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Goldsmiths - University of London

The vagaries of sound fx: supposed sounding and listening through the history of recorded sound

Drever, John L.. 2009. 'The vagaries of sound fx: supposed sounding and listening through the history of recorded sound'. In: Theatre Noise. Central School of Speech and Drama, United Kingdom. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

The first documented use of recorded sound in the theatre was in 1890, an off-stage sound resembling that of a baby’s cry in Arthur Law’s The Judge On. With the burgeoning of the record industry in the 1940s, the application of recorded sound became common practice. Sound fx records were commercially released for use in performance and production.

Some sounds have been handed down from generation to generation, from production to production, jumping genre from, say, radio drama to pantomime (dare we mention the BBC seagulls?). Through re-use they become genericised as reliant, efficient and unambiguous sonic conveyor of a supposed cause or atmosphere. Whilst other less successful sound fx are cast only once, consigned to the archive. They are non-transferable, unable to transcend the context and time of their initial airing. With the aid of audio examples spanning more than 70s years of its practice, this talk will explore the vagaries of the commercial sound effect, and what it has to tell us about sounding and listening in theatre and beyond.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Unit for Sound Practice Research

Dates:

DateEvent
2009Published

Event Location:

Central School of Speech and Drama, United Kingdom

Item ID:

7861

Date Deposited:

05 Apr 2013 21:05

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 09:34

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/7861
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