Sound Theory (The Clouds)

Staged Listening

Sound Theory (The Clouds) unfolds at the confluence of music performance and cinematography as they both rely on the theatre as an infrastructure that modulates our engagement with sound. Theatre is here understood in its very elementary form, as a staging practice that organizes and synchronizes the attention of the spectator through its collective, architectural and technical protocols.

Both music performance and cinema are entwined with modes in which listening is informed by the spectatorial context of the theatre. As cinema scholar Morten Meldgaard states “moving pictures only became cinema when it encountered architecture. This observation refers to the movie-house as a spatio-temporal construct for the social venue of cinematic viewing”. 1 Music practice has been articulated with theatre through a long lineage, one of its fundamental affiliations dating to the birth of opera in the renaissance. This audio-visual association has influenced music making and auditory attention ever since.

Sound Theory (The Clouds) tackles the three-fold configuration of cinema, music and theatre by acting on the way sound becomes a site for the sensorial engagement of the spectator. This is acted upon on two layers: the synchronization of the aural and the visual, and the ways in which the acoustic is materially rendered. Through misalignments and shifts in the way these two layers are bound together, the work exposes how listening adjusts to the technical circuits that mediate our engagement with our environment.

Arne Deforce

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