Raw recordings made in a terrace during COVID-19’s confinement (April, 2020) without any mic protector (Wind Shield) and with the gain option set up to max. Recorded in San Sebastián (Spain) and produced in Berlin (2023). Not mastered.
A Silent Self
“ein ins Stumme entglittenes Ich.” – Walter Benjamin in “Critique of Violence”
Ludwig Wittgenstein concluded his “Tractatus logico-philosophicus” (1921) saying that “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent“. Years after, Jacques Derrida, in his book called “How not to speak. Denials” (1989), replied this sentence arguing that “What matters here is the nature of that “must be silent”, it inscribes the mandate of silence in the order or the promise of “we must speak”, “we must not avoid speaking” or rather “there needs to be a trace.” No, “it is necessary that there has been a trace”, a phrase that must be simultaneously turned towards a past and a future both still unpresentable: it really is necessary (now) that there has been a trace.”
José Luis Pardo in his book called “Intimacy” (1996) remind us that “the being feels his emotions, hears them sound in that interior fold in which he harbors himself, let’s not forget that “hearing” is one of the meanings of “feeling”, he feels the fold or curvature by which his “upright walk” is always in an unstable balance. Knowing yourself mortal is feeling (hearing yourself) alive.”
The last chapter of the book “The Expulsion of the Other” (2018) by Byung-Chul Han is dedicated to the listening act. He said: “Listening can be enough to heal. The art of listening is developed as a respiratory art. The listener empties himself. The ego is not able to listen. Listening helps others to speak. Listening has a political dimension: it is an action, an active participation in the existence of others, and also in their sufferings. Today, somehow, we are alone with our own sufferings and fears. Suffering is privatized and individualized, thus becoming the object of therapy that tries to heal the self. Listening gives each one his own. Listening reconciles, heals and redeems. The noisy society of tiredness is deaf.”
In “Silence” (1994) by John Cage, the musical equivalent of “empty space”, an “empty music”, is – regardless of its metaphysical attributes – an experience, not the the absence of one. As Michel Chion in his book “L’audio-vision” (1994) said: “Silence is never a neutral emptiness. It’s negative of sound we’ve heard beforehand or imagined; it’s the product of contrast.”
The wind is the only thing that maintains a relationship with the voice. The breath of the living voice is dissipation in the wind. The scream, the howl are drowned in that breath. For this reason one should speak in a low voice, because of this outburst. A speech, in its definition, requires the constellation of its otherness. It has no voice, no say, no sense of its own. Speech does not remain.
“He who has suffered a loss joins the lost within his laments: he abandons his body and decomposes himself in the atmosphere of the world.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel