27-30 April 2011
Southbank Centre, London
DIANE FREEMAN Project Producer
LARRY SIDER Project Director
MARK UNDERWOOD Technical Supervisor
TAMARA VAN STRIJTHEM Front of House Manager
The Voice And Its Mysteries
Radio producer, Piers Plowright, considers what vocal storytelling does to us and how it does it. With clips from radio and from film soundtracks. Sometimes you may not know which is which!
The Picturesque of Sound: Sound, Scene and Theatres of Reception –
Pictures are never experienced silently and their full meaning is contingent on the sonic time-space of the observing body, which continuously breathes, swallows, beats and hums, while the psychoacoustic mind aurally processes kinetic acoustic circumstance and auditory thought. This session considers live theatre as a model for understanding the aural space of imagery, looking at changing audience and production practices from the wooden ‘o’s of Elizabethan London, through sounding and then the silencing of melodramatic underscoring and the changing nature of sound effects as they moved from a classical to a modern acoustemology.
STEPHEN DEUTSCH introduces The New Soundtrack journal.
True or False
Fred Frith talks about his work in the field of documentary film, contrasting it with his fiction film experiences and reflecting, among other things, on different approaches to creating atmosphere and supporting character.
Listening At the Pictures
Scanner presents a variety of works that use the moving image as a blend of the aural and the visual.
RANDY THOM via videolink from Beijing
Screenwriting for Sound
What are some ways a writer for a film or video project uses sound to help tell the story?
JENNIFER BIZLEY and ANDREW KING
Merging What You Hear and What You See – From Nerve Cells To the Movie Theatre
Our ears and eyes provide us with independent information about sound and sight. But how is this information seamlessly combined to create our unified perception of the world? Using situations where auditory and visual information are put in conflict, we will explore how the resulting illusory percepts can inform our understanding of how the brain integrates multisensory signals and discuss the neural processing that is thought to be involved.
A Filmmaker Who Works In Music
Jones dissects his approach for analysing a narrative scene for music, integrating his musical interpretation with the director’s vision.
JO ANN KAPLAN with ANNABELLE PANGBORN and GRAHAM HADFIELD
What is sync sound? When we talk about sound on or with film, what do we mean by ‘in sync’? In discussion with Annabelle Pangborn and Graham Hadfield, Jo Ann Kaplan uses her films, Onetwothree and Watching Paint Dry, to investigate the fundamental association between sound, music and image.
Sound: a language beyond ‘language’.
“Reality, once conceptualised, is no longer ‘reality’,” says Robert Bresson … Which is perhaps why I use sound to try and write the real world.
Sound Spaces are not just spaces in which sound can be heard. Rather, it is sound itself that creates the space and its special qualities. Therefore the experience of hearing not only enables us to experience the space around us, it can also make it possible to experience physical space as an ‘inner’ space. Discussion of my work (laboratory research in the field of acoustical perception, sonic sculpture and architecture as well as urban interventions) will show the potentials of sensual experience that we are barely conscious of because they are either lost or have remained unknown as possibilities.
GASTON KABORÉ in conversation with ROD STONEMAN
Filmmaker (director of Wend Kuuni, Buud Yam), writer, screenwriter and formerly head of the National Film Board of Burkina Faso and the PanAfrican Federation of Filmmakers. Gaston will be discussing his films with Rod Stoneman, exploring the influences that create “the fragile equilibrium that exists between images, sound and music”.
Gaston introduces his film, Wend Kuuni, at the BFI Southbank on Friday, 29 April.
Do The Eisenstein Thing
Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing in the light of Eisenstein’s ideas on the montage of music, image and sound in cinema.
MEET THE SPEAKERS
An opportunity to ask further questions in an informal gathering in the Purcell Room Foyer.
GILLIAN MOORE and SCANNER
Moore has been besotted with the music of Varese ever since leading projects in London Schools in the early 1980s, introducing young people to this austere and yet hugely appealing music. Varese was fifty years ahead of his time, imagining electronic music a generation before it was possible. She will talk specifically about some of Varese’s music, as well as about some of the musicians it has influenced: from Zappa to Birtwistle and Kaija Saariaho. In discussion with Scanner.
Two Or Three Things We Thought We Knew About Silent Film
Once Upon A Time On the Soundtrack
Taking the opening sequence of Sergio Leone’s’ Once Upon a Time in the West as a starting-point – its origins, development, and its many references to film culture – this talk explores the creative potential of post-synchronisation: not as an afterthought, or a piece of necessary tidying up, but as an example of ‘sound design’ in its own right. Leone once said that “sound is 40% of the film experience – at least”. Clint Eastwood has added that this was one of the key lessons he learned from working in Italy. The talk explores some of the implications of this insight today.
CLOSING REMARKS – LARRY SIDER and DIANE FREEMAN
Rick Altman is Professor of Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa, where several of his graduate students have devoted attention to film sound (Caryl Flinn, Jim Lastra, Steve Wurtzler, Alison McCracken, Jay Beck, David Helvering, Jennifer Fleeger, Michael Slowik, Andrew Ritchey). In addition to his work on film sound (Cinema/Sound, Sound Theory/Sound Practice, The State of Sound Studies, The Sound of Early Cinema, Silent Film Sound), he has published extensively on film genres (Genre: The Musical, The American Film Musical, Film/Genre), and on narrative theory (A Theory of Narrative). His research has been supported by fellowships from the Cornell Society for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation. His book on Silent Film Sound was voted one of the top five film studies books of the last decade in a 2007 poll conducted by Screening the Past. Altman’s books and articles have been translated into eighteen languages.
JENNIFER BIZLEY is a neuroscientist based at the Ear Institute, University College London, where she holds a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship and leads the ‘Sensory Perception’ research group. She has an MA from the University of Cambridge and was a D.Phil. student at the University of Oxford. After her doctorate she worked as a Post-Doctoral Scientist and Research Fellow within the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. In 2009 Jennifer was awarded a L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship which funded a period of research at Boston University and the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard.
Jennifer’s research examines how the activity patterns of nerve cells in the sensory areas of the brain underlie our perception of the world around us. Her previous research, at the University of Oxford, documented the existence of connections between early sensory processing areas and was amongst the first to demonstrate that nerve cells in auditory cortex respond to visual stimulation. More recent research at Boston University has explored how visual and auditory signals are integrated by human observers, and to what extent we are able to ‘ignore’ irrelevant sound bursts or light flashes. Current research interests include examining how and when visual information is integrated in the brain for the purpose of ‘hearing better’.
Writer, theatre sound designer and composer; Professor of Sound at Central School of Speech and Drama.
Ross Brown trained in Fine Art at Newcastle Polytechnic in the early 1980s before switching media from paint to sound. He worked as a professional musician, sound operator, composer and sound designer for many years in the UK performance industries, particularly within theatre. He now writes about sound, music, noise and the bodies with which we hear them. His book, Sound was published by Palgrave Macmillan as the first of the Readers in Theatre Practice series in 2009. He is Professor of Sound and Dean of Studies at Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. www.noisegarden.net
Christopher Frayling was until recently Rector of the Royal College of Art and Chairman of Arts Council England. An historian, critic and award-winning broadcaster on network television and radio, he has published eighteen books on aspects of historical and contemporary culture – notably on film and design: his most recent books include Ken Adam – the art of production design, Once Upon a Time in Italy, Bill Gold Posterworks and On Craftsmanship. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at the Royal College of Art, a Fellow of Churchill College Cambridge and an 1851 Commissioner. He is also a Governor of the British Film Institute. In 2000, he was knighted for ‚services to art and design education’. Sir Christopher has been, in the past, Chairman of the Design Council, Chairman of the Royal Mint Design Committee, Chairman of the Crafts Study Centre and has served on the boards of numerous arts institutions.
His television series include The Art of Persuasion (which won Gold at the New York Film and Television Festival), Movie Profiles, The Face of Tutankhamun, Strange Landscape and Nightmare – the birth of horror. His radio work for the BBC includes the series America – the movie, Britannia – the film, Print the Legend, Film Cities and the historical play, The Rime of the Bounty (which won a Sony Award as the best script of the year). He has also contributed the commentaries to numerous DVD releases, including the films of Sergio Leone, and Cocteau’s La Belle et La Bete and Clayton’s, The Innocents, for the BFI.
Fred Frith is a songwriter, composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist best known for the reinvention of the electric guitar that began with Guitar Solos in 1974. He learned his craft as both improviser and composer playing in rock bands, notably Henry Cow, and creating music in the recording studio. Much of his compositional output has been commissioned by choreographers and filmmakers, but his work has also been performed by Ensemble Modern, Hieronymus Firebrain, Arditti Quartet, Ground Zero, Robert Wyatt, Bang on a Can All Stars, Concerto Köln, and Rova Sax Quartet, among many others.
Film music credits include Orlando, The Tango Lesson and Yes (Sally Potter); Gods, Gambling and LSD (Peter Mettler); Rivers and Tides and Touch the Sound (Thomas Riedelsheimer); and Drei Gegen Troja (Hussi Kutlucan). Fred continues to perform internationally, most recently with Lotte Anker, Evelyn Glennie, Chris Cutler, John Zorn, Eye to Ear (a septet performing selections from his film music) and his latest band, Cosa Brava, whose first CD—Ragged Atlas—was recently released to critical acclaim on the Intakt label. Fred is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzels’ award-winning documentary film Step Across the Border. He currently teaches in the world-renowned music department of Mills College in Oakland, California and at the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland.
“a folk musician who makes miniatures of the world around him using scraps torn from corners of the map”
“redefines the possible uses of the guitar and makes traditional discourse irrelevant”
“will make your jaw drop, your feet dance, and your neighbours move”
“a nuts and bolts way to heaven”
I remember seeing Hitchcock’s Psycho when I was 11, video-taped off the television without telling my parents. I didn’t know what it was, other than it was on really late, had a great title, and it probably wasn’t appropriate for me. I didn’t want to watch it alone, so I watched it with my friend from next-door. When his mum came over the next day, dragged me into the street by my ear and started with “I have a bone to pick with you!”, I had no idea what she meant.
While I was transfixed and awestruck by the film, it turned out my friend was terrified and beset by nightmares – admittedly not good for him, but also not good for my ear. I’m still awestruck by what film can do.
After PhD studies in music composition and being lucky enough to win a few awards, I made the strange decision to get a ‘real’ job, spending time working in Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida. The nights and early hours were reserved for composing. Getting work composing music for short films and the effects of sleep deprivation prompted me to ditch the real job and focus on what I truly love, in an unreal and brilliant job.
I am currently studying composing for film at the National Film and Television School, supported by scholarships from the Alan Hawkshaw Foundation and the PRS Foundation. I’m not getting any more sleep than before though. www.grahamhadfield.com
In 1967, Jones began his life in music at the Royal Academy of Music in London and afterwards worked for five years for the BBC on reviews of radio and television music. In 1977, he graduated from the University of York with a Masters Degree in Film and Media Music. At the National Film and Television School, Jones was the first student to specialise in film music composition. During this time he wrote the music for twenty-three student projects followed by the Academy award-winning short, The Dollar Bottom.
He was brought to the attention of John Boorman, who was making his Arthurian epic, Excalibur (1981). Although mostly tracked with classical music, Boorman also needed original dramatic cues for certain scenes. Excalibur had a modest budget so Boorman commissioned the up-and-coming Jones.
Excalibur brought Jones to the attention of Jim Henson, who was making The Dark Crystal (1982), and looking for a composer who was young and eager to work in the experimental, free-wheeling way which Henson preferred. The resultant score is an expansive, multi-faceted work, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, augmented by inventive use of Fairlight and Synclavier synthesizers, as well as period instruments like crumhorn, recorder, and the double-flageolet. Jones reunited with Henson for the 1986 fantasy musical Labyrinth.
Reflecting that his complex, symphonic score for The Dark Crystal garnered little notice, Jones began to re-think his entire approach to dramatic scoring. Around the mid-80s, Jones’ work became more electronic-based eschewing identifiable themes in favor of mood-enhancing synth chords and minimalist patterns. Scores like Angel Heart (1987), Mississippi Burning (1988) and Sea of Love (1989) are typical of his output during this period. Jones’ most popular success came later in 1992 with his score for The Last of the Mohicans.
He became active in television in the 90s, with orchestral scores for several Hallmark productions, including Gulliver’s Travels, Merlin and Cleopatra. He also provided a jazzy, 30s-style score for Richard Loncraine’s Richard III (1995). In 1997 Jones worked for the first time with Ridley Scott, providing an electronic/orchestral/rock-flavoured soundtrack for G.I. Jane. In the following years he scored The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Notting Hill and From Hell.
In 2010, Jones completed scoring My Hunter’s Heart, a docu-drama about the Khomeini San Tribe. This was the first film score to be recorded in its entirety in Cape Town, South Africa. He continues to teach extensively across Europe.
Gaston J-M Kaboré was born on April 23rd, 1951 in Bobo Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso. He began his studies of History at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and continued them at Sorbonne University in Paris, where he undertook a doctorate before entering l’Ecole Supérieure d’Etudes Cinématographiques where he gained a diploma in production and directing. He has directed more than twenty films for cinema and television, including in particular four feature-length films that met with remarkable success both on a national and international scale. His first fiction film, Wend Kuuni (1982), has been well received worldwide, obtaining a large number of awards and prizes, in particular the César award in France in March 1985. His last feature-length film, Buud Yam (1997), received the Yennenga Grand Prix at the Festival of Ouagadougou in 1997 and was selected the same year for the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes International Film Festival. He has been a member of the official jury of the greatest international festivals of cinema in the world: Locarno (1989), Venice (1994), Cannes (1995), Berlin (2009), FESPACO (2009).
Parallel to his career as a filmmaker, Kaboré has run several national and international institutions including the National Film Board of Burkina Faso (1977-1988) and the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI, 1985-1997).
In addition, in 1991, he co-founded Screens of Africa, a bilingual magazine (French/English) on African cinema of which he was the publishing manager until 1998.
In February 2003, he founded Imagine, a training institute to up-grade the skills of African professionals working in the fields of cinema and television; more than 640 professionals have been trained at Imagine so far.
Apart from the scripts of his own films, Kaboré has co-written the scripts of several fiction films and animated movies.
In 2008, he finished his first novel, Il Principle Della Città di Sabbia, co-written with two Italian writers, Pierdomenico Baccalario and Enzo D’Alo.
JO ANN KAPLAN
Film-maker, film editor, artist, teacher
I was born in New York City and learned to draw and paint from Year Zero. Earliest Memory: sitting in the park beneath the Triborough Bridge, watching my mother paint a watercolor of this WPA landmark. I went to the High School of Music and Art, discovered Greenwich Village and Abstract Expressionism. Then Hunter College, smack in the middle of Manhattan, round the corner from the Frick Collection. I discovered Minimalism and Marcel Duchamp, dance by Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton, and avant-garde films in the Peter Kubelka-designed cinema of Anthology Film Archive. I bargained making a film of my own in lieu of writing a thesis for my Masters in Fine Arts – a Dracula movie. Hollis Frampton suggested I look at Murnau and Dreyer’s vampires. I did. They stuck. Editing the Dracula movie was a revelation of magic. I was hooked.
With Dracula under my arm, I took a slow boat to Europe, finishing up via the Orient Express in Paris. Movie Heaven – every film in the universe all day and all night. Dracula played festivals in Toulon, Paris and London. Getting a toe in the Editing Door took years and a freak accidental introduction to the editor at a commercials production company. I was an unpaid trainee tea-person, doing trace-and-paint for animation by night, learning to use a moviola by day. I found a warehouse on the Thames for £1.50/week. I got an ACTT union ticket. I painted on Sundays and the watercolors got bigger. There was no going back.
My career path has been as mixed and circuitous as my ambitions. I have edited and directed films and tv programmes across a broad range of subjects and formats, including animation, dance, fiction and experimental films, as well as documentaries and arts programmes, which have been broadcast on Channel Four, the BBC, WNET (New York), Arte and other European outlets, and at film festivals world-wide.
My directing work includes a prize-winning fiction short, a ground-breaking arts programme written by Angela Carter, and two experimental films of unusual format and content, a dance film, and an on-going self-portrait project in watercolor and videotape, finally coming full-circle and back to art. A DVD of my work, BODY OF WORK: Five films by Jo Ann Kaplan, was released at the end of 2010. It is distributed by LUX and can be purchased at http://shop.lux.org.uk.
I now teach film editing at the National Film and Television School at Beaconsfield, and I am an occasional lecturer at Goldsmiths College, the University of Kent, The Royal College of Art, and Westminster University.
Andrew King is a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford. He holds a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship, is Professor of Neurophysiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, and is a Fellow of Merton College. He has a BSc in physiology from King’s College London and was a PhD student at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. He then moved to the University of Oxford where he has held a series of research fellowships from the Science and Engineering Research Council, the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine and the Wellcome Trust. He has also worked in the USA as a visiting scientist at the Eye Research Institute in Boston and was awarded the Wellcome Prize in Physiology in 1990. He is on the editorial board of a number of scientific journals, is Director of the University of Oxford’s doctoral training programme in neuroscience and teaches undergraduate and graduate students.
Andrew co-directs the Auditory Neuroscience Group at the University of Oxford. His research employs an interdisciplinary approach, which combines behavioural, physiological and anatomical methods, to investigate the neural basis of auditory perception. This includes examining how auditory and visual signals are combined and integrated in the brain. He is particularly interested in the plasticity of auditory processing and his research has revealed a remarkable capacity for the brain to adapt at different ages and over different timescales to changes in its sensory inputs. While focussing on the fundamental question of how information about the auditory world is represented in the brain in a dynamic and adaptive fashion, his research also holds out the promise of generating advances in the treatment and rehabilitation of the hearing impaired. Andrew has recently co-authored (with Jan Schnupp and Israel Nelken) a book entitled Auditory Neuroscience: Making Sense of Sound and has published around 140 scientific articles.
Born 1938 (Austria). Studied architecture at the Technical University in Vienna. Lived from 1963 until in Paris, from 1968 until 1983 in New York City. Worked first with the Department of New York City Planning, than as Associate Professor for Urban Design Studies at New York University. Moved 1983 to Berlin. 1987 – 2005 Professor for Media Design and Media Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
Awards: City of Vienna Prize for Plastic Arts,1999. Award for media art, State of Lower Austria, 2002. Prize of Honour of the Deutscher Klangkunst-Preis, 2002. F.F.Runge Prize, Berlin, 2007.
Since the late 1960s Bernhard Leitner has built and composed sound-spaces dealing with new modes of reading and perceiving space. Leitner declares sound a building material and uses this scuptural-architectural material to compose and to shape form.
His sound-spaces create new kinds of aesthetic perceptions. Besides the haptic sound qualities such as being light, massive, and possessing volume, the three-dimensional movements of sounds shape new spaces of time. Vision and hearing are and become interrelated in very different ways. To experience the transcendent and interchangeable nature of our senses makes us aware of the complexities underlying the concept of space.
The scale of Leitners work reaches from large permanent urban installations (Sound-Space Technical University Berlin; Sound Field 1020, Vienna) to body-related sound objects (Sound Chair, Vertical Space for one Person, Sound Suit, Portable Space) and sound scuptures (Serpentinata, Moving Heads, Cascade, Pulsating Silence).
Exhibitions (selected list): P.S.1 New York,1979. Für Augen und Ohren, Akademie der Künste, Berlin,1980. Kunsthalle Bremen, ProMusica Nova,1980. documenta 7 Kassel,1982. Ars electronica Linz, 1982. Biennale Venedig,1986. Mediale Hamburg,1993. Sonambiente, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 1996 and 2006. Klangkunstforum, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 1999. Kunsthalle Bremen, 2001. Sonambiente, Berlin 1996 and 2006, Künstlerhaus Wien, 2002. ZKM Karlsruhe, 2002. Donaueschingener Musiktage, 1999, 2003 and 2009. Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 2008. KOLUMBA Museum, Cologne, 2010.
Recent publications: museum für gegenwart 12, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Nationalgalerie Berlin 2008 and DUMONT 2008. P.U.L.S.E. SPACES IN TIME (with DVD), ZKM – Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe and HATJE CANTZ, 2008. www.bernhardleitner.com
MBE, Head of Contemporary Culture at Southbank Centre, London
Gillian Moore is a key figure in contemporary music and music education in the UK. She joined Southbank Centre as Head of Contemporary Culture in 2006, before which time she had a long association with both Southbank Centre and the London Sinfonietta. She was the Artistic Director of the London Sinfonietta from 1998 to 2006, combining that post with running the audience development programme, Inside Music, at the Royal Festival Hall and being a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music. In 1998 she was also Artistic Director of the ISCM World Music Days in Manchester. She was Head of Education at the Southbank Centre from 1993 to 1998, developing an approach that integrated educational and artistic activity. From 1983 to 1993, she was the Education Officer at London Sinfonietta, the first such post of its kind in the UK, and she initiated work with contemporary music in schools, prisons and in the wider community. During her career, Gillian has collaborated with many of the great musical and artistic figures of our age, from Luciano Berio to Radiohead, from Harrison Birtwistle to Squarepusher, from Steve Reich to Akram Khan. She has commissioned many significant new works and created opportunities for artists to reach the widest possible audiences with their work.
In 1991 Gillian was awarded the Sir Charles Groves Award for services to British music, in 1992 she was created an Honorary Member of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and in 1994 she was awarded an MBE for services to music and education. She received the Association of British Orchestras Award in 1998 for contribution to British orchestral life, and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 2000. She was made an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2003 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Brunel University in 2006. Gillian regularly writes and broadcasts about music. In particular, she is a regular contributor to BBC Television’s coverage of The Proms. Gillian is a council member of the Royal College of Music and of the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Kaye Mortley is Australian by birth and since 1981 has been an independent radio documentary maker, based in Paris, producing for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, France Culture and for other state broadcasting companies in Europe and elsewhere.
Among her academic awards, she holds a Docteur-ès-lettres from the University of Strasbourg. Her radio features have won numerous international awards, including recently the 2006 Grand Prix de L’IRIB (documentary) for Going Back, and in 2005, a Prix Italia for her documentary, A Stranger in Alsace. She has taught and given seminars in Sydney, Helsinki, Stockholm, Paris and Arles.
She describes her interests as including “crafting real sound into something one might call ‘fiction’”, “making radio films, mind movies” and “listening to ‘angels passing’ – those moments where – all of a sudden – a silence falls.” One of her favourite quotations is by the film maker, Robert Bresson: “Le reel brut ne fera jamais du vrai” (“Raw reality does not make for truth”).
Annabelle Pangborn is Head of Editing, Sound and Music at the National Film and Television School (UK). She trained as a singer and composer at the London College of Music and with English National Opera. She later went on to graduate from the Film School at the Royal College of Art, specialising in Music and Sound for Film. She has created sound tracks for award-winning dramas, dance films and animation, both for broadcast TV and cinema. Recent credits include The Death of Klinghoffer, Penny Woolcock’s acclaimed feature length film of the opera by John Adams, and Pleasureland, Channel 4’s confrontational feature length drama on teenage sex directed by Brian Percival. She has also worked with award winning directors Beeban Kidron, John Henderson, Simon Pummell, John Dower and Sara Sugarman. She has been awarded the Fuji Zonal Scholarship Award for her soundtrack for Ben Hopkins’ film, The Holy Time, and the Kodak Short Film Award for her short film, Stung.
Piers Plowright was born in London in 1937 and spent a lot of his childhood listening to the radio and going to the near-by Everyman Cinema, where he saw the classics of European, American and Asian cinema. After a time teaching in Borneo, Iran, and the Sudan, he joined the BBC in 1968, working first for the overseas service and then moving to the Radio Drama Department where he discovered the power of the radio documentary and feature. Since 1977, he has been making radio programmes about real people and events but which often make use of the techniques and structure of drama. He has also been much influenced by film and its use of sound.
Piers has won two Italia Prizes and an RAI prize for his radio documentaries and a Gold Award for documentaries in the 1997 Sony Awards and ditto in 1968 for ‘Services to Radio’. In November 2006, he was the winner of the Audio Luminary Award at the Third Coast Radio Festival in Chicago. He retired from the BBC in 1997 but continues to listen, look and lecture.
Robert Robertson is a composer and filmmaker. He has an MFA in Film Production from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Montreal. His music/films include Oserake and The River That Walks, Assault on Time, and Trace Elements, and he has composed the operas The Kingdom, The Cathars and Empedocles.
His book Eisenstein on the Audiovisual, published by I.B. Tauris in 2009, is the result of his doctoral research at King’s College London, UK. Robertson won the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation’s prestigious And/or Book Award for Best Moving Image Book. Francine Stock, who chaired the judging panel said, “Robert Robertson achieves the near-impossible, shedding fresh light on Eisenstein without loading him with ideology. Like the work it describes, this book is symphonic; it draws together strong influences and forces around Eisenstein into a compelling and cogent narrative – at once enjoyable, provocative.”
Composer and plasticien sonore
Traversing, disturbing and redefining the ‘experimental terrain between sound, space, image and form’, Robin Rimbaud, aka Scanner, is a conceptual sonic artist whose aural landscape integrates anything from sonic snapshots of the city to the nomadic fragments of mobile phone conversations.
Since 1991 he has been intensely active in sound art, producing concerts, compositions, installations and recordings, the albums Mass Observation (1994), Delivery (1997) and The Garden is Full of Metal (1998), hailed by critics as innovative and inspirational works of contemporary electronic music. He has performed and created works in many of the world’s most prestigious spaces including SFMOMA USA, Hayward Gallery London, Pompidou Centre Paris, Tate Modern & Tate Britain London, Palais des Beaux-Arts Lille, Kunsthalle Vienna, Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, Hanoi Opera House Vietnam and the Royal Opera House London. Scanner is committed to working with cutting edge practitioners and has collaborated with artists from every imaginable genre: Bryan Ferry, Laurie Anderson, Carsten Nicolai, Radiohead, The Royal Ballet, Random Dance, Wayne McGregor, Monte Carlo Ballet, Neville Brody, Hussein Chalayan, Shelley Fox, Douglas Gordon, Dangermouse, Michael Nyman, Luc Ferrari, Mike Kelley, Derek Jarman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Salvatore Sciarrino and Peter Sellars, amongst others.
In 2004, his Sound Surface work was the debut Tate Modern sound-art commission, in 2005 he composed Europa 25, a newly commissioned National Anthem for Europe and, in 2007, he presented Gravesend with Steve McQueen at the 52nd Venice Biennial. in 2008 he scored the hit musical comedy Kirikou & Karaba in Paris. Working with Philips Electronics he sound-designed the Philips Wake-Up Light, a lamp to wake you up with natural light and sound, and in 2010 sound-designed the Punkt telephone with Jasper Morrison.
His work can be heard on permanent display in the Science Museum London (Sound Curtains), the Raymond Poincaré hospital in Garches, France as part of the bereavement suite (Channel of Flight), The Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum London and the Northern Neuro Disability Services Centre in Newcastle UK (Turning Light).
His BBC radio production of Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice won the prestigious Prix Marulic Award and in 1999 he won First Prize Neptun Water Prize for his installation Wishing Well in Germany. In 2009 he became Visiting Professor at University College Falmouth UK, and Visiting Professor at Le Fresnoy National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Tourcoing France. Scanner describes himself as a ‘Minimalist anti-hero with an attraction towards alien activities in creativity.’ www.scannerdot.com
Rod Stoneman is Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, National University of Ireland Galway. Previously, he was Chief Executive of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and a Deputy Commissioning Editor in the Independent Film and Video Department at Channel 4 Television.
Randy Thom started his career in radio and music recording before making the transition to film in 1975, when he was hired on Apocalypse Now (1979) as a sound effects recordist. Since then, Thom has worked in a wide variety of creative capacities within the sound department in over seventy five films. For example, in addition to being the music mixer on Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Thom was also the production sound mixer for all the footage shot in the US. Since 1983, Thom has been on staff as a sound designer and mixer at Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Sound facility. He is part of a small group of sound designers that are following in Walter Murch and Ben Burtt’s footsteps in the continuing work of turning motion picture sound into an art form and not simply a series of technical processes. His work on a film often begins before the film has started shooting, and becomes an integral part of the storytelling and emotional impact of the film. Randy has been part of Robert Zemeckis’ core creative team ever since Forrest Gump (1994). Through his career Thom has worked with such top Hollywood talents as Walter Murch, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Brad Bird, Tim Burton, Chris Columbus, Mel Brooks and the Farrelly Brothers. Thom has received two Academy Awards for sound, The Right Stuff (1983), and The Incredibles (2004). He has fourteen Oscar nominations.
FOR THE SCHOOL OF SOUND
LARRY SIDER, Director
Larry Sider is a film editor and sound designer who has worked for thirty years in documentary, animation and fiction. Most recently, he created soundtracks for the Quay Brothers’ The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, and Dave McKean’s Mirrormask. Past projects include Patrick Keiller’s London, Robinson in Space and Robinson in Ruins, and Street of Crocodiles and Institute Benjamenta by the Quays. From 2000-2003, he consulted on LISTEN, an EU funded research project led by IRCAM, the University of Vienna and AKG Electronics, devising new software to create audio-augmented environments in gallery and museum spaces. He has taught at numerous schools including the Royal College of Art, IFS (Köln), European Film College (Ebeltoft), California lnstitute of the Arts, Maurits Binger lnstitute, Surrey lnstitute of Art and Design and Bournemouth Media School. He is co-editor of The New Soundtrack journal. He was previously Head of Post-Production at the National Film and Television School (UK). Since 2010, he has been a consultant on Imaginox’s new e-learning platform for film editing.
With Diane Freeman, Sider has elevated the profile of sound in screen production through the biennial symposium, the School of Sound, an international four-day event exploring the use of sound in the arts and media. From these meetings came the book, Soundscape: The School of Sound Lectures 1998-2001, which he co-edited.
DIANE FREEMAN SIDER, Project Producer
Diane Freeman Sider is a former television production manager and producer with experience working in current affairs and music, animation, arts and documentary productions. She is producer of the School of Sound and co-editor of Soundscape: The School of Sound Lectures 1998 -2001. Diane spent several years working for PACT (the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television), the trade association for independent producers in the UK, where she was initially employed as Training Manager then promoted to Deputy Chief Executive. In this role she had specific responsibility for representing companies in the Nations and Regions of the UK and also took part in several Government reviews. She is a qualified trainer and facilitator with Associate Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has experience working for a wide variety of clients including BBC, Buckingham Palace, Lloyds Bank Group, KPMG, and the Arts Council of England. Diane also belongs to the Broadcasters’ and Creative Industries’ Disability Network, a forum working to increase the numbers of disabled people on screen and employed in the media.
MARK UNDERWOOD, Technical Supervisor
Mark Underwood is a sound designer, producer and mixer working in film, television and live performance. After studying Organ with Dr H. Gabb, organist of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, he began his career working in theatre sound design. He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1988.
ln 1990 he became head of sound for Rambert Dance Company, having the privilege of working with and recording commissioned works by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Morton Subotnik, amongst others. Whilst working for Rambert, Mark composed the score for the Olivier-Award winning Winnsboro’ Cotton Mill Blues choreographed by Siobhan Davies. The work used a synthesis of live music and specially recorded and treated sound gathered from industrial settings in Manchester.
Wishing to pursue his interest in creating and exploring the art of sound design for picture, Mark enrolled in an MA course in film sound post production at the National Film and Television School. He graduated with distinction in 2005.
Since graduating Mark has set up his own company, Underwood Design Ltd, which provides sound design services for television, film and music production, He has created sound designs for amongst others, Granada Television, CTN London, Mentorn Television, as well as the experimenal filmmaker Chris Petit and the award winning animation short Stand Up.