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Chronicling Motion: Music as Temporalizing Agency in Experimental and Mainstream Screen Media

Barham, JM (2009) Chronicling Motion: Music as Temporalizing Agency in Experimental and Mainstream Screen Media In: Music and the Moving Image, 2009-05 - ?, New York University Steinhardt.

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As unfolding phenomena that communicate through media of sound or light and with degrees of connotative or denotative reference, music and the moving image exhibit temporal structures and attributes that overlap, complement and contrast with one another. Given the potential for an intensification of music’s formal function and its level of structural intervention in the case of abstract film where figural image denotation is significantly reduced or nullified, and in light of the long-standing mainstream film editor’s practice of cutting ‘M.O.S.’ scenes (images without soundtrack) ‘to classical or stock music so that the tempo and phrasing lend structure to the footage’ (Handzo, 1985), this paper explores the possibilities and limits of music’s capacity to follow, set or change the temporal qualities of screen works. Calling on ontological discussions of musical time, and scattered references to temporality among screen music theorists from Eisenstein to Buhler, Flinn & Neumeyer, and in an attempt to move beyond the usual application of organicist, 19th-century Wagnerian music aesthetics to 20th- and 21st-century moving-image artworks, this paper identifies a threefold framework of cultural context, localized kinesis and deeper chronological structure through which to examine issues of music, moving image and time. It demonstrates some of the differing dimensions of this debate with reference to screen examples selected from those that either thematize issues of time in their diegeses (Noé’s Irreversible, Ruiz’s Time Regained), problematize the relation between movement, change and time (Le Grice’s Digital Still Life and Jones’s Rail), or interlace differing chronological timeframes within their narratives, whether reconciling memory with unfolding present consciousness or blurring temporal boundaries (Bergman’s Wild Strawberries and Reisz’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Barham, JM
Date : 2009
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:44
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:01

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