these 'silences' aren't silent. What tends to happen is the extreme quietness
combined with the listeners attempts to perceive it lead to a situation where:
1) on a psychological level, one accepts the definition of silence
2) on a physical level, the ears attempt to adjust to the surroundings & to 1)
the combination means that 'silence' is the surface perception. There are all
kinds of sounds present, even in the disorienting stillness of the most quiet
places on earth (such as deep caves or deserts) but, as is the way of us
humans, it is easier for us to apply filters to our perception of what is there.
micro / macro listening to these places or recordings of them reveals a wealth
of sound, all be it on a sometimes very subtle level.
it's amazing to perceive stillness & amazing to hear whats there at those times.
--- In 404 <> wrote:
> Thanks for this, Raimund. Fascinating stuff!
> On 05 Jun 2012, at 19:39, Raimund wrote:
> > <But every now and then there's moments where the wind lies down and the
> > flies stay away and it's silent. Not quiet. But silent. I'm sure that
> > anyone who's ever driven into the Australian outback or desert know what
> > I'm talking about. I can highly recommend it>
> > Peter,
> > I think I know what you are talking about. I experienced that stunning
> > silence several times shortly after sunset while camping in the Sonoran
> > Desert (Arizona).
> > There is a simple explanation for that kind of silence: A strong
> > temperature gradient in the air above the ground creates a sonic shadow
> > region for each sound source (the ground is still hot, but the air is
> > getting cooler at night). See
> > http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/Demos/refract/refract.html. So, I think
> > there is still some noise around, but it just cannot be heard due to these
> > refraction effects.
> > Regards,
> > Raimund