This book explores music/sound-image relationships in non-mainstream screen repertoire from the earliest examples of experimental audiovisuality to the most recent forms of expanded and digital technology. It challenges presumptions of visual primacy in experimental cinema and rethinks screen music discourse in light of the aesthetics of non-commercial imperatives. Several themes run through the book, connecting with and significantly enlarging upon current critical discourse surrounding realism and audibility in the fiction film, the role of music in mainstream cinema, and the audiovisual strategies of experimental film. The contributors investigate repertoires and artists from Europe and the USA through the critical lenses of synchronicity and animated sound, interrelations of experimentation in image and sound, audiovisual synchresis and dissonance, experimental soundscape traditions, found-footage film, re-mediation of pre-existent music and sound, popular and queer sound cultures, and a diversity of radical technological, aesthetic, tropes in film media traversing the work of early pioneers such as Walther Ruttmann and Len Lye, through the mid-century innovations of Norman McLaren, Stan Brakhage, Lis Rhodes, Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, and studio collectives in Poland, to latter-day experimentalists John Smith and Bill Morrison, as well as the contemporary practices of Vjing.
- Preface: Jeremy Barham
- Introduction: Holly Rogers
- Chapter 1: Absolute Sounding Images: Abstract Film and Radio Drama of the 1920s as Complementary Forms of a Media Specific Art, Dieter Daniels
- Chapter 2: A Primitivism of the Senses: The Role of Music in Len Lye's Experimental Animation, Malcolm Cook
- Chapter 3: An Educational Avant-Garde: Sound and Music in Julien Bryan's OIAA Films on Latin America, 1942-1949, James Tobias
- Chapter 4: bup bup bup: Aural Innovation in the Films of Norman McLaren, Terence Dobson
- Chapter 5: Sights and Sounds of the Moving Mind: The Visionary Soundtracks of Stan Brakhage, Eric Smigel
- Chapter 6: Discontinuities and Resynchronisations: The Use of Sound in Polish Experimental Cinema from the 1930s to the 1980s, Daniel Muzyczuk
- Chapter 7: Grid Intensities: Hearing Structures in Chantal Akerman's Films of the 1970s, Paul Hegarty
- Chapter 8: Meaning and Musicality: Sound-Image Relations in the Films of John Smith, Andy Birtwistle
- Chapter 9: Audiovisual Dissonance in Found-Footage Film, Holly Rogers
- Chapter 10: Rebalancing the Picture/Sound Relationship: The Audiovisual Compositions of Lis Rhodes, Aimee Mollaghan
- Chapter 11: Sounding Decay in the Digital Age: Audio-Visions of Decasia (2002) and Lyrical Nitrate (1991), Nessa Johnston
- Chapter 12: The Sound of Queer Experimental Film, Juan A. Suárez
- Chapter 13: Avant-Gardists and the Lure of Pop Music, Carol Vernallis
- Chapter 14: The Music of Gustav Mahler in Experimental Film Contexts: Questions of Visual Music and Intermedial Theory, Jeremy Barham
Holly Rogers is a senior lecturer in Music at Goldsmiths, University of London. Before this, she was the founding director of the Research Centre for Audio-Visual Media at the University of Liverpool, Fulbright Scholar at the DocFilm Institute in San Francisco and Research Fellow at the Humanities Institute of Ireland. Her primary interest lies in the relationship between sound and image in experimental film, video art and music video. Holly is the author Visualising Music: Audio-Visual Relationships in Avant-Garde Film and Video Art (2010) and Sounding the Gallery: Video and the Rise of Art-Music (2013). She has also edited two books on audiovisual media: Music and Sound in Documentary Film (2014) and Transmedia Directors: Sound, Image and the Digital Swirl (with Carol Vernallis and Lisa Perrott, forthcoming). She is a founding editor for the book series New Approaches to Sound, Music and Media.
Jeremy Barham is Reader in Music at the University of Surrey. His academic interests lie in the areas of Mahler, 19th- and 20th-century Austro-German music and culture, screen music, and jazz. He has undertaken periods of archival research in Vienna, Philadelphia, Paris, Berlin, and Wiesbaden, and convened three international conferences, on Mahler (2011), early film music (2014) and the music and legacy of Miles Davis and John Coltrane (2016).