Essays on Sound and Vision

Essays on Sound and Vision

John Richardson and Stan Hawkins (eds.)

Helsinki University Press and Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology Publ. 15. ISSN 0785-2746. Printed by Helsinki University Printing House 2007

For several years audiovisual analysis has been a growth area in musicology and cultural studies. And yet, very little has been published that recognises its relevance to a wide range of practices, including music videos, film and television music, video art, and gaming music. A thread that runs through the chapters is the recognition of audiovisual performance as a central theoretical category. The focus of the essays is exclusively contemporary. In this way, the book addresses a cluster of concerns that pertain to audiovisual production, performance and consumption in a variety of present day contexts. Chapters are organized thematically around the headings Avant-garde aesthetics, Re-sounding soundtracks, Televisual intertexts, Interrogating the mainstream, and Personal politics and embodied performance. What we attempt to put forward in this book is not a solution to the analysis of sound and vision, but rather, a list of possibilities and approaches through which interpretation can be undertaken. Thus, the essays collected provide critical readings through which the authors provide answers to questions, such as what is the relationship between sound and vision? And what is music's potential for communicating meaning into understanding?

  • John Richardson and Stan Hawkins: Introduction
Part 1. Avant-garde aesthetics:
  • Stan Hawkins: Aphex Twin: monstrous hermaphrodites, madness and the strain of independent dance music
  • Anahid Kassabian: Listening to video art and the problem of too many homelands
  • Petri Kuljuntausta and John Richardson: Going with the flow: compositional and analytical perspectives on soundtracks for experimental films
Part 2. Re-sounding soundtracks
  • Annette Davison: Demystified, remystified, and seduced by sirens: listening to David Lynch's films
  • Erkki Pekkilä: Stardom, genre, and myth: music in Aki Kaurismäki's film The Man Without a Past
Part 3. Televisual intertexts
  • Susanna Välimäki: Musical migration, perverted instruments and cosmic sounds: queer constructions in the music and sound of Angels in America
  • Yrjö Heinonen: A dialogue with the past: references to sixties culture in the title sequence of Friends
Part 4. Interrogating the mainstream
  • Karen Collins: An introduction to the participatory and non-linear aspects of video games audio
  • Antti-Ville Kärjä: Diegetic music in Star Wars: the case of the Max Rebo Band
Part 5. Personal politics and embodied performance
  • Jon Refsdal Moe: Aesthetic and performative considerations of Christina Milian's music video Dip It Low
  • Sanna Rojola: Envisioning the future: technology, futurism and the politics of race in Detroit techno
  • John Richardson: Double-voiced discourse and bodily pleasures in contemporary Finnish rock: the case of Maija Vilkkumaa

John Richardson
is Research Fellow and leader of the Academy of Finland research project Contemporary Music, Media and Mediation in Jyväskylä.

Stan Hawkins is Professor of Musicology at the University of Oslo and adjunct professor at Agder University College, Norway.