July 31, 2019
The Big Pond #39: Quietude – In Search of Radio Silence

© Bilal Qureshi

In this radio travelogue, culture writer and journalist Bilal Qureshi explores Germany’s capital Berlin to find out about local origins, regulations, and daily rituals of silence. To his ears, German “Stille” sounds and feels more present than the pulsating noise of American cities – and this episode of The Big Pond is a personal quest to understand why. 

Follow Bilal Qureshi in this sound-rich – and sometimes intentionally silent – feature for The Big Pond. Interviewee Oliver Brod speaks to this: “…so this is the studio room where I do all the mixing. [silence] …what I love most in my studio is that we have this silence here…and then just open this soundproof door to the balcony… [ambience of outdoors, lawnmower, birds] …and there’s the world! So what I found very healthy and very helpful is to get out of my artificial sound world, open this door, and be in a real sonic ambience.” 

During his investigation into Berlin’s quietness, Bilal Qureshi meets writers and thinkers to explore the history of noise, Romantic individuality, and the ways in which the digital age has created a larger, global crisis of silence. A meditation on quiet and solitude, reported across the Atlantic.

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