Gregorian - The Sound Of Silence
In 1965, the song began to attract airplay at radio stations in Boston and throughout Florida. The growing airplay led Tom Wilson, the song's producer, to remix the track, overdubbing electric instruments and drums. This remixed version was released as a single in September 1965. Simon & Garfunkel were not informed of the song's remix until after its release. The remix hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending January 1, 1966, leading the duo to reunite and hastily record their second album, which Columbia titled Sounds of Silence in an attempt to capitalize on the song's success. The remixed single version of the song was included on this follow-up album. Later, it was featured in the 1967 film The Graduate and was included on the film's soundtrack album. It was additionally released on the Mrs. Robinson EP in 1968, along with three other songs from the film: "Mrs. Robinson," "April Come She Will" and "Scarborough Fair/Canticle."
Gregorian - The Sound of Silence
The song's origin and basis are unclear, with some thinking that the song commented on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, as the song was recorded three months after the assassination, though Simon & Garfunkel had performed the song live as Kane & Garr two months before the assassination. Simon wrote "The Sound of Silence" when he was 21 years old, with Simon explaining that the song was written in his bathroom, where he turned off the lights to better concentrate. "The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I'd turn on the faucet so that water would run (I like that sound, it's very soothing to me) and I'd play. In the dark. 'Hello darkness, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again.'" According to Garfunkel, the song was first developed in November, but Simon took three months to perfect the lyrics, which he claims were entirely written on February 19, 1964. Garfunkel, introducing the song at a live performance (with Simon) in Harlem, June 1966, summed up the song's meaning as "the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly intentionally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other."
The lyrics of the song are written in five stanzas of seven lines each. Each stanza begins with a couplet describing the setting of the scene, followed by a couplet driving the action forward and another couplet expressing the climactic thought of the verse, and closes with a one-line refrain referring to "the sound of silence". This structure is supported by a melodic contour, where the first and second lines are paired with the arpeggio A-C-E-D and a repeat a step lower, respectively. The arpeggio is then stretched to become C-E-G-A-G and repeated twice in the second couplet. For the last three lines, the contour then leaps from C to the higher A, rises to the higher C, and then falls back to the A before singing the stretched arpeggio in reverse and finally retreating to the lower A. The progress of the lyrics through its five stanzas places the singer into an incrementally increasing tension with an increasingly ambiguous "sound of silence". The irony of using the word "sound" to describe silence in the title lyrics suggests a paradoxical symbolism being used by the singer, which the lyrics of the fourth stanza eventually identifies as "silence like a cancer grows". The "sound of silence" is symbolically taken also to denote the cultural alienation associated with much of the 1960s. In the counterculture movements of the 1960s, the phrase "sound of silence" can be compared to other more commonly used turns of phrase such as "turning a deaf ear" often associated with the detachment experienced with impersonal large governments.
The first stanza presents the singer as taking some relative solace in the peacefulness he associates with "darkness" which is submerged "within" the ambiguous sound of silence. The second stanza has the effect of breaking into the silence with "the flash of a neon light" which leaves the singer "touched" by the enduring ambiguity of the sound of silence. In the third stanza, a "naked light" emerges as a vision of 10,000 people all caught within their own solitude and alienation without any one of them daring to "disturb" the recurring sound of silence.
In the fourth stanza, the singer proclaims in a declarative voice that "silence like a cancer grows," though his words "like silent raindrops fell" without ever being heard against the by now cancerous sound of silence. The fifth stanza appears to culminate with the urgency raised by the declarative voice in the fourth stanza through the apparent triumph of a false "neon god". The false neon god is only challenged when a "sign flashed out its warning" that only the words of the indigent written on "subway walls and tenement halls" could still "whisper" their truth against the recurring and ambiguous form of "the sound of silence". The song has no lyrical bridge or change of key, and was written without any lyrical intro or outro to start or end the song.
When director Mike Nichols and Sam O'Steen were editing the 1967 film The Graduate, they initially timed some scenes to this song, intending to substitute original music for the scenes. However, they eventually concluded that an adequate substitute could not be found and decided to purchase the rights for the song for the soundtrack. This was an unusual decision, as the song had charted more than a year earlier, and recycling established music for film was not commonly done at the time.
The song was used during the fourth season of the television series Arrested Development in 2013 as a running gag alluding to characters' (primarily GOB's) inner reflections. It was also used as part of the soundtrack of episode 4 of The Vietnam War, the 2017 documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The Disturbed cover appeared in the soundtrack of episode 8 of season 5 of the TV series The Blacklist. In episode 8, season 2 of the mystery-comedy TV series Only Murders in the Building, titled "Hello, Darkness", the residents of the eponymous building sing the song during a blackout.
Gregorian chant is the voice of silence. It is not a purely musical phenomenon, it has something fascinating. It is mysterious and even mystical. Thanks to its deep spirituality and its inner life Gregorian chant responds to the urge for mental deepening. For many people this chant is an echo of eternity. The melodies show up an inner, elusive beauty and are, so to speak, the musical icons of the text. Text and music form a real symbiosis.
As a liturgical chant Gregorian chant contains everything: it is sensual, it loves silence, it does not ask for explanation and it has a strong mystical power. Holiness and beauty are perfectly integrated in a way that allows defining it as a fresco, a mosaic or an icon, a reference to the Eternal Beauty.
Cistercian monks are immoderate only in their love of God and prayers are their bridge to heaven. The brotherhood gathers several times a day to praise God in the form of a Gregorian chant, sung in unison and without accompaniment, an act designed to restrict individuality and strengthen the community. Visitors are welcome to listen and bear witness to a medieval ritual full of symbolism and ceremony. Those wishing to stay in the monastery must observe the rule of silence, because silence is holy here.
The poem begins with an address to darkness. The narrator says that he has come to talk to it because a certain vision has planted its seeds in his brain while he was sleeping. The vision still remains there in the sound of silence.
The moment he completes the picture, the parts are connected and he has a clear vision, the blinds on his eyes are finally off(When my eyes were stabbed by The flash of a neon light That split the night). He would like to scream and do something (And touched the sound of silence), but still not there yet.
He realizes, he is not alone who sees all that injustice, many more (Ten thousand people, maybe more) sees that, yet they never mention, or understand that, nor they act upon that. Although, they think about the problems, oppression, and injustice around them (People writing songs that voices never share) they are not ready to stand up and change the situation.At the other hand, mainstream media and politicians are pushing narrative that is basically meant to passivize people, and distract, push their anger towards invented enemy, minority groups, and religions. (People talking without speaking People hearing without listening).They have no courage to revolt against the system (And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence).Even though not completely content with the system, and their lives, they would rather comply, and let other people rule them, than to try to change the system afraid to lose what they have.
Hello darkness, my old friendI've come to talk with you againBecause a vision softly creepingLeft its seeds while I was sleepingAnd the vision that was planted in my brainStill remainsWithin the sound of silenceIn restless dreams I walked aloneNarrow streets of cobblestone'Neath the halo of a street lampI turned my collar to the cold and dampWhen my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon lightThat split the nightAnd touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I sawTen thousand people, maybe morePeople talking without speakingPeople hearing without listeningPeople writing songs that voices never shareAnd no one dareDisturb the sound of silence
Fools, said I, you do not knowSilence like a cancer growsHear my words that I might teach youTake my arms that I might reach youBut my words like silent raindrops fellAnd echoedIn the wells of silence 041b061a72