There are many different kinds of silence. There is the silence of a concert audience just as the conductor’s baton is about to fall. There is the silence that has descended on our cities under lockdown — not total silence, but a hush, as the background noises of cars, trucks and air traffic have been largely removed.

And there is the silence of 4’33”.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now