the Sound of Skyfall

The sound of Skyfall

The SoundWorks Collection dives into the latest installment in the long-running saga based on Ian Fleming’s James Bond character.

Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty and Jarhead) brings the audience an entirely new storyline to the Bond character in “Skyfall”.

Exploring the sound and music of the film we talk with Scott Millan (Sound Re-recording Mixer), Greg Russell (Sound Re-recording Mixer),
Karen Baker Landers (Supervising Sound Editor), and Per Hallberg (Supervising Sound Editor).

see also

The Ecstasy and Dread of Sonic Flux: Simon Reynolds on David Toop

Hello. This is my first post to the blog, and I’d like to use it to tell you about a very interesting article I read recently in The Wire magazine (April 2012). It’s a piece by the music journalist, Simon Reynolds, on the writer and musician, David Toop. Toop has been known for quite some time for his antipathy to ‘taste tribalism’ – the way people occupy forms of music as if they were fortresses in which they can take shelter. He has emphasized the porosity of genres and the need to dismantle these fortresses of taste. In this, his work has a strong affinity with the theories of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, amongst which is the idea of the rhizome, based on plants that proliferate in a multiplicity of directions, open-endedly, unlike trees which are rigid, trunk-based plants. So, for example, the ‘idea of the band as a family’, Toop says, ought to be dismantled because it is too much an unshifting ‘tree-like command structure’. Instead, music should be made by temporary alliances of people, shifting collectives who gather together for a project, then disband, reforming in different configurations elsewhere. An important part of this way of working is to open yourself up to a whole host of new influences and inspirations. So, for example, post-punk musicians in the 70s-80s were ‘xenomaniacs’ ( lovers of otherness) and sought out exotic, obscure forms of music for ideas: field recordings from other traditions – religious, shamanistic, aboriginal, nomadic; environmental soundscapes; avant-garde musics. Toop has celebrated what he calls an ‘ocean’ of rhizomatically connected sounds.

This extends to Toop’s writing about music, too. He wanted to abandon a linearized, chronological account of music because this was fundamentally unimaginative. Music journalism should disorientate (‘deterritorialize’, in Deleuze and Guattari’s terms) as well as provide orientation. It should expose the reader to untimely, surprising connections. In fact, writing should be more like music, more rhapsodic. Writing can sample, can explore resonances.

Reynolds’ article is also intriguing in the things it says about the resonances between music and the digital. Since the 90s, Toop has become very cynical about what is happening to music when, in the ‘always-there plenitude’ of the internet, it is all so abundantly and easily available. Post-punks (pre-internet) had to put a lot of energy into discovering new things, now the whole process has been de-energized. As a consequence, Toop began to become pretty much allergic to music, developing ‘xenophobia’ (fear of the outside) rather than xenomania. Now the imperative for Toop seems to be to protect himself from the formlessness of the digital, to keep a space for himself in which he can cultivate his projects. Toop is particularly wary about the ‘exaltation of the virus’ in a lot of contemporary writing and those writers and musicians who celebrate contagion in culture. The problem is that contemporary capitalism is viral, infecting and marketing every new idea, every form of inventiveness. This is the negative, dark side of viral, digital culture – it throws us into a precarious existence where all our energies are harvested by capital. In fact, this thesis is very close to the argument that Rob Coley and I have put forward in our new book on digital culture, Cloud Time (published by Zero Books – we sent Reynolds an electronic copy a year or so ago, so I wonder if it helped him crystallize his views on this?).

The upshot for anyone interested in audio production is that we now live in a highly ambiguous, indistinct situation where we are torn between life in a blissful, ocean of sonic flows – a multiplicity of fascinating new forms – and a ‘non-specific dread’ with regards to the future, when every dream, every urge, every idea is instantly seized and sold on by powers we can’t control.

David Byrne “London’s tempo is 122.86 BPM”

David Byrne has recorded a unique ambient piece based on sounds he encountered in London.

see aroomforlondon

David Byrne is no stranger to unusual projects. The songwriter has always been intrigued by left field arts, with his recent output moving from world music to classical, commercial pop to experimental electronics.

Taking part in A Room for London, David Byrne agreed to create a sound piece using noises he encountered during two days in the city. Introducing the project, the one time Talking Head said: “London’s tempo is 122.86 beats per minute”.

Continuing, the songwriter explained how he approached the project. “I brought along some field recording gear to use while I was staying in the lovely pod/room/boat”.

“I went out during the day and recorded sounds that I thought might be useful and evocative. It turned out that most of the sounds—even the church organ in Southwark Cathedral—seemed to converge around a common rhythm. It’s a bit too good to be true—that every large city should have it’s own rhythm, but here it is. I let the sounds dictate the groove, the tempo, and then I simply played along.”

The results are gathered on new sound piece ‘Get It Away’

Alternative Tate Audio Tour

Liberate Tate: Alternative Tate Audio Tour

This is an invitation to collaborate on a sound artwork in response to BP’s sponsorship of Tate.

This is a call for proposals for a sound artwork to act as an alternative audio tour/guide for the Tate. We want to install a new acoustic territory inside the Tate, to create a sound artwork that can occupy the Tate space yet exist within a much broader conceptual landscape.

The final artwork will be available online for visitors to download onto MP3 players in advance of their visit to the Tate. ‘Alternative Tate’ will be exhibited in late June 2011. The deadline for submissions is April 11th 2011.

We welcome expressions of interest from artists working with sound: from Turner Prize winners, to guerilla mash-up DJs, from people writing radio plays, to sound engineers, from field recording specialists to musicians. Although we are framing this as an audio tour, we do not want to restrict the structure of the artwork to a linear, guided narrative – artists are free to interpret the frame of the tour as they see fit.

Liberate Tate has a history of challenging the corporate presence of large oil companies inside cultural institutions, a presence that we feel compromises culture and expression. The alternative audio tour will be part of a broader endeavor to stimulate debate around the relationship between art, oil and climate change.

The artwork could come into contact with issues and themes of control, democracy, censorship, Freedom of Information, voice, corporate power, ecological disasters, creative freedom or the role of museums and galleries in creating and historically capturing culture.

We can offer a fee of £1000 and a budget of £1000 to the sound artist/collectives selected, but no production facilities.

In your proposal please include:

* a sample of your previous work
* a written proposal of your ideas for this piece (approx. 500 words)


* April 11th – Proposal deadline
* April w/c 18th – Face to face meetings with those shortlisted
* April/May – Research, development and production
* Late June – Launch

Please email your digital proposals to (and write “Audio Submission” in the subject line) or if you wish to send cd’s or any physical material please post to:

Licence To Spill
7 Horselydown Lane
London, SE1 2LN


Further Info here