Ep. 21: The ambiguous spaces between noise and sound | Some Scuffs

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In 1964, folk duo Simon & Garfunkel penned a song that would go on to be their most well-known and beloved work. The Sound of Silence was about two people despairing over their inability to connect with one another.

To the narrator, silence is scary and agonising.

But what if it could also be beautiful?

We’re not talking about complete and utter silence – the kind you experience in a vacuum – of course. Rather, it’s the background noise that pervades our daily lives, the tapping of fingers on keyboards in the office or the whir of the ceiling fan in the living room. The CNN presenter who babbles on, whether you’re paying attention or doing the dishes in the other room. The roar of waves crashing on to a beach. The frantic sweeping of windscreen wipers in a rainstorm.

In this episode, we celebrate the soundscape that cocoons us in a warm wash of nostalgia, comfort and sometimes, yearning, even when we don’t notice it. How does sound speak to you? And what does that say about who you are?


  1. Allen K, Blascovich J. Effects of Music on Cardiovascular Reactivity Among Surgeons. JAMA.1994;272(11):882–884. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1994.03520110062030 
  2. How background music influences our behaviour at work, by Jill Suttie for Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

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