Film Noise: There’s an interesting debate within the Academy Awards. I care very little about horse races, but this gets at the very nature of film sound. As Brice Ezell summarizes at Pop Matters, films that have prominent music other than the score aren’t eligible for best-score awards, which is a peculiar disincentive in cases like Clint Mansell’s work on Black Swan, which was disqualified because of the prominence of the music from the ballet that is the subject of the film. The concern this award season is, apparently, Antonio Sanchez’s music for Birdman. http://www.popmatters.com/column/190160-a-call-for-the-academy-to-reconceptualize-the-best-original-score-ca/
Tasting Sound: Jo Burzynska’s essay isn’t about synesthesia per se, but it is about the intermingling of senses. In “Wine and Music: Synergies Between Sound and Taste,” presented last year at the International Food Design Conference and Symposium in New Zealand, and just uploaded to academia.edu, Burzynska outlines scientific research currently employed in connecting the role of sound to the appreciation of wine specifically, and food more generally. The key phrase is “crossmodal correspondence.” There are many footnotes, and I’m just beginning to dig into them all. https://www.academia.edu/10715994/Wineandsound
Muting the Browser: There’s an experimental but easy to access tool within the Chrome browser that lets you mute any tab. I found it easy to turn on, but I had to reboot my computer before it took effect. Google recently added a tool to Chrome that shows a speaker on any tab that is emitting sound. Now you hover your cursor/mouse over the speaker and can click on it to turn mute it. http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/mute-noisy-tabs-in-google-chrome-1683215637
Collecting Bertoia: The label Important Records is doing a Kickstarter to raise $15,000 to purchase equipment to allow for the conservation of Harry Bertoia’s Sonambient (sound sculpture) tape reels, and to release previously unheard works. (Found thanks to Bruce Levenstein / Compact Robot.) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1983757235/help-archive-harry-bertoias-complete-sonambient-re
Acoustic Space: The big-news design article in the current New Yorker issue is the interview with Apple’s Jonathan Ive, but there’s also a detailed sound-design story by Alex Ross about how technology is improving the acoustics of restaurants and concert halls: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/wizards-sound
This first appeared in the February 17, 2015, edition of the free Disquiet email newsletter: tinyletter.com/disquiet.