THE VOICE OF ENERGY VOL. 063
Hello and happy new year to my lovely group of paid subscribers. Thank you for your ongoing support of my work as we slide into 2022. Below you'll find some recommendations of visual and recorded art, and some fine journalistic work, to enjoy. And the first paid subscriber exclusive! (By the way, if I have yet to get you a code to the music that Patricia Wolf offered up as an incentive for your paid subscription, let me know. I fell behind on that.)
Been thinking a lot about silence lately. In part because I'm starting to see a small wave of cancellations in the local concert calendar and worried what that means for the rest of the year. But also thinking about how powerful it is when used in film and TV, two forms of media that seem to demand a constant stream of sound whether that's ambient noise or incidental music or dialogue. When everything drops out, it's so disorienting and often beautiful. That happens occasionally through the running time of one of my film suggestions below, The Inheritance, but I notice it every time I rewatch A Charlie Brown Christmas. There's a three second (or so) moment of pure silence right after Linus gives his soliloquy on the birth of Christ ("Lights, please") and right before he drops the devastating line, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." No matter your stand on the reason for the season, there's no denying how much that silence adds to the impact of the moment. Or consider one of the most powerful moments at the end of series two of The Office when Tim finally lays his heart on the line to Dawn but decides to turn off the lapel mic he's been wearing for the documentary film crew. Again, it trebles the power of that final blow when he turns the microphone back on: "She said no, by the way." As obnoxious as I continue to find Ricky Gervais these days, some small part of me will always love him for that choice.