Saturday, December 01, 2001

Sound of the Year: 2001 – The Silence

The 2001 Critical Noise Sound of the Year belongs to The Silence that befell the world in the immediate aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001.

We did not all feel The Silence at the same time. Nor did we all drop into that vast pit of darkness together for the same reasons. It was not even a physical silence we sensed, but a disturbing quietude we felt inside, as if we might drown in that hole that had grown inside our hearts.

For some, The Silence arrived immediately, while witnessing the surreal events of the day in real time. For others who jumped into action by professional necessity or instinct, it came afterwards, with weary or anxious rest. And in those cases, it often came on with an inexplicable feeling that one had just returned from a tour of duty on Mars.

For still others The Silence arrived when the evidence that a loved one had been lost proved irrefutable.

And for still others, they finally sensed its overwhelming emptiness when the question 'Why?' yielded absolutely nothing.

But if even if we did feel for a moment that we were enveloped in muffled darkness, and even in the light of day, it was only so that our hearts and minds might pause and recalibrate the order of things.

Words fail us still, but no doubt we will all emerge in time and make sense of this world again.

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The Critical Noise Sound of the Year goes to that sound source, event, entity, happening or concept which so effectively produces wide response and reaction, whether intentional or not, such that it stirs collective emotion, inspires discussion, incites action, or otherwise lends itself to cultural analysis and resonates across the globe.

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