Cinesonic 4

International Conference on Film Scores & Sound Design

Background

The 4th Cinesonic conference was instigated and directed by Philip Brophy as part of his research while lecturing in Media Arts at RMIT University, Melbourne. This was the last conference. No book was published.

The Last of England © 1987

Credits

Director - Philip Brophy (lecturer in Audio Visual Concepts & Soundtrack)
Production manager - Adam Milburn (Degree in Media Arts)
Technical assistance - Jennifer Sochackyj (MA in Media Arts)
Production assistance - Nat Bates (MA in Media Arts)
Publicity & promotion - Scott Goodings
Original website - Haima Marriott & Isobel Knowles (graduates in Media Arts)
Site support - Adrian Miles (RMIT Communication Studies)
Administrative support - Shane Hulbert (Media Arts administrator)
Support - Les Walkling (senior lecturer & course co-ordinator of Media Arts)
Major financial support - City of Melbourne, Cinemedia, the Australian Film Commission
Sponsors/support - Show Group, Australian Film TV & Radio School, Australian Film Institute, Mushroom Music, Sony ATM Publishing, BMG Publishing, Soundfirm, EMI Publishing, ISMT, Soundworkx, APRA, Real Time, Atlab, Metropolis Audio, Mister Moto
Special thanks - the Cinesonic volunteers

2001

Treasury Theatre, Melbourne

O Brother, Where Art Thou? © 2000

Overview

Another year and another 365 days of the sound of gunshots, ocean waves, babies crying, fuzz guitars, reverbed trombones, celery snaps, Eskimo breath, underwater bubbles and the brush of nylon ski pants against new car seat covers. And another Cinesonic. This year continues the Conference’s major aim of bringing practitioners and writers from around the world together to share their experiences and ideas with those interested in the dynamic world of film sound and music.

The Garden © 1990

Technical

Issues in Film Scores & Sound Design

Simon Fisher-Turner

Music for the films of Derek Jarman

In the hip blurred world between rock and dance, there are two schools of 'film music'. One is the popular 'ambient' fraternity of composers and musicians who mimic film music, writing for 'imaginary films' and layering textures reminiscent of Brian Eno's early forays into Satie-esque ambient music. The other is a much smaller collection of composers and musicians who actually transform such work for films. In the gulf that still separates the filmic sensibilities of musicians from the musical aesthetics of directors, Simon Fisher-Turner's work is a rarity.

Listening to either a Simon Fisher-Tuner CD (there are many) or one of the many films containing his music, one is struck by the rich indistinction between musical atmospherics and narrative orchestration. A film composer who is more at home in the studio than the concert hall, Fisher-Turner brings a sonic awareness of musicality which allows his work to blend, bleed and bend with the full spectrum of the film soundtrack. Drawing equally on noise, rock, electronica and lounge, his work is eclectic in its instrumentation and multi-faceted in its narrational approach. While boasting an impressive track record with a number of international independent directors, it is Simon Fisher-Turner's work for the late Derek Jarman that typifies the ongoing potential his work holds for expanding the contemporary film soundtrack. From the intricate 'musicscape' of THE LAST OF ENGLAND to the distilled quietude and momentary bombast of BLUE, the Fisher-Turner/Jarman collaboration stands as an impressive example of how 'ambient' can work within the core of a film rather than standing outside, mimicking its evocative sonic textures.

Referenced films: Caravaggio, The Last of England, Edward II, Young Soul Rebels, The Garden, Blue, Nadja, Loaded, Croupier

Malcom X © 1992

Skip Lievsay

Designing Sound for Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese & the Coens

The world may think of Hollywood as the mainspring for all that is both the classical and modern American cinema, but numerous filmmakers and craftspeople have drawn clear distinctions between movies made in Los Angeles and those made elsewhere throughout the USA. Just as there are many who choose to work within and from LA, there are a sizeable number who are based in America's notorious metropolis, New York. Directors like Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee are noted for their relationship with NYC, and many other notable directors have commented on the difference they enjoy in working 'away from Hollywood'.

For over 15 years, Skip Lievsay's sound post-production company C5 has been based in New York. This in itself may not appear significant - until one notices that Skip Lievsay has sound designed, 6 films for Martin Scorsese, 7 films for Spike Lee and 8 films for the Coens, as well as having worked on a number of films with John Sayles, Errol Morris, Barry Levinson, Jonathan Demme and Robert Altman. With a CV boasting work completed more for directors than producers or studios, Skip's experiences and views on sound post-production provide a rare insight to the audiovisual matrix of contemporary American 'auteur' filmmaking. It is particularly in his work with Scorsese, Lee and the Coens that Skip has had the opportunity to develop a dialogue with directors whose authorial traits are well-noted. In the realm of sound-design, it has been acknowledged time and time again how important it is to have a type of 'dialogue' with the director of a film. Like film composers, sound designers relish being brought in on a job early - even at script stage - rather than receiving a phone call 3 weeks from final mix. And numerous sound designers have noted how that it is only through having more time to discuss their ideas with a director do they then contribute interesting, integral and vital work for a film. Skip Lievsay's work is proof of this. From his supply of intricate shapes, gestures, movements and moments of multi-leveled sound editing and mixing in Scorsese's GOODFELLAS, to his carefully modulated sonic nuances in Demme's SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, to the gorgeous detail and ambience in the Coen's O, BROTHER WHERE ARE THOU?, Skip Lievsay stands as a major figure in that strange beast labelled 'Hollywood cinema'.

Referenced films: O, Brother Where Art Thou?, Last Temptation of Christ, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona, Raging Bull, Jungle Fever, Malcom X, Barton Fink, Hudsucker Proxy

Son Of Sam © 2008

Physical Sensations of Sound

Ashish Radjadhyaksha

Post-dubbed Sound in Indian Cinema

Philip Brophy

Body Mats & Super Slams: Sport, Sound & Violence
Referenced films: WWF, XFL, FA Cup, Song of Youth (1933 Winter Olympics), Flashdance, Godzilla Vs. Megalon, Gangster Soldier, Batman (1966), Raging Bull

Kathryn Bird

Mouthing and Hong Kong Cinema
Referenced films: Days Of Being Wild, Happy Together, Chungking Express, Iron Monkey,The Bride With White Hair, Swordsman , Heroic Trio, The Blade, Way Of The Dragon (Return Of The Dragon), Enter The Dragon, Big Boss, Rumble In The Bronx, The Man From Hong Kong, 36th Chamber Of Shaolin, Broken Oath, Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires, The Sword

Megan Spencer

Shout It Out Loud: The Voice of the Documentary Subject
Referenced films: Cunnamulla, We The Children of the 20th Century, Killing Time (from First Person SBS video diary' series), Crazy, Benjamin Smoke, Drinking For England, Grey Gardens, Fishtank, Pie In The Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story, Dream Deceivers, When I'm 21, Subway Cops and the Mole King, A Pair of One, various video diary material.

Raging Bull © 1980

Flow Charts of Soundtracks

James Lastra

Sound Design & the Wagnerian Impulse - or, The Fate of the Senses
Referenced films: Apocalypse Now, Forrest Gump

Jodi Brooks

Worrying the Note: Mapping Time in the Gangsta Film
Referenced films: Friday, Dolemite, Set It Off

McKenzie Wark

The E.R.-Effect: The Sound of Ambient Suffering