What is All this Noise About

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Session Title:

  • New Art Theory

Presentation Title:

  • What is All this Noise About

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Abstract:

  • Soundscape

    A telling example of an involuntary soundscape are the sound recordings made by the postman character Mario Ruoppolo for his friend and mentor Pablo Neruda in Michael Radford’s film Il Postino (1994). In the film, simple recordings made on an island with a primitive recording device are compared to poetry, which Mario wanted to learn from Neruda. The sounds act as metaphors in a double sense: they stand for the experiences of the elements that Mario wants to transmit to Neruda, and they are meant to transport (μεταφέρω in Greek means “to transport”) his message to his friend over distance of place and time. Spectacular examples of environmental sounds are the songs of Weddell seals used by Werner Herzog in his documentary about the Antarctic Encounters at the End of the World (2007). These songs sound alien, and express the strangeness of the environment in one of the most remote regions of the world. Because of their similarity to electronic synthetic sounds, they also create associations with the otherworldliness of purely artificial cultural artifacts.

    Full text (PDF) p.  458-459

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