Media Art and Design Research Blog

Andy Birtwistle on Electroacoustic Composition.


Andy Birtwistle on Electroacoustic Composition.

Reader in Film and Sound, Dr Andy Birtwistle, has published a new chapter on sound in a book on sound design and music in screen media

“Electroacoustic Composition and the British Documentary Tradition” is part of The Palgrave Handbook of Sound Design and Music in Screen Media: Integrated Soundtracks, edited by Liz Greene and Danijela Kulezic-Wilson (Palgrave Macmillan 2016). Andy Birtwistle’s chapter considers how the blurring of sound design and music, often seen as a feature of contemporary cinema, developed within earlier forms of cinematic expression. Focusing on British documentary cinema, Andy Birtwistle examines innovative uses of sound in documentary filmmaking, paying particular attention to forms of cinematic musique concrète that emerged following early experimentation with film sound technology in the 1930s. Considering key works by directors Basil Wright and Geoffrey Jones, and composers Walter Leigh, Daphne Oram and Tristram Cary, the chapter considers the ways in which filmmakers and composers working in documentary have manipulated and organized recorded sound, producing forms of electroacoustic practice that prefigure and parallel the radical developments that took place in modern music after World War II.

Link to chapter:
Link to book:

Andy is Reader in Film and Sound in the School of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University and is the author of Cinesonica: Sounding Film and Video (Manchester University Press, 2010). He recently released Salute to Vinyl on Chimpsonic as part of his Start Here audio cassette project.

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