunch of kids. What some people think is quiet is probably different than my idea of quiet. I definitely learned to block a lot of noise out through sheer force of will. So the car feels really quiet to me.

Unlike Beam, the saxophonist Colin Stetson lives in a major city, Montreal. A solo artist who also tours with Bon Iver and Arcade Fire, Stetson finds quiet while running, but what he hears depends on the terrain.

I won't put earbuds in if I'm running in the woods -- trailrunning out in Vermont [...] But when I'm running in the city, I tend to drown out the noise with something that's more aggressive and more powerful than the city's noise, so I listen to a lot of metal. 

What about you? How do you block out noise? How do you create a quiet space? Leave a message for us at 866-939-1612. Or, post your story in the comment section below.

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Selected Shorts

Let's Not Talk

Monday, August 23, 2010

This program has the provocative title “Let’s Not Talk.” That's because a longing for silence plays an important part in both of this week's featured stories.

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