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Archive for the ‘Music & Sound Design’ Category

Dolby In the ever-evolving landscapes of education for the era of digital-streaming-and-all-in-between with music, sound design, and current audio evolutions, here are some pieces featuring sound pioneer Thomas Dolby and his current work and perspectives on sound in media — a program at the Peabody Institute and an interview with Mr. Dolby talking about this work and his synth adventures.

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Wishing everyone some solid fresh tones in this world with the New Year. Here’s to 2021!

In the meantime, here’s a nice piece on room tone with a neat video, a holiday gift from the folks at Criterion. Cheers!

And yes, the classic.

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In earlier posts, we have discussed documentaries about film and TV scoring; contemporary composers such as Jeff Beal, Cliff Martinez, and Bear McCreary; current uses of popular music with moving images such as in the work of the performer Stromae; and a wide variety of topics related to sound design.

Composer Ramin Djawadi conducting

Along with editing exercises that one can complete to develop an idea of the impact of music with scenes, here is an related video (by the YouTube channel Every Frame a Painting) that explores the use of music in a variety of Marvel superhero movies.  Many of the observations and questions raised here can be applied to a wide range of recent action movies, and the lessons about contemporary media creation have wide-ranging impacts on viewers and the messages being produced for viewers. And for students, they might want to explore the views of the actual composers of some of the movies referenced here, such as Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man, Westworld, Game of Thrones) or Alan Silvestri (Avengers, Captain America).  

 

And if you find this interesting, check out this response to the Marvel Symphonic Universe video essay by Dan Golding: A Theory of Film Music(And it is critical to add that this essay is ripe for a rebuttal by anyone interested in exploring the long history of originality in film scoring — Golding’s approach is undoubtedly to use only lowest common denominator examples from throughout film history.) 

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The vital roles of music and sound design in moviemaking are key components of Moving Images and have been featured in numerous posts on mediateacher.net, including pieces about composers Jeff Beal, Cliff Martinez, and Henry Mancini, among others.  Score, a documentary about composing for film by director Matt Schrader, opened this month and should serve as a solid resource to media literacy educators.  Score provides film history, profiles of and interviews with film composers (from Quincy Jones to Rachel Portman to Trent Reznor and many more), and exploration of the process of composing for motion pictures.

Composer Bear McCreary with his Hurdy-Gurdy

Here is an interview with composer Bear McCreary (Outlander, Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, 10 Cloverfield Lane) and Matt Schrader in which they note film scores that they believe to have “changed the way we hear movies.”  What would be your picks?  Check out the article and you will see theirs!

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night living deadToday is the day — Halloween!  Did you know that Night of the Living Dead is being brought back to life?  A 4K restoration orchestrated by the Museum of Modern Art and supported by the Film Foundation will premiere at MoMA in a week in their “Save and Project” series!

Here is a fun activity for post-Trick or Treat recuperation: an interactive quiz called The Sounds of Horror from the New York Times.  Try it if you dare!

annex-grant-cary-arsenic-and-old-lace_09And if you just want to feel all autumnal and Halloweenish in a warm and comfy way, this old classic really has held up very well: Arsenic and Old LaceTry it out as the days start to get shorter and the last leaves are hanging on.  Frank Capra and his collaborators created quite a lively movie with this classic starring Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre, and an incredible cast of golden age character actors.  Or of course, there is animated fun to be had with the classic It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or the more recent ParaNorman.  

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