THE SCHOOL OF SOUND began in 1998 as a single, four-day event aimed at exploring the creative use of sound in the arts and media, with a special emphasis on film and screen productions. It was responding to the limited opportunities to study sound, particularly for film. Our first event attracted over 200 people from 25 countries. The programme featured Walter Murch, Michel Chion, Piers Plowright, Mike Figgis, Laura Mulvey, Peter Kubelka and the Quay Brothers.
Since then, the SOS has expanded its programme to include weekend seminars, intensive practical workshops, lectures, ‘listening’ events, consultancies for professional practitioners and, of course, the international symposium held every two years.
We have published one book of transcripts from our first four meetings, Soundscape: The School of Sound Lectures 1998-2001, and are now preparing a second volume. And we have started to place on our website recordings of presentations made at the symposium. These can be found in the Archive section.
We are associated with the peer reviewed journal, The New Soundtrack, published by Edinburgh University Press. Over the last 12 years we have worked with festivals, film schools, universities, production companies, studios, galleries and arts organisations. Our partners have included Dolby, the British Film Institute, National Film and Television School, Arts Council of England, Napier University, ifs Köln, Scottish Screen and the BBC.
And, with a certain symbolism, having reacted against sound studies in higher education in 1998, the SOS is now part of EPAS – the European Postgraduate in Arts in Sound – along with a consortium of European educational and arts organisations. EPAS began in 2016 with a curriculum designed to teach sound as an art in itself and as part of other disciplines. The graduates will be practitioners working in both the arts and commercial creative industries.
Everything we do is about sound, about how we hear and how we listen, and where that takes us.
The School of Sound is produced and directed by Larry Sider and Diane Freeman Sider.
Larry Sider is a film editor and sound designer who has worked extensively in animation and documentary. His credits include Street of Crocodiles and Institute Benjamenta by the Brothers Quay, London by Patrick Keiller, and Mirrormask by Dave McKean. He is Co-editor of The New Soundtrack journal and was Head of Post-Production at the National Film and Television School (Beaconsfield, UK) from 2002-2006. He is currently the Head of the MA Sound Recording, Post-Production and Design at Goldsmiths (University of London). He lectures in the UK and abroad.
Diane Freeman Sider is a former television producer and was formerly Deputy Chief Executive of PACT (Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television). She is a qualified trainer and member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She also teaches disability equality to leading UK companies www.sider.co.uk.