Music Research Center at Hanyang University hosted the international conference “Rethinking Sound 2018,” which was held on 30–31 March 2018 in Seoul, Korea.
Many topics were included in this conference in the perspective of Sound Studies such as Gender/Identity/Politics, Body, Film, Virtual Soundscape, Cultural/Historical Soundscape, Urban Soundscape. I attended this conference to learn how Sound Studies deal with film music.
Friday, March 30, 14:00-15:00
Giorgio Biancorosso, The University of Hong Kong
‘Making Sounds Heard’
Attractions and Narrative in the Early Sound Period
The ” cinema of attractions” defined by Tom Gunning and Andre Gaudreault, means a cinema that displays its visibility, willing to rupture a self-enclosed fictional world for a chance to solicit the attention of the spectator.
The “system of attraction’ was subsumed under popular filmmaking which means not only that attractions became thoroughly implicated in narrative filmmaking but also that they bore witness to the introduction of sound. The unique power of the cinema of attractions was a matter of making images seen. Yet as Leger indicated, what defined the ‘new art’ and its ‘potential’ was its images.
Implicit in Leger’s idea of “making images seen” is that absorption in film as drama is tantamount to not seeing. Thus, he argued that a similarly flawed logic informs modernist thinking about sound and music like that idea that film music is “unheard.”
The weaving of ‘attractions’ into narrative cinema at the dawn of the sound era amounts to more than the inauguration of a new stage in the history of film; it also restores our confidence that a dramatic premise enhances-instead of confining- the audibility of cinema.
Session 2a: Film
Fraday, March 30, 15:30-17:10
Chair: Giorgio Biancorosso (The University of Hong Kong)
Hee Seng Kye (Music Research Center, Hanyang University)
Why was Bruce Listening to “Casta diva”?
Soundtrack as a Sonic/Sonified Conscience in Avengers: The Age of Ultron
A semi-opening scene of this film (2015) is the starting point for the discussion. The scene shows Bruce Banner, with headphones on, privately listens to “Casta diva,” an aria from Bellini’s opera Norma (1831). He asks the reason why Bruce/Hulk was listening to “Casta diva”?, and answers that “Casta diva” is a sonic/sonified conscience of Bruce/Hulk, which resound at three levels: semantic, musical, and spatial.
Keynote Lecture 3
Saturday, March 31, 09:30-10:30
William Cheng, Dartmouth College
“His Music Was Not a Weapon”:
Black Noise, Breakable Skin, and the Plundered Voice of Jordan Russel Davis
On 23 November 2012, a 47-year-old white man named Michael Dunn fired ten bullets and killed 17-year-old white man in an apparent dispute over Davis’s loud rap music. Cheng get this straight that Jordan Davis’s rap music was a weapon. He is interested in how Davis’s rap music became posthumously weaponized at the hands of Dunn’s defense lawyer, Cory Strolla, in efforts to exonerate his client on the basis of self-defense (and nominally, Stand Your Ground). By conflating blackness with burteness, Dunn and Strolla worked to enchain black music, to discredit black testimonies, and to weaponize a deceased black body in service of white supremacy.