Budhaditya Chattopadhyay – The Auditory Frame, Environmental Sounds in Film and Media Arts


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Budhaditya Chattopadhyay – The Auditory Frame, Environmental Sounds in Film and Media Arts

Edinburgh University Press, ISBN-13: 978-1474474382, English, 212 pages, 2021, United Kingdom

Environmental sounds are key to understanding our current perception of space. They help our senses locate our body and are used in immersive sound technologies. Chattopadhyay, author of The Nomadic Listener, has extensively studied environmental sounds at theoretical, artistic and process levels. This book develops a range of listening perspectives and locations, from the fictional reconstruction of sound in films to sounds collected in field recordings. The state of consciousness evoked by these environments, the “ambience”, is approached in the second chapter with the transition from the diegetic quality to the mimetic quality of sounds by the transition from analog to digital, from the first optical recordings with monaural mixing to magnetic recording with stereophony. mixing to digital recording with surround design. The third chapter deals with the analysis of nine abstract “places” as they are represented in cinematographic sequences and sound works. According to the author, we should suspend epistemology and not try to make sense of sounds in a place, but simply focus on “being in that place” in a very psychogeographical and phenomenological way. Since sound precedes the visual in our understanding, Chattopadhyay’s critical listening is not only methodologically strategic, but also perceptually revealing.


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