Recorded theatre becomes cinema. Recorded music becomes…insert noun here.
Francis Ford Coppola discusses the way film sound has evolved
Professor Jim Al-Khalili explores what the past would have sounded like to our ancestors, and investigates how it is helping us to improve our acoustic designs of the future.
We hear what a singer in Coventry Cathedral would have sounded like before it was bombed in 1940, and how a Stonehenge ritual four thousand years ago had a bass-synthesiser effect going on that Depeche Mode would have been proud of!
Designers of modern concert venues are learning lessons from the layout of Stonehenge and we also learn how better acoustics in today’s buildings improve our quality of life, and can even save lives.
Producer: Jane Reck
An Alfi Media production for BBC Radio 4.
Ricky Leacock, speaking at Lincoln University, recalls shooting sound for Robert Flaherty’s film ‘Louisiana Story’ when the audio had to sent back for processing.
(for level 2 Audio for Visual Media)
(for level 2 Audio for Visual Media)
Record your surroundings, describe them with tags and comments, then upload the recordings to our map. From there, a permanent public record of everyday sounds – the UK SoundMap – will be made accessible to everyone, while being stored at the British Library and made available to soundscape experts.
The UK SoundMap is a new community-led survey in sound of the acoustic landscape (‘soundscape’) of Britain.
You can help answer these questions:
- What does the UK sound like today?
- What impact do these sounds have on our lives?
The SoundMap is a partnership project of the British Library and the Noise Futures Network. It uses widely available mobile technology in a novel way to capture and aggregate research-quality audio samples. Your recordings will be studied by experts from the Noise Futures Network and we shall post an overview of the research results once sufficient data has been collected and analysed.
Why collect soundscapes?
Britain’s sonic environment is ever changing. Urbanisation, transport developments, climate change and even everyday lifestyles all affect our built and natural soundscapes. The sounds around us have an impact on our well being. Some sounds have a positive or calming influence. Others can be intrusive and disturbing or even affect our health. By capturing sounds of today and contributing to the British Library’s digital
An out-take from the rushes of a documentary currently in production here at University of Lincoln, called ‘A Boatload of Wild Irishmen‘. Due to be screened at Galway Film Festival 2010. (Editor Chris Hainstock, Written by Prof Brian Winston, of our faculty)
© Mac Dara OCurradhin/Minerva Productions/University of Lincoln
Here Cinematographer Ricky Leacock (interviewed at Lincoln University) recalls a tale of when he went to film a performance of an unfinished work by Prokofiev. In 1937 the Russian authorities had banned Prokofiev from working on the project at the time. Prokofiev died in 1953.
Much later in the 1980’s Ricky used a rather unorthodox technique to get the best sound he could using early Digital Camcorders, to make a film of a new performance of this unfinished work in Siberia, alongside Conductor Sarah Cornwell (who found the manuscript in Prokofievs handwriting) and Victoria Leacock’s daughter.
Ricky had spent his life working on film 16 and 35mm. In his early career, sound was recorded on acetate discs, and sent back to the labs, where it was transferred to film.
See this clip \Sound took weeks to come back\
He witnessed over the years the changing face of sync sound recording. He went on to teach at MIT in New York.
Audio for Visual Media, it all began in 1894
The Dickson Experimental Sound Film is a film made by William Dickson in late 1894 or early 1895. It is the first known film with live-recorded sound and appears to be the first example of a motion picture made for the Kinetophone, the proto-sound-film system developed by Dickson and Thomas Edison.
(The Kinetophone—consisting of a Kinetoscope accompanied by a cylinder-playing phonograph—was not a true sound-film system as no attempt was made to synchronize image and audio throughout playback.) The film was produced at the “Black Maria,” Edison’s New Jersey film studio. There is no evidence that it was ever exhibited in its original format. Newly digitized and restored, it is the only surviving Kinetophone film.
In 2002 the discovery was made – The Library of Congress has discovered the missing sound-track for this film, which was at the Edison National Historical Site all along. It was a cylinder, broken in half, labelled “WKL Dickson Violin with Kineto” and it has recently been repaired, transcribed, and put in synch with the image. This short film now takes its place as the oldest existing sound film. Before the image starts, you can just hear someone saying “Are the rest of you ready? Go ahead!”
Walter Murch, a legendary and Oscar-winning sound designer and film editor, was personally involved in reuniting the film with its cylinder phonograph soundtrack for the first time since the 19th century.