Silent Sky

Silence, pause & human breath in 6 years of radio news

2 min readMar 10, 2016

Silent Sky appears in a series of 3 projects, for which I collected & processed over 50,000 NPR news broadcasts. Read more about the series & its projects here: Breaking the News.

A radio news program that was broadcast 6 years ago has since traveled 6 light years into the universe. This is enough time to reach the nearest solar system, which is trillions of miles away.

About five percent of radio news is silent, the short breaths and pauses we faintly hear. I’ve taken the last 6 years of NPR hourly news broadcasts and collected every such moment of silence, whisper & human breath — a total of nearly a million tiny clips.

Silent Sky generates a unique compilation based on these silences for every visitor. Each compilation is released only once, its selection of silences is played only for that visitor. Each compilation is 30 seconds long and contains 350 silences on average, layered in 6 tracks of surround sound.

Make a tape recording of the sound of the stars moving. Do not listen to the tape. Cut it and give it out to the people on the street. — Yoko Ono

Image Credit

Silent Sky uses an image of the sky that was generated by Tom Lechner based on the Tycho 2 star catalog.


Silent Sky is a project by Gregor Hochmuth and appears in a 3-part series that explores our relationship with the news & broadcast. Read more about the series & its projects here: Breaking the News.

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