"Silence" is a song by Canadian electronic music group Delerium featuring Canadian singer and co-writer Sarah McLachlan. Over the years, it has been hailed as one of the greatest trance songs of all time, over a decade after its initial release. The Tiësto remix of the song was voted by Mixmag readers as the 12th greatest dance record of all time.
The original album version and subsequent radio edit of the song had a much slower tempo than the more well-known remixes and was essentially structured like a pop song, with the characteristic synthetic instrumentation of the more melodic side of ambient music — though including darker overtones, such as the prominently featured Gregorian chant (Gloria in Excelsis Deo). This last element often invites comparison to popular ambient/new age/world music projects of the 1990s like Enigma and Deep Forest who routinely sample chants from various ethnicities worldwide, though in contrast such vocals featured on Karma were all original recordings.
Although the original song did receive Canadian radio airplay in 1997, it was not released as a single until 1999, two years after the release of Karma, though it was only the Airscape Remix which received airplay at this time, rather than the more downtempo original version. The single prominently included remixes by DJ Tiësto, and Fade, which significantly boosted the song's proliferation through club play (particularly by influential DJs such as Paul Oakenfold) as evidenced by the single's positions on the BillboardHot Dance Music/Club Play charts. It was on the soundtrack for the movie Brokedown Palace featuring Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale.
As a consequence, the song was largely promoted as an uptempo vocal trance song, which then influenced the marketing of the next several Delerium singles as well. Unlike most of its successors, however, "Silence" also broke into the adult top 40radio format due to the song's club success, and through radio airplay the original version received mainstream awareness relatively greater than the remixes among club patrons.
The accompanying music video, directed by the directors collective Twobigeyes, was released in 2000 and was set to the Airscape remix. It has repeatedly been listed within the top 100 Ibiza anthems ever on online messageboards and, more recently, on MTV. The video was filmed on location in the United Kingdom ― mainly at Newgale Beach, Marloes Sands and "The Blue Lagoon" in Abereiddy, all in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Versions of the video featuring the Tiësto and Above & Beyond remixes followed the initial release.
A music video for "Aria", a track from the following studio album "Poem" that was first released as B-Side on a "Silence" single, was released in early 2000, featuring the Mediaeval Baebes. Single and video use the video edit of the song.
2004 saw a new release of the single as "Silence 2004", though no song actually bears that title — the new single went to number one on the US dance chart and contained only remixes, both old and new. Of these, the new Above & Beyond remix is the most central, as the version included on the compilation The Best of released in advance of the single. The other new remix was by Filterheadz; this version subsequently, in 2006, became popularly mislabelled as the nonexistent "Trentemøller 2006 Remix". A 2017 version of the song entitled "Rhys Fulber Project Cars Mix" featured in the launch trailer for Project CARS 2.