The story behind this video is astoundingly simple, yet undeniably profound…
Everyone knows the old classic Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. It has dominated many discussions of musical and lyrical proficiency. The truth of the matter is that, like so many musical and lyrical masterpieces, even the composer can’t give a straight answer. Paul Simon recalls writing the song in the darkness of his bathroom with the tap/faucet running. Quite a literal explanation of the opening line, and let’s be honest, not one we’d like to accept…
… We want it to be more intense. More thought provoking. Political even. The thought that “darkness” actually means darkness is just unacceptable. So we dig deeper. Further into the lyrics that should mean so much more. Half a century has passed since this song was first recorded, and now we hear it in a version that has once again topped the charts.
My mom is thinking at this point, “Common!! How can a Hard Rock band, like Disturbed, do any justice to this song!!?” And without hearing it, I would tend to agree. But what Disturbed have done is quietly brilliant. They have bridged the gap between genres, in a way that even they will battle to do again. (Let’s be honest, the rest of their album falls short of the mark). How have they done this? To answer, we need to highlight a specific phrase from the lyrics:
“… people talking without speaking. People hearing without listening. People writing songs that voices never shared, no one dared disturb the sound of silence.”
Garfunkel apparently summed up the song’s meaning as “the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly internationally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other.” (cited: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sound_of_Silence)
AH HA!!! Now we are getting into some deep emotional and psychological territory!!
So… what disturbed has done is taken this phrase and fleshed it out. Its relevance, although arguably timeless, has been rejuvenated. We live in a world of twitts and facebook zombies, and the people writing good music have been completely drowned out by the static garbage of the modern pop artist. For decades we have had to endure the unending pain of monotonous chord progressions and properly average musicians and lyricists. I am particularly biased towards this trend, but the reality is that music is truly subjective, and I am the first one to say that everyone has the right to his/her own taste.
However… for those who share my point of view, it’s not all bad news. You see the underlying passion that drives all true musicians has never died. ‘Good’ music has never really been bumped out, just overshadowed. Today, there seems to be a movement towards the more honest and musically (as opposed to financially) driven sound. Artists are being noticed for their true sound first, before being chewed up by the system. Not ideal, but it’s a start I guess.
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15 March 2016