On Memorial Silence


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In volume no. 5 of the Sound Studies Book Series (founded by Holger Schulze) the history of the theatre of memorial silence‹ is explored by reseacher Ross Brown. The author describes the impact of these performances on the ›soundscape of the urban past‹ (Karin Bijsterveld, editor of vol. 5), starting with Armistice Day 1919 in London and originally two (sic!) minutes long:

»a hyper-real auditory experience of accentuated panorama and heightened definition, but it does more than this. Traffic and other noises cease to be incidental or background to a moment of everyday transience and instead become monumental (if one can imagine a monument as an immersive rather than an objective figure). […] If anything, some said, the performance silenced memories.« (Bijsterveld 2013: 215)

Source: Soundscape of the Urban Past