Week 7: Materialism-Dematerialism
Sound is used to create weight. the sound is unrealistically shifted so that the focus is changing between different sound origins. the avoidance of overlapping sounds allows more articulate sounds, but takes away the realism of the diegetic sounds.
There is a sense of anthropomorphism of inanimate objects. Giving it life.
It's a blob! But add sound to it, and it could transform into an alien object.
MSI - close-up sounds = more intimate and real
the juxtaposition of the music in the background
Attention is balanced between volitional and reactive elements
Syncresis: image is in sync with sound
Materialisation/dematerialisation (Chion's MSI)
Robin Fox – Backscatter
What does the tight audiovisual lock do?
Principle of materialisation
The use of sound to shift ‘decorative’ vision into something which feels ‘meaningful’
Quantum of Solace – Opera shootout
The gifts offered to sound design/score/music supervisors by choices made early in the creative process. The opportunity to explore more stylised/theatrical/surreal frames for action sequences.
The principle of exploring an extreme – taking massive risks - before retreating to something that works vs incremental/ piecemeal extensions of an idea.
The mix between score and sound design and the decision to reduce the materiality of the latter whilst still ensuring that the scene was exciting
Terminator 3 - Car/crane/truck chase sequence
Until the end of the sequence – no music. Bruising sound design is forgrounded – and no musical guidance about how ‘fun’ the sequence is.
Animal growls – thanks Patrick - underlaid on some of the impacts (to convey emotion subliminally)
Points found – kid’s blowup castle, crane post impact squeak, truck somersaulting – to explore shifts in dynamic range and contrastive valence.
Dead Set – Zombie carnage
Unempathetic music. Through misattribution the audience will either share in Brooker’s glee in zombie carnage, or be even more disturbed by the music’s disregard for the victim’s plight.
Structure: i. violence materialised with sound design/foley ii. Door bursts open and Mika chorus kicks in iii. Mika smears out (top frequencies reduced, music pushed into reverb to blunt definition). Practically: This makes room for high MSI chewing, tearing, flesh noises to be heard. Conceptually: feels like a point of audition (the sonic equivalent of POV) of either the victims as they die, or the zombies as they feast.
A Civil Action – Cutaway of car in son death monologue
The effect of dematerialisation on the car shot. Only low MSI distant traffic from the background heard, not the hazard lights, rain, engine or screams.
Sunshine – Climax
Using score (musical textures for wide shots, low MSI) and sound design (might MSI) oscillation for dynamic range and articulation of editing structutre.
Surreal destabilisations of audiovisual logic through sonic choices (including fragments of silence, unnatural perspectives on breathing etc)
Counterpoint between high MSI sound designed authentication of the environment – as the spaceship starts to burn up – and then the floating music to accompany the main character close up. Conceptually: this crafts a perspective shift which feels psychological – through misattribution, we are feeling how he is feeling. Structurally, this feels like a point of narrative focus and resolution (cf the bruising SD we have been experiencing to that point).
Darrin's video essay draft:
Materialization, emotion & attention – tracking sound’s perceptual effects in film