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Audio Reflection

Until last week, I mostly learned about the film noir was the critical analyses based on the interplay between its visual design motifs and its narrative troops and situation. But the article: “The Ambience of Film Noir-Soundscapes, Design and Mood” I read, talks about the analyses of the tones and moods of film noir from the expressiveness and design of its soundtrack. Ambience connotes “environment, surroundings, atmosphere,” which means the feeling of a place. As I read this part of the article, I agreed with this explanation because it gives a better insight to what is going on in the film. Viewers would probably know what is going on in the film without background music, but with audio on the background gives scenes a more impact to viewers. Also, it allows viewers to get deeper mood and feelings of each scene. Based on what I said above and read the article, sound drives stories by going along with the actions and fitting into the emotions of characters. Sometimes, it gives some hints of the next action or scene.

The reading “The Ambience of Film Noir-Soundscapes, Design and Mood” gave me a lot of information that I did not know before. Among the tones of informations, I really interested the subtitle called ‘Footsteps in the Dark: Pacing through the City Soundscape.’ R. Murray Schafar defines a soundscape as any acoustic field of study. He concludes soundscape as a composed of keynote sounds, signal sounds, and soundmarks. The keynote sound is the identification of the key or tonality of a particular composition. While keynote sounds are forming a ground, single sounds stand out because single sounds are foreground sounds including acoustic warning devices: bells, whistles, horn and sirens. The last factor, soundtrack is a community sound, which is unique or possesses qualities which make it specially regarded or noticed by people in that community.┬áDuring the 1930s into the 1940s, improvements in edition apparatus and techniques increased the number of sound effect that could be combined from 6 tracks to 12 tracks.

Touch of Evil videos show how audio impacts the mood of scene. First version of the video of the background sound was street sounds, which were fast beats and make viewers to be delightful. If you hear only the sound, not watching the scenes, you would not able to figure out that the characters are in danger. Second version of the video was no-restored version, which has exact same scenes but different sounds on the background. In this version, instead of playing street sounds, the theme music was played. I personally liked the second version because I was able to get mood and feeling easily also, the sound foreshadows next scenes of the movie. When I hear the theme music without watching the scenes, it was possible to know that serious actions were going on in the movie.

I think Tom and Jerry is great example of this topic. The entire animation has no speaking from characters, it tells the stories using only scenes and sounds. Because it uses various sounds, the viewer can easily understand the story.


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