‘Connecting hearing to viewing and knowing to feeling’: Sound as evocation in non-fiction film with particular reference to No Escape (Cox, 2009)

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Abstract:

This article investigates the early historical context of the relationship between sound and image in film, and how contemporary theorists have drawn on this to suggest new creative aesthetic modes. The practical realization of such suggestions will be illustrated primarily by an analysis of my own film No Escape (Cox, 2009), which explores the combination of live piano music, diegetic sound and image. It draws on my collaborative work as sound designer and composer with film-maker Keith Marley, whereby we have attempted to challenge the perceived relationship between sound and image in documentary film (e.g. Cider Makers, Keith Marley, 2007 and A Film About Nice, Keith Marley and Geoffrey Cox, 2010), a relationship seen as stratified or hierarchical in the sense that sound is often treated by film-makers as subordinate to image in a genre that is dominated by what Bill Nichols calls a ‘discourse of sobriety’.

Keywords: Dziga Vertov; The Art of Noises; constructivism; documentary display; making strange; performance; sound object

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/st.4.1.43_1

Affiliations: The University of Huddersfield

Publication date: August 11, 2011

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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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