An audio-visual Gallivant: Psychogeographical soundscapes in the films of Andrew Ktting

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Abstract:

Andrew Ktting is one of the most innovative film-makers working in Britain today, using his distinctive Punk multimedia aesthetic to circumvent not only the conventions of narrative cinema, but also the conventions of experimental film and fine art. One of Ktting's enduring concerns is the psychogeographical use of landscape and soundscape as a catalyst for arresting and inventive investigations into memory and identity. Composer R. Murray Schafer uses the word soundscape to identify sound that describes an environment, actual or abstract, but always a sound relevant to a place (Schafer 1994). The sounds of our environment have a powerful effect on our imaginations and memories and Ktting exploits this effect across his body of work. The use of the disembodied voice is another marked feature of Ktting's films, creating both implied narratives and the evocation of memory. Ktting's bodiless voices have a schizophonic quality to them. Kotting rips sounds and voices from their sources and imbues them with an independent existence that is at liberty to emanate from anywhere in the landscape. This article investigates Ktting's idiosyncratic creation of soundscapes as a filmic reproduction of the human psyche, exploring memory, identity and community through an interweaving of voice, music and environmental sound.

Keywords: Andrew Ktting; Gallivant; Hoi Polloi; Jaunt; psychogeography; schizophonia; soundscape

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/st.3.2.125_1

Affiliations: Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of Glasgow (Ph.D. student).

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of music and sound in relation to film and other moving image media. A complex cultural, technological, industrial and artistic phenomenon, sound-with-moving image is a rich area for analysis, investigation and speculation. We encourage writing that is accessible to audiences from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds and disciplines as well as providing a forum for practitioners. The Soundtrack's aim is to nurture this new and expanding area of academic investigation in dialogue with soundtrack producers of all kinds.
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