1st session

Key speaker Prof. CLAUDIA GORBMAN, PhD

University of Washington (emerita), USA



In 1987 I published the book “Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music.” This talk attempts to de-mystify the notion of “unheard” music, which is really never unheard. First, is it possible to determine the extent to which audiences do or do not pay attention to music in film or television? A second perspective is historical: in the 21st century, music is most emphatically heard/noticed in audiovisual media, because of two interrelated factors that have evolved: audience listening/ viewing practices, and the music itself.

I hope to engage audience discussion through some video examples including

Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945), Birdman (Inarritu, 2014), and Punch-drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002). The presentation aims to bridge the gap between academic theorists and music practitioners.


CLAUDIA GORBMAN is professor emerita of film studies at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her work focuses primarily on aspects of film music and film sound, including theory of film music, music in the films of specific directors and genres, song in film, and the voice in film. She is the author of Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music (1987) and approximately 65 articles since 1974.

She has edited or co-edited several books, including The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics (2013). She has translated and edited five books by the French critic Michel Chion—most recently, Words on Screen (2016).

Key speaker Prof. Frederick Kuklowsky

University of Hertfordshire, UK / GEECT



Advances in sound technology and its availability to practitioners in Film, New Media and Gaming Sound have shown that the ‘Hollywood Sound’ is now available to all. In my paper, I provide an analysis of the current saturation of new products available to film, music, television, gaming and new media practitioners.

I show how these technologies help to define the current state of the Sound/ Music medium globally. I will illustrate the paper with three detailed case studies. I will analyse the sound design of “The Salesman” directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran 2016), “American Honey” directed by Andrea Arnold (UK 2016) and “Son of Saul” (Hungary 2015), directed by László Nemes.

“The Salesman” won the 2017 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, the sound designed by Mohammad Reza Delpak demonstrated the wonderful use of offscreen sonic choreography which helped drive the story in a style that is true to the film whilst at the same time achieving an unsurpassed level of sophistication. I will look in particular at Delpak‘s use of off-screen vocals and its effect on the audience.

Jaimie Roden’s (American Honey) pioneering techniques show how the “mix” (in this case, the treatment of source music) help compliment/comment on the protagonists and become a “character” in their own right. His work on the film exemplifies how carefully mixed source music can play a massive role in driving narrative.

The film sound designed and mixed by Tamás Zányi in a small television mixing room in Budapest created a vibrant sound track for the independent film “Son Of Saul” which beat Mad Max to the Cannes “Vulcan Prize of Technical Artist” for best sound design. This project has now I believe set the standard for sound design in independent films. I conclude that this film is a direct descendant from “Beasts of the Southern Wild” as far as commitment of how music/sound can enhance a low budget film.

A second area to examine is the saturation of new support materials and software such as Izotope 6. I will show how the development of these technologies are helping to unify the language of sound in cinema. The amount and growth of sophisticated software which is accessible for anyone’s use is no longer exclusive to the re-recording mixers. Programs from ‘Audio Ease’ such as ‘Altiverb’ and ‘Speakerphone’ are now an extension of the sound editor’s pro tools platform.

I go on to show how the proliferation of new online and CD Sound libraries combine both film and gaming materials and democratise the medium further. By using these examples from my 40 years as a sound designer, I will chart the development and democratisation of these support materials.

Finally I ask the question: What is the responsibility of our educational institutions to challenge sound and music students? Can we open a forum among our peers and foster a dialogue designed to keep up with the latest products on offer? Will the ‘Hollywood Sound’ really be available in our own backyard?


VAL KUKLOWSKY is Visiting Professor at the University of Hertfordshire. He has spent 40 years working in Hollywood as a supervising sound editor on such films as “Independence Day”, “U-571” and the TV series “Moonlighting”. He is a multi Prime Time Emmy nominated and Academy Award winning sound professional.


Prof. Francesco Ronzon, PhD

Academy of Fine Art-Verona, Politecnico-Milano, Italy





The presentation will use ethnographic/fieldwork research to analyse the audiovisual link in relation to three different media and socio-cultural settings. The first case analyses the drawing of vevè in the voodoo rituals of Haiti, an old media in a traditional setting. The second case analyses the use of vJing and visuals in live techno set inside Rave parties in Italy, a new media in a classical kind of performance. The third case analyses the youth experience of pop song as soundtrack in blockbuster films, a new media in a modern setting. The comparison between the three cases will be useful to highlight the role of local (sub)cultures in defining the various uses, skills, practices and functions (what Bourdieu synthesizes as “habitus”) that produce our different experiences of the audio-visual link.


FRANCESCO RONZON is professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Academy of Fine Art in Verona and in Politecnico in Milan. He is actually the director of the Academy of Fine Art in Verona. He has done field-research in Haiti, New York and Italy. Ronzon is the author of various books and articles about the link between culture, aesthetics and cognition. For example: Anthropology of Art (2002), Practice and Cognition. Outlines for and ecology of culture (2005), Presences. Objects, practices and cognition in the vodou of the Haitian immigrants in Brooklyn-New York (2009). He plays groove-box, samplings and electric guitar in various kinds of techno and radical improvisation settings.

Prof. Luís Cláudio Ribeiro, PhD

Lusófona University, Portugal / GEECT



Between the First and the Second World wars, discursive and artistic practices suffered a torsion easily mediated by the new devices, creation and distribution processes, but also under the effect of a new orality and new forms of listening. The oral product that has always rested on the notion of voice and that is extinguished after the interpretation or the dialogue, has with the technology of recording and reproduction new ways to compose and to constitute new oral narratives. In the circle of the subject in contact with the reproducer illusorily ceases the death penalty of the sound wave. If there was already a translinearity of the time that was immersed in the oral and literary stories, it was the moment to emphasize the classic distinctions between the hearing and the vision senses resorting to the emergent means, like the radio and the cinema. What we have seen since the beginning of the nineteenth century, acoustics and the “sound figures” on the Chladni plates or the cylinders of Martinville and Edison, forced the eyes to look at the sound, converging both senses to the same support. This convergence will still be very important until the appearance of the optical reading of the CD, without losing, now in a smaller number and distribution, the ocularity associated with phonocentrism.

If the phonograph and its derivatives, such as the gramophone, brought into the houses what was happening in concert halls, the multiplicity of recordings in each house and the construction of new hermeneutics before the presence and in this diversity, made possible substantial changes in the form of daily listening. Certainly, only the gramophone wouldn’t have been capable of such great alteration in the forms of listening and composition if other media sound had not appeared: the cinema and, especially, the radio, allowed extending what was domestic to almost everywhere on the earth.

The radio apparatus has become a place of globalization and also of the miscegenation of musical genres, by the temporal fragment and diversity, elemental qualities of the gramophone and the radio, which Adorno will criticize for the effects, namely, the fetishization of music as a commodity and the “regression of listening” that finds in distracting behavior its support (On the Fetish-Character in Music and Regression of Music, 1938).

The music industry combined its production of popular music with the radio and  disc, keeping still in reserve what was called erudite music. With radio and the production of new contents (radio soap opera, radio theater, etc.) there was a reconstruction of the “oral genres” that were lost with literacy from within the Modern. And in these oral genres we also find the popular music that will derive, in its composition and genre hybridity, to other forms.

The sound fragment became part of the artistic creations, including the literary ones, and constituted the “anatomy” along with the color, of the first sonorous films and, totally, of the recorded music, born in the street and in the daily life.


LUÍS CLÁUDIO RIBEIRO is professor of Sound Studies and head of the Communication Sciences Department at Lusófona University, in Lisbon. He has a PhD in Communication Sciences, develops research activity in the field of media epistemology and sound. His recent publications focus on the medium, identification and characterization of changes by the use of sound media in contemporary society: O Mundo é uma Paisagem Devastada pela Harmonia (Lisboa: Vega, 2011) e O Som Moderno – Novas formas de criação e escuta (Lisboa: Edições Lusófonas, 2011). He is the main investigator of the project Lisbon SoundMap, supported by the Portuguese Government (FCT): http://www. lisbonsoundmap.org and http://lisbonsoundmap.wordpress.com/. In addition to the academic activity, he is also a poet and novelist. The most recent books are Sucede no entanto que o Outono Veio (Lisboa: 2013) and Um Jardim Abandonado que Desbota (Lisboa:2014).

Michael Kowalski

Chapman University, USA / CAN/CILECT





This presentation will explore how the psychoacoustic phenomenon known as the Cocktail Party Effect, “selective attention,” can be used as a highly effective cinematic storytelling device. Its ability to effectively portray a character’s point of view or subjective state of mind within a movie not only provides good opportunities for expressive sound design, but also can produce a compelling intimate experience that heightens the audience’s emotional identification with the character(s) and engagement in the narrative. We shall see that the Cocktail Party Effect achieves its highest level of dramatic significance and impact through its close articulation with the visual structure of the scene and the broader narrative structure of the movie.


MICHAEL KOWALSKI is an Associate Dean at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Southern California. In addition to his administrative work he also teaches film sound and works as a freelance sound designer on documentaries and video installations. He has done the complete sound design on such award-winning documentary films as “Lost in La Mancha,” “A Certain Kind of Death,” “Tell Them Who You Are,” “The Scene of the Crime,” and, most recently, “The Bad Kids.”

Dr. Dan-Ștefan Rucăreanu / Ștefan Damian

National University of Theatre and Film “I. L. Caragiale“, Bucharest, Romania /





Current advances in virtual reality and 360 film have been greatly raising the level of possibilities and creative expression. However, these fields are still relatively novel and artists often find themselves struggling trying to establish coherent narratives, due to a lack of theorized aspects of language and aesthetics. More research in VR grammar is arguably one of the key requirements for developing the field.

Our study focuses on interaction with sound and expands upon previous work by scholars such as Claudia Gorbman, David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Michel Chion, Mladen Milicevic, Pierre Schaeffer, R. Murray Schafer, and David Sonnenschein and proposes a new mode of listening, named “connective listening”.

First, we review the classification of the types of sonic discourse into three main narrative spheres: “diegetic”, “non-diegetic” and “meta-diegetic”. These categories have components both “inside the screen” and “outside the screen”. We continue by suggesting six narrative modes of the previously described segments: “acousmatic”, “synchronic”, “oniric”, “subjective”, “commentary” and “integrated”. Consequently, a reinterpreted classification emerges: “diegetic-synchronic”, “diegetic-acousmatic”, “non-diegetic-commentary”, “non-diegetic-integrated”, “meta-diegetic subjective” and “meta-diegetic-oniric”.

We further differentiate between two narrative layers: “denotation”, based on “reduced” and “causal” listening and “connotation”, relying on “semantic”, “referential” and “connective” listening modes. The first layer, “denotation” is concerned with immediate information about sound events and their acoustical specificity while the second layer provides deeper levels of interpretation. Except for “reduced listening” all the other modes of listening are hierarchically subordinated and interrelated.

“Connective listening” aims to describe a sound object’s ethos fluctuating in respect to other co-existing sound objects from the same spatio-temporal sonic fabric. Similarly to the “Kuleshov” effect which occurs in motion picture, sound tends to assimilate different connotations as a result of previous and subsequent sounds. An example would be the scream of a woman, which could have two very different meanings in the case of a preceding scream of a child or in the case of a preceding gunshot sound. It appears that “connective listening” is facilitated especially in tension scenarios or in acousmatic discourses where at subconscious level, the listener tries to find as many clues about the environment as possible. This strategy where both preceding and succeeding sound events of a given sound object have the ability of conveying various meaning is already being used in movies and games more or less intuitively.

The review and classification of terms could be useful in virtual reality applications such as 360 movies, games or interactive installations where as opposed to traditional media, the spectator has the ability to interact with the environment in a physical manner, thus potentially having access to an infinite number of sonic occurrences in various successions. By employing these theoretical aspects, new creative approaches in terms of storytelling and sound discourse can emerge.


  1. DAN-ȘTEFAN RUCĂREANU is a lecturer teaching “sound for film and television” at National University of Theatre and Film (UNATC) “I. L. Caragiale”, Bucharest. His PhD thesis “The Sonic Discourse, Active Character In Contemporary Cinema – An Ontology Of Film Sound” provides an analyses of film sound theories and proposes a few new terms and strategies for contemporary sound design. He has also been working as a sound designer on a large number of internationally awarded Romanian movies.

Ștefan Damian is a PhD student and Teaching Assistant at UNATC “ I. L. Caragiale” University Bucharest, researching into the field of sound design for interactive media. Previously he has been awarded a Master of Arts degree from the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) @ Queen’s University of Belfast where he studied Sonic Arts. He has also been working as a sound designer for movies and composer and producer of commercial music.


Lector univ. Laura Lazarescu-Thois, PhD

National University of Theatre and Film “I. L. Caragiale,“ Film Faculty ,  Bucharest, Romania / GEECT





In animation, more than in any other type of motion picture, one can talk about complex “sound design” and dedicated aesthetics, since we are dealing with a universe created entirely by the artist, without real sounds. The task of giving audible life to the images lies with the Sound Designer, whose unleashed imagination can benefit from all acoustic means available.

Throughout the years, animation went through a wide range of transformations, rising from simple entertainment to an art form having its own aesthetics. Technological advancements have played a role in defining styles, allowing the materialization of the animators’ ideas. The wish to visually render an idea involves the improvement of already existing methods, or inventing new, enhanced technological methods (Pixar’s animations). The evolution of sound thanks to technological advancement and to the vision of some remarkable filmmakers made it possible for us to witness some films with impressive soundtracks (Disney’s “Fantastia” and its Fantasound, “Star Wars” and Dolby Stereo, Dolby Atmos used the first time in Pixar’s “Brave”).

A considerable number of books have been written on the history of animation. Very few deal with the aesthetics of sound used in animation. Based on my own research experience, I dare say that library shelves contain numerous titles that mention nothing about sound in animation, making no reference to its evolution and importance within this motion picture genre. Those titles that do mention sound dedicate very few pages to it or address only the music of these films. Gianluca Sergi confirms the above in his book “The Dolby Era. Film Sound in Contemporary Hollywood”.

In animations, the image constantly complements and is dependent upon the sound. This is reflected in the collaboration between departments: the animation is created according to the sounds, voices and music recorded “a priori”; the complete sound concept is created based on the timing of the actions and on the characters’ typology.

The animation movie offers unique sound techniques and procedures that aren’t found in other film genres. In my presentation, I will discuss various procedures that lead to specific sound treatments while providing concrete examples of representative animations.

First, I will mention the notion of humor that can be achieved through all the elements of the sound track: dialogue, sound effects and music. The nature of the voice is an essential contributor to comedy in animated film, thus the importance of voice casting. There are many means to attain humor through music: through the choice of the music itself, by changing the tonality of a known fragment, by altering the lyrics of a notorious piece of music, through the way in which a character sings the song, etc. Music can indicate a character’s size, weight, wit, origin, good or evil nature, attitude to certain things, etc.

Further on, I will explain the notion of anthropomorphizing through sound. This denomination is mine, and it is explained as follows: in animated films, sounds from the world of humans are often attributed to animals or objects for a comic effect (associating their quick motion with sounds from the human world – prototypes for speed: cars, rockets, helicopters, airplanes, brakes).

Notions like subjective sound, off screen sound, characterization through sound, sound conventions, clichés, leitmotif and counterpoint will be briefly analyzed through concrete examples.

The breakthroughs in animation were accompanied by those in sound. The piano gave way to sound effects and digitally-processed sounds that have flooded movie theaters and entered people`s hearts.

The trend is towards increasingly impressive sound to turn the cinematic experience into a true feast for the senses (3D, 6D, Dolby Atmos).

Sound has proven its value in animation. Where the image provides accurate detail, sound supplements them, suggests new interpretations, or offers a wide range of artistic opportunities.


LAURA LAZARESCU-THOIS was born in Brașov, Romania, in 1985; she attended the German High School Goethe in Bucharest where she graduated with the German Baccalaureate. In 2004 she started her university education at the National University of Theatre and Film “I. L. Caragiale” in Bucharest, the Faculty for Film, Multi-media, Sound and Film Editing Department. In 2008 she graduated from the university and became a teaching assistant at the Faculty for Film, specializing in sound. In 2009 she became a student of the Doctoral School at the National University of Theatre and Film, with a research topic relating to sound in the American animation film. Between June 2011 and April 2012 she held two research grants in Berlin at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany, and in June 2012 she obtained her Ph.D. degree in the field of cinematography and media at the National University of Theatre and Film. Since 2004, she has edited and created sound designs for various shorts, features and animation films, for Romanian or international productions. Most of the films participated in international festivals and were distinguished with awards, including for the best sound. Currently, she is a University Lecturer, PhD at the Department of sound at UNATC, but at the same time, she is a student at the Marketing Faculty in Bucharest, final year.

Assoc. Prof. Svenn Jakobsen

Oslo School of Arts, Norway / GEECT




After 30 years as a practitioner of audiovisual sound, I find myself standing on the threshold of my first academic endeavor; a practice-based research project named Visual Soundscapes – Emotional Enhancement, Association and Counterpoint.

My short presentation will focus on the relation between audio and visuals in documentaries, and consist of examples from historic films, as well as films from my own production. My talk will discuss the use of abstract or surreal sound as a carrier of both objective truthfulness and subjective emotion, and whether these two are in fact incompatible and/or conflicting forces.

Examples to be discussed will be Las Hurdes – Land without Bread (Luis Buñuel 1932), Family (Sami Saif & Phie Ambo 2001), Out of Love (Birgitte Stærmose 2009), The Arbor (Clio Barnard 2010), Indian Summer (Ellen Ugelstad 2011) and It’s Up to You (Kajsa Næss 2013).


SVENN JAKOBSEN is an experienced and award-winning sound designer and currently holds a position as Associate Professor and Head of Program in sound design at Westerdals School of Arts, Communication and Technology in Oslo, Norway. From a background as a musician, composer and recording artist, he entered the realm of audiovisual sound in the mid-1980s. Jakobsen completed his formal education as Tonmeister at the Danish Film School, class of 1993–1997, and his production is both extensive and diverse. He is a renowned lecturer and writes a column about audiovisual sound in the Norwegian film magazine “Rushprint”.

Prof. Jörg U. Lensing

Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Germany / GEECT



Filmmakers understanding of a sound designer is very often only as of a sound operator, who edits properly the set-sound-recordings, underfeeding this with Atmos and effects and record ADR or Foley for the final movie. However, the international discourse to the valency of the fluent sound to the moving picture requires, actually, a Director of Sound, like the Director of Photography as a coworker of the director on the same discussion level. Which qualities must such a Director of Sound have to become a co-author of a film?


JÖRG U. LENSING (*1960) studied composition at the Folkwang-Hochschule Essen and New Music-Theatre under Mauricio Kagel at the Musikhochschule Köln. In 1987 he founded the Theater der Klänge in Duesseldorf. Since 1987 he has  worked as a director, choreographer and composer for theatre music for until now 24 theatre-productions of the Theater der Klänge; since 1990 production of film music and sound design for all films directed by the German film-director Lutz Dammbeck. In 1992 he was a guest lecturer in drama direction at the Bauhaus Dessau. Since 1996, Professor for Sound Design at the Fachhochschule Dortmund; director of several Short Film-Video- und Documentary-DVD-Projects; director of the film “Gregorius“; the author of three audio books and two music-CDs since 1999. In 2000 Sound Design-Assistance for the international TV-Production “The Tunnel“ in the Soundstudios Babelsberg / Berlin. The Book „Sound-Design · Sound-Montage · Soundtrack-Komposition“ was published in 2006/2009/2017. The publisher of the German version of “Audio-Vision“ (2013) and “Audio-LogoVision (2016) from Michel Chion.

Dr. Richard Stevens

Leeds Beckett University, UK / GEECT




This paper will examine the conflicts that arise between the interactivity of video games and musical form. Through a reflection on what it means to be ‘interactive’ the dialogues between music and action in the mediums of film and video games are examined. A potential solution to these conflicts will be outlined and the results of experimental research on the impact of musical forms on the player experience are discussed.


RICHARD STEVENS is the Course Director for the postgraduate programmes in music and sound at Leeds Beckett University. He has published and presented widely on the topic of Game Audio and Game Audio Education including at the Audio Engineering Society, Ludomusicology, and Game Developers conferences. In collaboration with his colleague Dave Raybould he has written two practical textbooks on game audio, The Game Audio Tutorial (2011, Focal Press), and Game Audio Implementation (2015, Focal Press) and contributed a chapter, “Designing a Game for Music: Integrated Design Approaches for Ludic Music and Interactivity”, to the Oxford Handbook of interactive Audio.


Asst. prof. Ross Adrian Williams

School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore / CILECT




While historically film scholarship has been largely concerned with image, in recent decades the importance of sound in film studies has been recognised and influential works such as Gorbman’s “Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music” and Chion’s “Audio-Vision” have been widely read. How has the scholarship of film sound influenced the way sound is taught to student filmmakers?

Film educators agree that it is important for student filmmakers to learn how to listen to films, to understand how sound functions and sound’s important relationships with image. Analysis of a film’s soundtrack (music and sound) is an important pedagogical tool but the underlying method of analysis needs to be tailored to meet the needs of filmmakers as opposed to film studies students. What is the optimal balance of descriptive versus semiotic (or other) analysis? What are the ultimate goals of analysis within the context of an individual film and the understanding of film sound?

With these questions in mind I wish to present a case study of an analysis technique I am developing tentatively named “visual reductive sound analysis”. This is a pedagogical tool designed to facilitate the analysis of sound design and music for student filmmakers.


Australian composer/sound designer ROSS WILLIAMS has written music and designed sound across a range of styles for theatre, feature film, concert hall, dance, museum installation and interactive media. Since studying composition in Australia and the United States his works have been performed internationally by groups such as the West Australian Youth and Symphony Orchestras and the Australian String Quartet. His works for award winning abstract, documentary and narrative films have been shown in festivals around the world. He holds a BMus (honours) from the University of Western Australia and a Masters and Doctorate in Musical Arts from Rice University, Texas.

He is the Assistant Professor of Sound Design for Film and Animation at the School of Art Design and Media at Nanyang Technical University, Singapore. His main focus is on the sound design and score of documentary, fiction and abstract/ experimental film. His research interests include the aesthetics for sound design in documentary film and the pedagogy of sound for moving image.

Jurre Haanstra

Conservatory of Amsterdam, Netherlands Film Academy / GEECT



Since 2008 the Conservatory of Amsterdam provides the high level Composing for Film Master’s Degree Programme, in close collaboration with the Netherlands Film Academy. The collaboration provides an extensive practical platform for all involved composition and film students (scenario writers, directors, editors, sound designers).

Jurre Haanstra (founder and artistic director of Composing for Film) will give a short presentation of this collaboration unique to Europe. He will illustrate this with fragments from one of the resulting final exam fiction films Sacred Defennce. In 2014, this film received a Students Oscar Nomination in the category Best Foreign Film.


JURRE HAANSTRA studied composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory (Holland) with Theo Loevendie and conducting with Jan Stulen and André Presser. He has composed and conducted film and television scores including Claim, The Sorrow of Belgium Baantjer, Crusade In Jeans. Fiction film directed by Martin Lagestee, featuring Billy Zane & Louise Lombard TV drama series by Hugo Claus, directed by Claude Goretta TV detective series with guest soloist Toots Thielemans and a total of 123 episodes in 12 seasons Fiction film directed by Ben Sombogaart, featuring Emily Watson. He has scored the last ten films directed by his father, late ‘Oscar’ winner Bert Haanstra. He has also composed and arranged a complete CD and soundtrack featuring Stan Getz. As arranger & conductor he had numerous productions and concerts with artists as Oleta Adams, Petula Clark, Jamie Cullum, Georgie Fame, Michael Franks, Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, Roy Hargrove, Ivan Lins, Michel Petrucciani, Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans and Lizz Wright. Jurre HaanstrapPerformed and recorded with orchestras such as Dutch Metropole Orchestra, Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, The Hague Philharmonic, City of Prague Philharmonic and Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra. Awards – Edison 1981 Dutch Musical Award 1989 Golden Harp 1995. TUTOR – as of 2008 he is the artistic director of the Master’s Degree Programme “Composing for film”, an ambitious collaboration project of the Conservatory of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Film Academy.

Assoc. Prof. Jack Beck

School of Film & Animation, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY / CILECT



Since 2000, SOFA at RIT has provided a practice-centric education in BFA, BS, and MFA degrees in film, animation, or motion picture science. To add to the existing courses in Sound Recording practice, Jack Beck created his first Film Sound Theory course in 2003. Since then, he has expanded to three courses and remains the only school faculty teaching the theory of sound in motion media. Jack will present an overview of the content, assignments, and goals of the curriculum.


JACK BECK is an Associate Professor and Program Chair of Film. In addition to being a filmmaker and educator, Jack Beck has worked as a cinematographer, videographer, editor, screenwriter, story editor, radio DJ, sound engineer, recordist, and boom operator. Jack’s films & videos have collectively garnered 200+ screenings in festivals, galleries, theatres, universities, tours, and TV. International screenings include: Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Italy. As freelance, Jack went to Panama to shoot digital video of the courtship display of a songbird, and later he ventured north to the Hudson Bay to film polar bears. He has taught production abroad in Paris and Dubrovnik.

Jack got an MA and MFA from the University of Iowa.

4th session

Key speaker Assoc. Prof. Aner Preminger, PhD

Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Sapir Academic College, Israel / GEECT





In my essay “Charles Chaplin Sings a Silent Requiem: Chaplin’s Films, 1928–1952, as Cinematic Statement on the Transition from Silent Cinema to the Talkies” (Howe Lawrence, Caron James E., and Click Benjamin, eds. Refocusing Chaplin: A Screen Icon Through Critical Lenses, Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013), I examined Chaplin’s innovations in the concepts of sound that, while overlooked, nonetheless contribute greatly to the cinematic language on sound. Applying terms from Michel Chion’s “The Voice in Cinema” & “Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen”, I illustrate Chaplin’s emerging sophistication in using sound as both a concept and a new technological tool of his cinematic art. For this purpose I examined four films there: The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), and The Great Dictator (1940). I demonstrate that Chaplin, rather than simply using the new acoustic aspect of the medium, subtly dealt with the meaning of sound, specifically wielding the absence of sound to achieve that meaning. In all his films during this period Chaplin studied various unique ways of using sound and he actually took an important part in forming the new language and codes of sound cinema and sound design. In my proposed keynote speech I will show that in spite of the fact that Chaplin’s important contribution to the transition to sound cinema is ignored in most of the literature dealing with his art, not only did he invent new ways of using sound as both a concept and a new technological tool of his cinematic art, but in many scenes he used sound for audio gags in similar ways to those he used props and sets in visual gags. I will first introduce two new categories that I’ve created to clarify the dichotomy between silent film and the talking film: “audio-silent films” and “talking-silent films”. Then I will apply some important notions that Michel Chion had introduced in order to talk about cinematic sound utterance to explore a selection of audio-gags which best illustrate how Chaplin actually created an audio language that expands his repertoire of ways to create cinematic humor. Finally I will show how Chaplin’s unique audio-gags that were ahead of his time, contributed to the evolution of sound design as it was used later during the fifties and sixties of the 20th century, according to Chion arguments.


Professor ANER PREMINGER (Ph.D.) is an independent filmmaker and a film scholar. Associate Professor, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Sapir Academic College. Director, producer and writer since 1986; films tutor; teaches Cinema studies and Directing workshops.

Books: François Truffaut: Cinema as an act of love – An intertextual approach, Sapir Academic College Publication, 2015; François Truffaut – The Man Who Loved Films, Hakibutz Hameuahad, Tel-Aviv University and Sapir Academic College Publication, 2006; Enchanted Screen: A chronology of media & language, The Open University, 1995.

Additional publication: Charles Chaplin sings a silent requiem: Chaplin’s Films, 1928–1952, as Cinematic statement on the Transition from Silent Cinema to the Talkies, In: Howe Lawrence, Caron James E., and Click Benjamin, eds., Refocusing Chaplin: A Screen Icon Through Critical Lenses, pp. 163-185, Lanham, MD, USA: Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Preminger’s Filmography includes: Present Continuous (2012); One Eye Wide Open (2009); Moscobia (2001); Ransom of the Father (2000); Last Resort (1999); Learning and Teaching Mathematics (1998); On My Way to Father’s Land (1995).

Blind Man’s Bluff (1993); Front Window (1990).

For more information see: www.anerpreminger.com

Michel Chion

Independent researcher, Paris, FR



For 20 years, the use of repetitive and/or minimalist film scores has been rising in importance worldwide. Undoubtedly, with the music pieces by Arvo Pärt (in particular since “The Thin Red Line,” 1999, by Terrence Malick, and, henceforth, in an increasing number of movies of different origin and kind, such as the recent “Foxcatcher,” 2014, by Bennet Miller, “Mia Madre” by Nanni Moretti, and “Félicité,” 2016, by Alan Gomis). The same phenomenon is relevant for the music of Philip Glass, but also others. In these movies, the scores we are talking about, be they composed for these very movies or “borrowed” from existing pieces of music, are often opposed to other more local and national scores, and seem to represent, with respect to the latter, the universality of human emotion, beyond epochs, countries, and traditions. The universality, which the silent cinema often aimed to embody, especially towards the end of the Twenties.

It is with sympathy, without judgment and without simplifying, in particular based on the example of the beautiful movie by Alain Gomis, “Félicité,” where the action takes place in the Democratic Republic of Congo and which depicts an African female singer, that we will examine the utopia of universal music, such as it has been suggested, in terms of image, by the cinema, and will outline the history (linked especially to post-colonial globalisation) of what would amount to a music “beyond the history,” as it has been invented by the cinema.


MICHEL CHION (1947) is a French filmmaker, composer, theorist and author of many books on sound and cinema, including several of the most significant works on film sound. His writings include Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen, Film, a Sound Art, Voice in Cinema, Kubrick’s Cinema Odyssey, Eyes Wide Shut and The Thin Red Line. He directed several short films and audio-visual works including Le Grand Nettoyage, Eponine, La Messe de terre, and recently the Troisième symphonie, l’”audio-divisuelle” commissioned by Festival Futura. Michel Chion has created to date fifty works for fixed sounds on audio support – some large – including melodramas, sacred pieces, suites and symphonies. Among others institutions, he has taught at the National Conservatory of Music (as personal assistant to Pierre Schaeffer), IDHEC, FEMIS, Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle (thanks to Michel Marie), ESEC (founded by Kosta Milhakiev), DAVI in Switzerland, Musiques et Recherches in Belgium (Annette Vande Gorne) and has given many lectures abroad.


Adele Fletcher

University of Hertfordshire, UK / GEECT



Many students on a film and TV production course are dazzled by becoming a director or famous D.o.P, with sound sometimes taking a back seat. However, sound makes up 50% of the film, and offers boundless creative opportunities. My approach to teaching a subject (in which I have 15 years of industry experience) is to make it less technical, and focus on creativity and power. It’s always a challenge to make sound appealing verses what is perceived as the more ‘glamorous’ or ‘important’ areas of filmmaking such as direction or cinematography.

In my experience, an emotional approach to sound editing is more accessible and likely to intrigue students who do not consider themselves technically astute.

By creating exercises that use films appealing to the masses such as Pixar animations, I open up the potential and possibilities of sound. It is not my goal to create high standard Pro Tools operators, but more to nurture minds that are aware of the impact a soundtrack can have on the narrative of a film.

I lay the foundations in the first year and then the second year becomes a more focused and intense exploration of the cinematic soundtrack and how it is achieved. My workshops are a healthy balance of historical context and practical exercises. As a female sound designer, I also show the students that it does not only have to be the stereotypical male with ponytail who can work in sound.

Sound Studies can very quickly become a lesson in Pro Tools shortcuts and compression but I argue that by making it more creative and accessible, students begin to understand the power and impact it can have on their own films.

A film is at least 50% sound. Let’s use it to its maximum impact. By inspiring students with examples of how sound is used in a creative way and then giving them the tools to do the same my workshops are engaging, fun and informative.


ADELE FLETCHER is passionate about sound. She is a lecturer in Sound Post Production at the University of Hertfordshire. She also works as a freelance sound editor in film and television and is involved in many other aspects of sound such as art installations, audio walks, and radio interviews.  After graduating with an MA in Sound Post Production from the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in 2005 she began her career at Art4Noise, a boutique post production company in Soho. While working there she learnt to work under immense pressure to tight deadlines on high profile films. Following five successful years at Art4Noise, Adele went on to become a freelance Dialogue and ADR Editor, working in Berlin and London. She has gained over fifty film and television credits, working with directors such as Anton Corbin, Terry Gilliam and Roger Michell.  Adele enjoys working with actors and directors as much as with sound. To her, creativity is as important as technology and she cares about communicating the story as much as delivering the soundtrack. She has recently been nominated to be on the council of AMPS – The Association of Motion Picture Sound.

Ben Zijlstra

Netherlands Film Academy / GEECT



At which instant in a film process should sound design take place? Which elements of sound are designed to what extend and, of course, what is the audience experience? When sound becomes indexical…

In film there seems to be a basic subdivision between fiction and documentary. Two extremes that observe each other from afar, recognized and partly respected but at the same time facing each other as total strangers. Both extreme in their own culture, language and oddities, fiction is king, documentary it’s realistic subordinate. The documentary genre suffers from the curse of realism and is ignored in most film literature. Rather strange when you think about it. The socalled ‘reality’ in a documentary is often researched and selected; it is a constructed reality, the reality a filmmaker wants to present to the public as acinematic quality.

Fortunately, former clearly marked boundaries of the Fiction Kingdom were not monitored and today they are blurred and sometimes barely noticeable. Films that must be interpreted as fictional in each subdivision use the ultimate power of documentary-realistic sound, to convey the audience into a carefully constructed realistic-fictional world. For Sound Design the subdivision between documentary and fictional became meaningless.

Film schools can take up the task to educate students not to have any preconceptions in genre. Students could learn to base their decisions on the indexical level of situations and scenes which will then determine at which instant the actual Sound Design of a film should take place and what kind of production resources are necessary at any time during the process. There is no hierarchy. Sound recording, sound editing and re-recording are equally important and similarly essential. The film itself determines which component should predominate at any moment for the best cinematic result.

The presentation wishes to investigate the decisive role of sound recording for the final sound design in the context of films with indexical scenes or situations. Auditory examples will demonstrate the power and strength of stereo recordings and surround recordings, which can persuade the audience to participate in the storytelling of a filmmaker. Indexical narratives take full advantage of stereo and surround sound recording during the time of shooting, these recordings sound as realistic-as-can-be. The representational and presentational aspects of sound recording will be further examined and presented through auditory examples, which will demonstrate the lack of boundaries or limitations for sound recording to gain expressiveness and cinematic quality.


BEN ZIJLSTRA studied mechanical engineering for seven years and thereafter followed his gut feeling and studied Sound and Camera at the Dutch Film Academy (NFA). For 17 years, he worked as a production sound mixer and sound editor on documentary films, feature films and single plays, including films by Frank Scheffer, Alex van Warmerdam, Theo van Gogh, Mijke de Jong...

In 2001, he followed his intuition again and accepted the position of the Head of Sound Design at the Film Academy. After 16 years of hard work, the Sound Design curriculum is at the core of filmmaking at the NFA, with an emphasis on sound theory, analysis and critical listening experience for all students, soundconcepts before shooting, collaboration with composers in pre-production, team coaching during pre- and postproduction and enormous attention to all aspects of synchronicity and counterpoint. Currently he is also committed to EPAS, a European Postgraduate in Arts in Sound.

Prof. Klas Dykhoff

Stockholm University of the Arts, Sweden / GEECT




Although the technology used to make films has changed completely during the 90-year life of sound film, the film making workflow has remained strangely unaffected by this. We still make films as if they were shot on film stock that has to be developed and printed by a lab, mechanically cut and spliced by a film editor and sound edited on magnetic tape. The transition to digital cameras and sound recorders and digital non-linear editing machines and audio work-stations, has had very little, if any, impact on the working practices of the film industry. We still teach film making according to this linear way of making films. Even if methods like devising are beginning to influence some teachers and students, they are still exceptions to the rule.  The transition in to a non-linear workflow would enable everyone involved in the post-production of film to collaborate in a more dynamic and creative way. By allowing more time for the sound editor and picture editor to experiment with sound in the editing process, they can make more informed choices in this critical phase of making the film. It would also enable the sound editors to have creative collaborations not only with the editor and the director, but also with the composer. This could potentially lead to a better soundtrack where sound and music collaborate in a creative way to support the narrative. All these benefits would come at no cost at all.


Graduated from the Dramatiska Institutet (DI, or University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre) in 1984; freelance work as film sound recordist, film sound editor and dubbing mixer 1984–1998. Employed at DI, later at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts (StDH), later at Stockholm University of the Arts, 1998; Professor of film sound since 2006.

Dr. Martine Huvenne

KASK and Conservatory, School of Arts, University College Ghent, Belgium /





Characteristic for the film training at KASK is special attention paid to the development of a personal audiovisual language. As the audiovisual department is part of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) our educational concept positions cinema among the arts. Students are at the core of the pedagogical system, they are challenged to create their own audiovisual language while the training familiarizes them with all aspects of filmmaking. This speaks from the structure of the curriculum: students in the film course start in the first year with studio classes in both fiction and documentary film, to which a class in ‘audiovisual research’ is added as an open space to explore and experiment with different aspects of the audiovisual language. In the third year this class of ‘audiovisual research’ focuses on sound. Starting from a personal experience students record sound elements and edit a sound track. They add visual material only in a second phase, in order to transmit the experience. Students are expected to follow their personal path through the acts of listening, recording, editing and sound mixing, in a hands-on exercise. For this, they are coached by a small group of three colleagues, qualified as professional sound recordists, sound engineers, artist-researchers and academics, combining creativity with professionalism.

The theoretical framework and methodology of this exercise is a phenomenological approach to sound. In the attention given to the specifics of recording, the practice of listening to the recordings in group sessions, and the training to remember sound, this course has affinities with the notion of  ‘deep listening’ as proposed by Pauline Oliveros (Oliveros P. 2005. Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice. New York: iUniverse, Inc.). For most of the students, this exercise gives the possibility to discover an audiovisual language in which sound and listening plays a crucial role.

Starting from the auditory perspective to create an audiovisual piece enables new insights.  The fact that the listener is entwined with the heard and his sense of the world and of himself is constituted in this bond and is different from the viewing self, whose body is at a distance from the seen. (Voegelin S. 2010,p. 5) For some of students this is a key exercise to find their personal audiovisual language.


  1. MARTINE HUVENNE is a lecturer and researcher on Sound and Music for Film at the KASK-Conservatory, School of Arts in Gent, Belgium. In 2012, she was promoted at the Amsterdam University (UVA) with a dissertation on sound in film: ‘The sound in film as an inner movement in the transfer of an experience in film: a phenomenological approach’, under the supervision of Prof. Rokus de Groot. Her research and teaching focus on the auditory part in the creative process of filmmaking. Huvenne is curator and co-organizer of the Film Fest Gent annual Seminar on Music and Sound in Film, and coordinates EPAS, the European Postgraduate in Arts in Sound. She is Head of Programme Committee Audiovisual Arts at KASK and Conservatory, School of Arts, University College Ghent.

Andor Márton Horváth

University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest, Hungary / GEECT



„Sound was largely neglected during the history of film theory until the 1980s, when Michel Chion started to develop his methods for watching and listening to movies. He has been refining his thoughts continually ever since (e.g. L’audiovision: Son et image au cinéma, Paris, 2013), and his work remains the basis of the few chapters film theoreticians write about sound.

However, his theory, while being incredibly helpful, and the only widely known analytical approach to film sound, lacks the possibility to describe every aspect of film sound. While it can describe quite well many of the most important features of film sound, it is based on partly false assumptions (e.g. sound waves vs. light rays as an example of “2D image and 3D sound”), and it admits not being able to explain all the phenomenons (e.g. why an abrupt cut in the soundtrack does not produce a breaking effect such as a cut in the picture). In my presentation, I would like to propose an alternative approach, which builds on the vast theoretical knowledge and teaching experience gathered by Chion, but which might significantly enlarge the scope of film sound theory.

My basic approach is to distinguish two poles of the analysis of a soundtrack: physical and dramaturgical. It is possible and sometimes very interesting to describe sound from a physical point of view: tonality, loudness, reverberation and many other characteristics can give us a basic idea about the relationships of different elements of a film. This more or less technical aspect of film sound should be observed from a mainly dramaturgical point of view. Only those elements of the sound track which take part in the perceived course (e. g. the story) of a film are interesting. This means that only the dramaturgically significant (or at least perceivable) physical features of sound need to be analyzed.

Physical features of sound enable us to compare hearing and sight, in order to find a common ground between the two, thus describing precisely the difference in the effect of image and sound editing in film.

Having defined the problems with finding an equivalent of “frame” and “cut”, it is possible to define the truly basic unit of film sound: sound event. Such sound events (e. g. a shot fired) can be organised in groups in various ways, and these groups can later be further observed. The complete study of a film‘s sound track should deal with the dynamic changes of these groups.

Physical and dramaturgical characteristics enable a much more precise and paradox-free classification of sounds than the traditional dialogue-noise-music layered model. Following Chion’s example of using Venn diagrams, I propose a more free classification, where, for example, a sound is allowed to take the role of music and noise simultaneously.

My proposed presentation describes a collection of concepts that enable us to precisely describe any part of film sound, which can then be subjected to the broader field of film theory. „


ANDOR HORVÁTH was born in 1985 in Hungary, and, while graduating from french literature and grammar at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (2011), started studying sound engineering at the University for Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest. He received his BA degree as sound director in 2014, and started postgraduate studies at the same university in the field of film sound theory. Meanwhile, he has taken part in various film productions as sound editor and sound supervisor. He is fluent in English, French and German.


6th session: A SENSE OF ORIGIN

Prof. Wojciech Marchwica, PhD

Jagiellonian University, Institute of Musicology, Krakow, Poland




Since the premiere of “Weather Forecast” (dir. A. Krauze, 1981) with Preisner’s music his name often appears as the leading film music composer – especially within non-commercial movies. There are many sources of Preisner’s fame. His unusual ideas and very individual composite solutions result, perhaps, from the fact that he is an autodidact. The presentation will show the use of music in film work – characteristic for Preisner – which do not fit the typical distinction between diegetic and non-diegetic music. The basic idea of Preisner’s musical art is to use different layers of meta-meanings – far from the traditional mimetic approach to the role of music. Preisner produces music which plays a structural, symbolic and even transcendental function, music which plays a role of a film character. Within the presentation there will appear examples of the films like “Krótki film o zabijaniu” / “A Short Film About Killing” (dir. K. Kieślowski, 1987), “Podwójne życie Weroniki” / “The Double Life of Veronique” (dir. K. Kieślowski, 1991), “Three Colours: Blue” (dir. K. Kieslowski, 1993), “The Secret Garden” (dir. A. Holland, 1993).


WOJCIECH MARCHWICA completed studies in Polish (MA 1981) and musicology (MA 1988) and received his PhD from the Jagiellonian University of Cracow in 1994. He has taught on the Musicology Department of the Jagiellonian University since 1983, as assistant professor and (since 1999) associate professor. His current affiliations are the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw (Deputy Director Plenipotentiary) and the Institute of Musicology at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow (Senior Lecturer).

His last papers concern music culture (especially historically informed performance of early music), and music in film and musical tradition of Central European intangible heritage. His main area of lecture topics includes the music history of baroque and classical period, music criticism and musical culture.

Jeronimo Sarmiento

Lusófona University, Portugal / Tallinn University, Estonia / GEECT




This paper provides a brief overview of the concept of musicality in fiction cinema language, understanding the comparative analysis of both art forms and considering cinema as a potentially musical construction. Furthermore, the examination of polyphonic musical textures and its methodical application in the formal analysis of Lucrecia Martel’s cinema (namely in her 2007 film ‘The Headless Woman’) provides a new perspective on the aesthetical values of the Argentinean filmmaker’s work with sound and image, which unveils other forms of assuming fiction film narration.


Originally from Colombia, JERONIMO SARMIENTO started his career studying Filmmaking and TV at the National University of Colombia (2010), took film courses in Image and Sound Design at the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina, 2007), and in 2017 received his Masters degree in the JMD Program KinoEyes (www.kinoeyes.eu), held by Universidade Lusófona (Portugal), Screen Academy Scotland (UK) and Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (Estonia), specializing in fiction film directing. His professional career has been focused as director and cinematographer for short films, documentaries and music videos. During academic studies he focused his research works on the comparative studies between cinema, music and painting art forms. His short films have been part of the official selection in film festivals in Europe, Latin America and Russia. After his last short film “Wild Game“, shot in the Estonian winter forests, he is currently developing his first feature film to be produced in 2018.

Levan Bagration-Davitashvili, PhD




My aim is to introduce the students interested in film music (namely, future film directors, sound engineers, sound designers etc. studying at the Georgian University of Theater and Film) to new musical realia and establish a contemporary musical vision, based on the aesthetics of traditional Georgian music. I became well aware of the above-mentioned issues while teaching at the University of Theater and Film and the State Conservatoire. My experience in composing, conducting and studio working has been enriched by everyday practical work with students, which enabled me develop a better vision of the existing reality.

The music of the 21st century is extremely diverse and abundant. This complicates the choice of the film director or composer and hampers them in achieving their aims. In this period of globalization, technological development and the internet, this issue has become even more acute. It is hard to process such abundant information and to make the right choice (take the right decision).  In my opinion, if a film director does not have a concrete vision as to the timing, genre, duration and style of music in his film, he will find it extremely hard to make the right choice and successfully collaborate with the composer. Frequently this process is time-consuming and, what is worse, money-consuming too. There are frequent misunderstandings and, in some cases, the aim is not achieved altogether.

In my opinion, one of the important ways to solve the above-mentioned problem is to provide basic musical education to the students in the given field. This will diminish the scope of problems later.

In my speech I would like to focus on the challenges we frequently face in Georgia. I would like to present my vision of the ways of overcoming these problems. My speech consists of three chapters. Naturally, in such a short time it is impossible to discuss the problem in detail. Yet, I will try to focus on the main issues.

The first part will focus on the importance of Georgian folk and church music for Georgian films (examples, collage and comments). The second part focuses on the history of Georgian film music: silent films, voiced films and the Soviet period until the 1990s (examples, collage and comments). The third part deals with contemporary musical trends, aesthetics, ways of usage, commercial aspects, and the role of music in modern Georgian films (examples, collage and comments).

It is vital to teach the students the ways and methods of bringing the musical product to the final stage, recording of music at the studio and the entire process of work.

In the working process we should find the ways of retaining and maintaining the national identity while keeping pace with contemporary international standards (knowledge of modern technology, quality, rapid pace of working, correct financial calculation etc.). We should develop individualism and creativity, minimize dilettantism, and avoid the unnecessary waste of time and financial resources.


LEVAN BAGRATION-DAVITASHVILI was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1973. He studied at the Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatory, the Composition Theoretical Faculty and in 1997–2000 was a guest student at the Saarland Music HMS and theater, Germany. In 2013, he obtained his PhD – Specialized Composition Qualification subject: Percussion instruments technology and functions of the composers of the 20th century.

His compositions are mostly instrumental and specialized in percussion instruments. They have been played in Georgia and in several foreign countries. For the last six years, he has been working as a composer, orchestrator, conductor and  also recording soundtracks; music for computer games, sample library, etc. In 2017, he became a member of the council and development director of the Georgian Composers Association. He presently teaches at the Tbilisi State Conservatory (Uses of percussion instruments), at the Shota Rustaveli Theater and Film University (Basics of Academic and Film Music ) and at the Georgian British Academy as a music teacher (using Cubase software ).

Prof. Antanas Kučinskas, PhD / Mantautas Krukauskas Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, GEECT




Contemporary arts nowadays are largely influenced by the technology and media. It might be one of the reasons why aesthetics also drift between the real and the virtual. In the case of the art of film, it has been the case since the very beginning, where real spaces are represented or simulated in the virtual. It is evident not only in picture, but also in the sound, which serves as a very important element in creating impact and immersion. Soundscape can represent both the real and the virtual as well as their interaction. This presentation explores traditional and modern uses of the soundscape in the contexts of film and media, as art in itself, giving recent developments of this sphere in Lithuania as particular examples. Different cases of soundscape activities – Vilnius sound map, sound installations and performances by Lithuanian artists Antanas Kučinskas, Mantautas Krukauskas, Agnė Matulevičiūtė, Matas Drukteinis and others, as well as virtual space in 360 sound projects implemented in spatial sound sphere of Music Innovation Studies Centre at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre – will be discussed.


ANTANAS KUČINSKAS (b. 1968) is a composer, professor of Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theare where he teaches film music, soundcape art, composition, music theory courses. In addition, A. Kučinskas lectured at the Vilnius Conservatoire (1993-1998), worked as sound director and musical director at the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (1993–2013). Currently he is a head of Film and TV department at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Works of A. Kučinskas are characterized by variety of genre, steaming from the ideas of New Objectivity, conceptual art and ideas of Fluxus. Theatricality is also an important aspect of all of his works (he wrote music for over 40 theatre productions and films). Currently A. Kučinskas is much less preoccupied with theatrical and visual aspects of music, but stresses the phenomenon of “parasitism” (recreation of music of other composers) and loop music as the main principle of his compositional style.

MANTAUTAS KRUKAUSKAS (b. 1980) - composer and sound artist, teacher at the Department of Composition of Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, as well as Head of Music Innovation Studies Centre. His compositions, including chamber music, audiovisual and sound art works, music for theatre productions have been performed in Lithuania, Austria, Germany, France, Canada, USA, and other countries. Mantautas Krukauskas has been actively involved in various organizational activities, including project coordination, event organizing, participation in international artistic, research and educational programmes. His interests comprise interdisciplinarity, creativity, music and media technologies, and a synergy of different aesthetic and cultural approaches.

Sudipto Acharyya

Film and Television Institute of India, Pune / CAPA / CILECT





Ritwik Ghatak in his influential film “Meghe Dhaka Tara” (Cloud Clapped Sky) foregrounds the Mother archetype in the figure of Nita and through an affective bonding with her ‘children’ helps to create an identification in the minds of the Bengali male audience. The identification is as much with the ‘children’ as in the relationship of care giver/taker in which they are bound, thereby constructing an archetypal Mother image for Nita. When through a progressively pathetic turn in her relationship with her ‘children’ she finds herself abandoned the audience alternately feels pity and is overwhelmed with guilt. A critical examination reveals that Ghatak’s construction of the archetypal figure paves way for both identification and transference of guilt that culminates through her existential scream in the very end: “Brother, I too wanted to live.”

The scream is much celebrated in Bengali cinephilia to the extent of achieving folklorish proportions. This paper argues that the continuing celebration of the Mother’s scream is a disavowal of the Bengali bhadrolok’s (aristocracy) propensity for putative measures towards the mother figure as much as a denial of an inimical lack in the self and the community to which he belongs. A critical analysis of the film’s dialogue spread and design tells us that Nita is remarkably mute at the moments of her marginalisation. Her very presence on screen is like an apology. Towards the end she confesses to her ex-fiancé that her inability to revolt is a function of her mediocrity. This dispossessing of Nita on the aural scape??? is even more disconcerting when we realise that the film’s scopic regime empowers her with the agency of ‘look’, something that is rare in a prefeminist cinema. Why does the director take opposite schemata for the scopic and the aural?

This paper argues, with the help of Kaja Silverman’s influential ideas on the Acoustic Mirror (also a book) and her deliberations on the female voice and choric scene, how in Meghe Dhaka Tara (Cloud Clapped Sky) an identification with the ‘children’ is matched by the transference of guilt towards the mother through an accumulated repression on the aural track. The scream then becomes the returnof-the-repressed to act as the final whiplash on the male spectator’s ego ideal- the brother. In effect, the brother (played by Anil Chatterjee) is the last of her ‘children’ to desert her, by putting the last nail in the proverbial coffin by informing her about a newfound plenitude in the hearth.

In her book Acoustic Mirror Kaja Silverman claims that the female voice is systematically tamed and rendered ineffective in Hollywood practices to serve the end of the male viewer’s disavowal. There are several disavowals through which the narrative progresses, however the one that interests this paper is the male’s disavowal of the mother’s voice as a source of the male’s subjectivity or identity and as a source of language. To elaborate this further, the child acquires language in the imaginary phase through its interactions with the mother and which Kaja Silverman ascribes as the choric scene. This language shapes the emotional psyche of the child and gives rise to a nascent subjecthood thereby drawing an analogy with the Lacanian Mirror phase and christened the Acoustic Mirror.

In the end the male child denies this dependence on the mother by attributing its own helplessness and inadequacy on her. Hollywood cinema has several strategies to represent this disavowal of which the most interesting for this paper is the putative measure of eliciting screams and cries from female characters. This paper examines how her theorization can help us to understand and explain the disavowal of the mother’s voice in Meghe Dhaka Tara and its function in transferring the guilt to a community whose crisis of displacement through partition is further aggravated by conventional social structures.


SUDIPTO ACHARYYA has studied cinema at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune, with specialization in Direction (1997–2000). His Diploma film ‘Harbour Line’ is part of the No Masala Touring Film Festival in Germany. It was exhibited at the Asia-Europe Short Film Festiva 2007, Washington, DC, organised by Indian Embassy. His first independent production is ‘Weekend Chill’, a digital film made with crowd fund. He has directed several short films and one feature length film for television and other institutions.

Sudipto has a long engagement with teaching Cinema in various institutions like Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (under I and B Ministry), Roop Kala Kendro (Kolkata), Kolkata Film & Television Institute and Center for Film and Television (Allahabad University). Presently he is serving as a faculty in the Direction Department of the Film and Television Institute of India (Pune). He has completed his MA in Film Studies from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Master classes

Prof. Stephen Deutsch, Bournemouth University, UK / GEECT and  Larry Sider, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK




In these two sessions, we ask the audience to re-examine their notions of the Soundtrack.  We are discussing how the strategies taken within the production process have implications further on down the line, implications about which directors and sound professionals need to be mindful. Within this, we describe notions of engagement and how audio techniques such as introducing sound in pre-production or the use of contrapuntal sound in editing can expand our ideas of narrative filmmaking.


STEPHEN DEUTSCH has had his concert music performed by eminent artists, including the Medici Quartet, David Campbell, The Gaudier Ensemble, Andrew Ball, The London Mozart Players and many others.  He has composed over thirty scores for film, theatre, radio and television.  His many collaborations with the late playwright Peter Barnes include Jubilee (2001), the Olivier Award winning play, Red Noses (1985) and the feature film Hard Times (1994).

His recent activity has been in combining music and sound design for moving images. He has directed and composed music/sound for the documentary, Postcards from Applecross which was released in April 2017. He also provided music and sound for the 2015 documentary film Wild South.

At Bournemouth University, he is Professor of Post-Production. He has also served as Visiting Tutor in Screen Composition at the National Film and Television School. Within both institutions, he has trained over 60 composers, some of whom have since provided music for feature films, theatre, television and computer games.

He is an editor of The New Soundtrack, an academic journal, which focuses its attention on all the aural elements which combine with moving images. His first novel, Zweck was published by Troubador Press in 2016.

Larry Sider heads the Film Sound MA at Goldsmiths (University of London). Previously he was Head of Post-Production at the National Film and Television School (UK) where he created the unified curriculum for sound, editing and music.

A graduate of Northwestern University (Chicago), he has practiced as a sound designer and film editor for over thirty years working in animation, fiction and documentary. His credits include Street of Crocodiles and Institute Benjamenta by the Brothers Quay, London by Patrick Keiller, and Mirrormask by Dave McKean.

He lectures in the UK and abroad and has taught at the Royal College of Art, Huston Film School, CalArts, University for the Creative Arts, KASK (Gent), Netherlands Film Academy, Baltic Film and Media School and Internationale Filmschule Köln. He has also been part of the MedMedia workshops in Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Burkina Faso. He co-edits The New Soundtrack journal.

In 1998, he created the School of Sound to promote the exploration of sound across the arts and media through talks, workshops and its International Symposium, held for the twelfth time in 2017.

Vytis Puronas

Lithuanian Academy  of Music and Theatre / GEECT





The Anthology of Lithuanian Documentary Cinema – the project initiated by film historian Lina Kaminskaitė-Jančorienė of “Meno Avilys” – aims to preserve, restore and make available to the audience the most important work by Lithuanian documentary filmmakers of the 20th century. Now in its sixth year the project launched with “Earth of the Blind” (1992), a Felix award winning documentary by Audrius Stonys (sound: Viktoras Juzonis; camera: Rimvydas Leipus). A couple of decades on, magnetic tapes and master copies had been lost, with only the last heavily degraded film copy surviving. Having undergone an extensive sound and image restoration process (sound: Vytis Puronas; image: Jonas Zagorskas) it became the first fully restored film in Lithuanian history.

Sound designer Vytis Puronas shares his insight into the process of film sound restoration and reveals his let-it-be approach to the subject. In architecture, reconstruction refers to the act of rebuilding a destroyed structure. Often, reconstruction also involves improvement. Paradoxically, improvement results in partial destruction of the original. Restoration, on the other hand, aims to clean up and reshape the decayed elements to be as true as possible to the original. But can a restored movie still remain an original? Can a 21st century audience perceive the film as it was intended? Do we have to adapt the soundtrack to satisfy evolving expectations of the audience? Sound restoration is a constant balancing act: resisting the temptation to improve, minimizing the impacts, avoiding brutal intervention and manually painting out every single artefact. It is the final decision making at each step.


VYTIS PURONAS is a sound designer and interactive developer whose work encompasses sound restoration, film and interactive productions. He is a graduate of Architecture and holds a degree in Sound Arts from the University of the Arts London. Having worked for London Soho-based post-production houses for clients such as the BBC and National Geographic, he currently resides in Vilnius and lectures at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.