Composers and sound designers have long treated commercial projects as they would film scores, but in miniature. It’s obvious to see why. Traditional scoring techniques do many things for film and other media. Scoring adds flavour; provides a sense of time and place; magnifies emotion; enhances activity and establishes mood. A mere hint of melody can even frame the present, foreshadow the future, or recall the past.
Scoring also serves the functional purpose of smoothing problematic transitions. It’s as if music possesses a sensory gravity that draws together disparate images, scenes, people and places. A deftly scored experience feels less a sequence of individual events and more like a cohesive, unified work.
Obviously, music is pretty magical stuff, and there is no question that for the modern storyteller, it remains a powerful tool.
Nevertheless, the proliferation of multiple, small portable screens, in tandem with the device-ification of all remaining objects, has changed (and will continue to change) how audiences navigate media. If our smart phones cause a distraction now, what happens when our homes and everything in them also become ‘smart’?... (more)
Clicking on the 'more' link will take you to the rest of my essay on the evolution of sonic artistry, first published by SEMIONAUT, September 20, 2011.
From Musical Score to Critical Noise: The Changing Role of Sound in Branding
Semionaut is an online magazine & knowledge resource offering insight into culture, media, creative industries, and brand strategy. Its publishers, editors, and contributors are professionally involved in the application of semiotic and cultural analysis to brand communication and design issues.
I have to admit being very happy to have been able to make a contribution to one of my favorite online journals, and I hope that after reading my article, Critical Noise readers will also check out the other articles on Semionaut. They're all quite fantastic.