Panel #5

Sonic and Compositional Strategies in Film Music

Costanza Salvi

University of Zaragoza

Maria Fuchs

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg/Universität Wien

Maria Teresa Soldani

Università di Pisa / Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci

Alma Mileto

Università “La Sapienza” di Roma

Armando Ianniello

Università degli Studi di Udine

Tuesday - November 3rd
15:45 - 17:00 Playlist #5
17:00 - 18:00 Sound discussion #5
Channel 2

Dead men talking: how Sonic Imagination works in Our Town (1940), Laura (1944), and D.O.A. (1949)

Costanza Salvi (University of Zaragoza)

The question is: why did Hollywood find particularly intriguing and beneficial the introduction of the redundancy of twice-told stories? While in Our Town (1940) posthumous narrators are giving fatherly advices manifesting, like dark prophets and oracles, ethical principles of life, the last scene of Laura (1944) suggests a dead narrator who has recounted from his realm a nostalgic story about loss and frustrations. The confused and idiosyncratic voice telling the story of the protagonist’s drowsed and exhausted life in D.O.A. (1949) expresses a paranoid condition more attuned to the next decade. The apparent redundancy of twice-told stories is thus explained not only by the aim of directly addressing the audience and availing their efforts to make sense of the world but also as a method to acquire a sonic imagination that would provide a port of entry to guarantee the audiovisual unity of the fictive universe.

Costanza Salvi

Costanza Salvi is a PhDstudent at the University of Zaragoza. She has a degree in DAMS (Arts, Music, and Spectacle) and a MA in Visual Arts, Performance, and Media Studies from Bologna University. Her dissertation dealt with populist cinema and American culture from the Depression era, pinpointing the works of John Ford, Frank Capra, and Will Rogers. Her research focuses on the relations between classical Hollywood and American culture, underlining the historical foundations and defining traits of expressions, productions, and consumptions of texts with an emphasis on social, political, and ethnic negotiations. Essential aim of her approach is placing classical Hollywood into a modern and interdisciplinary framework to make its complexity appear. She is currently working on the topic of the Mexican border in Hollywood Westerns. Her work has appeared on academic journals such as Fata Morgana, Griselda, In Media, Cinema e storia. She is a member of SERCIA (Société pour l'Enseignement et la Recherche du Cinéma Anglophone)

Genre cinema, music and plurimedial interrelations of Homeland

Maria Fuchs (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg/Universität Wien)

Music and film are essential constructive elements of the discourse about “homeland” in the German - speaking world of the 20th century. Heide Fehrenbach emphatically pointed out that the popular German Heimatfilme of the 1950s not only tell stories about their homeland, but that the filmed landscapes and showcased musical performances rather define this genre elementarily, regardless of the film plot. These two aspects contribute to its specific form of a visual as well as auditory spectacle, which has been widely disseminated through commercial marketing strategies.

The paper aims to reconstruct the compositional strategies for the depiction of landscapes, locations and narratives associated with the German-language Heimatfilm. In addition, the aim of this paper is to analyse the transmedia marketing of the music used in the films, the songs in particular. Finally, the continuity of the “soundscapes” of “Heimat” in postwar Germany to film productions of the Nazi era are to be reflected.

Maria Fuchs

Maria Fuchs is a postdoctoral scholar at the Center of Popular Culture and Music at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, leading the FWF project "Soundscapes of 'Heimat': Mapping Musical Signatures in Heimatfilmeand Bergfilme (1930-1970)". For her Ph.D. she obtained a doctoral fellowship from the University of Vienna and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Her rese arch focuses on popular and cross-media phenomena of music of the 20th and 21st centuries, especially on film music. She is the author of Stummfilmmusik. Theorie und Praxis im‚ Allgemeinen Handbuch der Film-Musik’(1927), Marburg 2016. Most recently: “Hermann Kretzschmar’s forgotten heirs: ‘Silent’ Film Music As Applied Musical Hermeneutics”, in: Gillian Anderson/ Ron Sadoff (ed.), Music and the Moving Image, 12 (3), 2019, 3–24.

Pump Up the Volume: defining the American Independent Cinema through music, 1970-2000s

Maria Teresa Soldani (Università di Pisa / Centro per l’arte contemporanea Pecci)

This paper aims at exploring the key, deep relation between music and moving images that defines the so-called “American Independent Cinema” (King 2005, 2013) as a film culture. This body of works is grounded in the scene-based approach of the underground punk/rock music, which has been familiar to the independent filmmakers by the 1970s (e.g., No Wave). A pattern of DIY practices and media shared by musicians, filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors in common spaces is at the core of these film productions' strategies since the 1970s, becoming more than an alliance in the 1990s and the 2000s. According to Shank (1994) and Kruse (2003) the act of sharing the same live experience and listening culture defines the idea of a “scene”, in which performers and audience are both active parts of a “whole”. Thus, according to Newman (2009, 2011) and Staiger (2013), the indie film culture is characterized by a special relationship that the film is able to establish with the viewer, starting from the idea of a double position of the filmmaker as a film spectator.

Maria Teresa Soldani

Maria Teresa Soldani holds a Ph.D. in History of Art and Performing Arts (Pegaso Program – Universities of Florence, Pisa and Siena, Italy). She is webTV author/editor and video archivist at the “Luigi Pecci” Center for Contemporary Art in Prato. Her research focuses on American independent cinema, film music, underground cultures, experimental cinema, and video art. She published the monograph Naked City. Features of Identity, Independence, and Research in the Filmography on New York City (Quaderni di CinemaSud, 2013), essays and video-essays in books and journals, such as Imaginations, Cinéma&Cie, Cinergie, L’Avventura, SegnoCinema, and Duellanti. She is also composer and musician, in particular for many film scores of Daniele Segre's documentary films

The voice of images. The sound editing and the listener/spectator in Pietro Marcello's films

Alma Mileto (Università "La Sapienza" di Roma)

Pietro Marcello has always used sound as a link between images, in a discontinuous montage, often enriched byfound-footage, whose complexity requires the intervention of a second expressive plan, the one given by a voice that nourishes "like an umbilical cord" (see Michel Chion) the visual line. The off-screen commentary in the documentary goes through three different phases: the omniscient and aseptic voice of God of the 1930s newsreels, the self-narrating (often reflective) of the director in a form of documentary that becomes "observational" or "participatory" (50s-60s) and a more emphatic and direct voice, involved in the events, that the author defines as "performative" (70s-80s). Besides, Nichols identifies a "lyric-poetic" plane of the voice which, starting from the origins and up to the 1950s and 1960s, moves on images asynchronously, adding a new level of meaning that interacts with them dialectically. Today, in the contemporary documentary and in an author like Marcello, it would seem that it is precisely the latter category that is privileged.

Alma Mileto

Alma Mileto is a PhD student in Music and Spectacle at the Department of History, Anthropology, Religions, Art and Spectacle of Sapienza - University of Rome. She has written essays and articles on scientific magazines and collective volumes (including Fata Morgana, Necsus). He has collaborated with publications such as Costellazioni, Amadeus, alfabeta2. He co-edited the volume "Inside / Outside. The work of the imagination and the forms of editing "(il lavoro culturale, Siena 2017). She has been a speaker at several Italian and international conferences. She is part of the editorial staff of Fata Morgana Web. Her research project is titled “The archive image and its voice. The relationship between storytelling and archive in the contemporary Italian documentary”. The research aims to explore, in the contemporary Italian documentary, the relationship between the use of the archive and the forms of narration. This relationship will be investigated starting from the 'voice' of the archival image by identifying in the dialectic between image editing and sound editing the foundation of the reconfiguration of the archive into a storytelling

Silence, nature sounds and interaction between traditional composition and sound art: the aural dimension in “The Revenant”.

Armando Ianniello (Università degli studi di Udine)

The aural dimension in Revenant can be analyzed starting from the combination of musical elements defined in the score and additions generated through the sound art techniques. The interaction between these components creates a soundscape according to the theory formulated by the Canadian composer Raymond Murray Schafer, who based the soundscape theory on the relationships among keynote sounds, sounds signals and soundmarks. The collaboration between Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto is based on the experimental works on sound like Vrion, Insen, Revep, produced at the first decade of the 21st century. Sakamoto applies the principle of composing with Silence and nature sounds. These ideas are at the base of the aural dimension building in The Revenant music score.

The focus of the paper will consist mainly of analyzing where and how the silence and sound build a new way of composing music in cinema landscape.

Armando Ianniello

Armando Ianniello graduated with Gianmario Borio Professor with the thesis entitled Luchino Visconti’s Leopard with Nino Rota’s music: audiovisual dramaturgy’s aspects. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Udine in Musicology and Music History. He is conducting research at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice on the manuscripts of composer Nino Rota presenting several papers at International Conferences. He published a several papers about relationship between Jazz and Cinema entitled Umiliani, Trovajoli e Rota: the jazz film score of “Boccaccio ‘70” (Brepols, 2019) and other contributes based on film music and music criticism. He partecipated as a contributor at conjunt seminar Udine–Paris La critique en Italie et en France. Paradigmes, échanges, construction de valeur and won a residental grant of study in Fondazione Levi in Venice (January 2019)