Silence Among Friends

Silence is radio’s worst enemy. Or so the thinking goes. In fact, some commercials stations have alarms that sound when the station goes silent for more than a few seconds.

So, imagine my surprise when Joni Murphy said she wanted to produce a radio story about silence at Quaker meeting.

At first I thought she was kidding. Then I thought about the practical implications. “If a radio piece has a lot of silence, listeners will think their radios are broken or they lost the station or something.”

Then I thought some more and I decided Joni’s idea was genius. Take a listen.

Don’t you be silent. Post your thoughts!



PS – Oh, and y’all should know about John Cage, a composer who’s famous (and infamous) for his explorations of sound and silence. Here are links to a performance of 4′ 33″ and a story about Cage’s momentous encounter with absolute silence.′33″


  1. 3 Responses to “Silence Among Friends”

  2. By John Barth on Jul 20, 2009

    This is SUCH a clever episode of the podcast..and what a good piece to highlight! I once suggested a similar idea when I was a reporter and got the strangest look from MY boss! Unlike Joni, I was not smart enough to even begin producing something this good.

  3. By will on May 15, 2010

    A crescendo of silence indeed. Thanks so much for producing this piece.

    The first time I heard it, I entered somewhat of a state of intense calm during the piece itself, then felt jarred back into reality when Rob’s voice re-enters to say “that was ‘silence among friends, by Joni Murphy…”

  4. By me on Aug 15, 2013

    listening to this now on PRI REmix… you are a monster of a story teller…

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.