While it is Silberman’s first solo album, the record is a continuation of the emotional odyssey he began in The Antlers with albums Hospice, Burst Apart, and Familiars, moving the conversation even further down the path.
Speaking about the new album, Silberman revealed that ‘Impermanence’ was inspired by a hearing impairment he developed a few years ago.
“Much of what distinguishes ‘Impermanence’ from its forebears can be attributed to an unexpected injury, which forced me to consider the finite… the hearing impairment resulted in a temporary total hearing loss in one ear and an excruciating sensitivity to everyday sounds, including my own voice. In order to find rest and quiet, I left my Brooklyn apartment for a secluded setting in upstate New York.
“It would be some time before I experienced silence again, thanks to a constant blizzard of tinnitus. Once silence ceased to be available to me, I came to think of it as the luxury of well-calibrated perception. We mistakenly perceive it as nothing, but it’s precious, a profound entity. It became obvious to me why many prayers are silent, performed in immaculately quiet spaces.
“As the sensitivity and static began to subside, I gradually re-introduced sound into my world, gently playing my nylon-string acoustic guitar and whisper-singing. Eventually songs emerged, each sparse and minimal. I was conscious to only say what needed to be said. The six songs have an economy of expression, the spaces between the words as important as the words themselves. I often thought of the Miles Davis quote: ‘It’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play.’”