Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Incredibly (not) Relevant

A revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield who’s spent the past five months in space on board the International Space Station. The video is beautiful, capturing the astronaut mouthing Bowie’s famous lyrics and floating around his spacecraft sans gravity, all while Earth spins in the background. 

The Disappointed Fairies around the Cradle

In only one part of this chapter did I find myself questioning a point the author brings up in his writings:

"In his study of song, Boris Vian, too remarks that when you whistle a melody or have it going through your head, you might think that only the melody line is involved, but in fact you are "hearing" the chords too. In the same way, when you recall a shot from a movie - the expression on an actor's face, for example - you are also implicitly remembering the sound or the music that went with it" (pg. 216 - M. Chion, Film A Sound Art).

First, assuming the sound or music is in the absence of voice being the sound, the assumption would be correct; however, my question is what about in the absence of all sound? Does the silence make the scene just as memorable as a sound, like crashing thunder, or a soundtrack, like Luke Skywalker looking out at the two suns setting on Tatooine?

I am constantly asking this question: where in the absence of sound does the scene become stronger and more memorable? One example comes to mind: 2001: A Space Odyssey - The brief moment where Dave jettisons himself from the small sphere spacecraft to break back into the space station.
Does this scene not become as memorable for audiences because the lack of sound? Does the lack of sound not make the scene as powerful as other scenes that have sound effects or score?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Site in Ambient, Soundscape, and Field Recordings

all are direct quotations from the book Joan DemersListening Through the Noise

   large-scale sites that could be physical, mental, or cultural in nature and either imaginary or real

   sites that are local and governed by interpersonal, ecological, or political relationships

   the sheer physical placement of listeners and sound objects

"They all affirm the special quality of sound as a directional phenomenon. In terms of physics, sound is always traveling as vibrations through a medium, which, for our purposes, is usually air"

"depending on the music and the type of listening approach, the same sound can bear different messages about site. "

"As Stankievech ( 2007 , 56) illustrates, such manipulation achieves an intimacy and introversion that would be unthinkable in works that construct a distanced listening landscape. In soundscapes, however, the
purpose of space manipulation is not simply to evoke otherworldly experiences like those in Chill Out or World Receiver . Through provoking listening experiences of an intensely personal nature, soundscapes hope to attain a higher degree of truth content than that experienced in other forms of art.'

Kittler ( 1999 ) observes that the three technologies of the gramophone, film, and the typewriter operate as media, mechanisms by which one type of  information is transferred through another type of messenger

Yasunao Tone:

Wendy Carlos

quick notes:

  • 1968 with Switched-On Bach, a recording of music by J.S. Bach painstakingly assembled, phrase-by-phrase, on the Moog synthesizer
  • It played a key role in popularizing classical music performed on electronic synthesizers, which had until then been relegated to experimental and "pop" music
  • one of the first classical albums to sell 500,000 copies 
  • critics reviled it for trivializing the work of one of the most revered classical composers of all time, but others were excited by the freshness of the sound and the virtuosity that went into its creation. Regardless of the negative reviews, the album caught the public attention and sold better than anyone had expected. Suddenly Moog's company found itself inundated with requests from record producers for Moog systems, and a rash of synthesizer albums were released to capitalise on the popularity of the new sound 
  • album earned three Grammy Awards in 1969
  • first-ever album of synthesized environmental sounds, Sonic Seasonings (1972) 
  • scores for two Stanley Kubrick movies, A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980)
    • Also score for Tron (1982)


For All Mankind - The Dream

Blade Runner - Science Fiction Cinema goes Film Noir

Sexy android robots with victory curls and emotions
The bots who strive to stay alive by really any means necessary, exhibiting really the basis human quality: the need to survive.

Some parts of the film were pretty stereotypical for film noir movies: sax solos, jazz trumpets, cocktail pianos.

Sound effects: Rain falling and the voice over of our hero telling us the hero's thoughts and feelings. 

What was different, sonically, about this film? Personally, the wind chimes sounds made the film have both an edge and softness to the scene. Of course, the score was typical sci-fi grandiose orchestral crescendos. 

I've seen this movie before but never I have put together how the androids go through the five stages of grief:
1. Denial - they didn't believe what was happening
2. Anger - They kill, they run
3. Bargaining - Trying to get someone to help them prolong their life in exchange for not killing them
4. Depression - Okay, this is a touch harder to prove; however, just because the androids did not exhibit depression out and out doesn't mean it is not valid. I think the depression happened really at the death of Pris
5. Acceptance - In the end, Roy accepted he was going to die.

Possibly, these feelings are in part due to planted memories:

Regardless of their memories, the replicas are still spotted as inhuman. 

My only question for the film is what is the significance of the Geisha advertising some kind of.... pill?