Between the ears : acoustiographic representations of character interiority

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Between the ears : acoustiographic representations of character interiority

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Title: Between the ears : acoustiographic representations of character interiority
Author: Newton, Alex Michael
Abstract: This essay aims to explore acoustiographies of the interior and interpret the cultural impressions that they perpetuate. While I do consider the conventional iconographies of headphones and full-body suits (e.g., spacesuits) that filmmakers employ as tools to focalize a character’s internal subjectivity, acoustiographies often supersede or occur in lieu of such visual symbols. While the acoustiography of “leakage” symbolizes the disparity between the self-perception of the self and the social perception of the self, that of “head sound” aims at placing the audience inside the head of a given character by positioning the point of audition as if it were emanating from the character’s head. Leakage is a diegetic sound that is somewhat obscured or filtered by some barrier blocking the sound’s full frequency emission, whereas sound effects or music seemingly sounding from inside a character’s head, as for example through headphones, represent head sound. These acoustiographies of leakage and head sound play a crucial role in the filmic expression of a character’s interiority, which they accomplish through their ability to physically represent interior space, but also figuratively represent a character’s subjectivity.
Department: Music
Subject: Interiority Acoustiography Film music Headphones Music theory Motion pictures and music Film soundtracks
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2011-05-3225
Date: 2011-05

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