Last week I was in beautiful Söğüt, which lies between the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. This place, which has been spared the hideousness of concrete buildings, enchanted me with its natural beauty. It was quiet, calm, and simple. And just as I was thinking about how happy I was to be experiencing these emotions and how intolerant I was of everything that threatened to break my peace, I came across an article. It stated how introverts had higher levels of “cortical arousal” which means they responded stronger to outside stimuli like sights and sounds. This was a fantastic explanation for my intolerance for crowded environments, music I don’t like, people whose cell phone noticifations are on, and those whose earphones project outward noise.
This is why Söğüt’s lack of music and sound had made me so happy. But don’t get me wrong, from the days when I climbed on a chair to play Barış Manço cassettes on the stereo as a child all the way up to marrying a musician, music has always been an important concept in my life. Music has always made many moments more exciting and meaningful (and continues to do so). However, I’m talking about bad music that we don’t choose to hear, or in other words, being involuntarily exposed to noise. Of course, the concepts of good and bad are determined by our individual tastes. And that’s exactly why I think it’s important for venues to present a neutral (quiet) foundation. It should be our own choice to build on this foundation with music, or to simply listen to the waves.
There are many choices in life that face this “involuntary exposure.” With the hopes that quiet places will be on the rise and the realization that “-less”can be a better choice than “with” sometimes.