Sense of Sound: Assignment 2

Sense of Sound: Trance Music

Woodstock

Loud amplifiers, screaming girls, fainting fans, and an overcrowded arena – the magic of four boys from Liverpool that brought about a revolution that dissolved boundaries and changed the face of music forever. The age of Beatles spearheaded the Rock ‘n’ Roll revolution to create an era of the rocking sixties lasting from the alleys of wet Liverpool to scintillating Hamburg to a hippie California and forming an age of spiritualising the west on the banks of river Ganges at Rishikesh. The Sixties have seen it all. The Rock ‘n’ Roll era saw the formation of legendary bands with the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Rolling Stones, Aapro Freddie’s Queen and many others. These bands weren’t only another brick in the wall but led to a stairway to heaven which went down in history to be etched as the greatest artists ever to grace the music industry.

Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now. The guitars fell silent, the drums lost their beat, and microphones lost their vocals. Headbangers replaced by intoxicated teenagers moving their bodies to the beat and lip syncing the occasional lyrics. Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now. Standard of music dropping faster than the “drop” created by this noise people call EDM in pop culture. Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now.

Electronic Dance Music, EDM, “techno”, “house” or “chill” as they call it has brought about a revolution so big that the last time this happened people called it the music of satan also known as the age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. For the first time after the sixties, when the world has moved on to more materialistic elements, EDM is introduced as an element of change.

Noise for some, big bucks for some. The EDM music industry right now has a networth of $6.2 billion which is projected to increase many folds in the coming years. Popular artists like Avicii, Tiesto, Hardwell and Skrillex make big bucks for each gig they play and are jetsetters around the world for over 300 days a year. Big artists and even bigger chequebooks, the largest annual electronic music festival in the world Tomorrowland takes place in Belgium. It is where the whole EDM fraternity comes together over a weekend for the biggest performances causing the organizers of festivals like Coachella, Woodstock and Glastonbury to shame.

The music industry is not only about music anymore, it’s much more. From throwing cakes and champagne towards the crowd to blasting them with CO2 Jets, it’s all about the hype and the high. Merchandise hitting the shelves at the highest prices and the patrons of the act are even higher on their MDMAs and other drugs which they use as an ‘enhancer’ to enjoy the music even more.


Sense of Sound: Cinema and Sound


Charlie Chaplin

“Use a picture; it’s worth a thousand words”

Add sound to a picture and it’s worth a million.

From the times of Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean from the Lumière Brothers fame known as the founders of Cinematography or as we call it cinema today, sound has always been an integral part of cinema. The first display of cinema took place in the year of 1895 in Paris, the Lumiere Brothers displayed their first movie Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). The audience thought of the two brothers as if they were the first people to have discovered fire. They weren’t aware of the fact that they were going to be the ones to change the face of how coming generations would see, hear and even feel things moving. After making over ten movies not lasting more than fifty seconds of total time duration, the Lumiere Brothers travelled around the world to show their newly invented technology and even held screenings in Bombay during the rule of the British empire.

Earlier synchronization of the moving figures in cinema and the sound (pre-recorded music) was difficult to achieve as there wasn’t proficient technology available until the 1920s. The first breakthrough in sound and cinema as a synchronized part took place in the year 1927. The movie “The Jazz Singer” was presented as the first “talkie” or a commercial feature film.

Sound is associated with feelings and emotions; we associate one a particular sound with a specific emotion, for example, recalling the silent days of the legendary actor who set a big milestone in establishing that all men with a moustache that resembles a toothbrush aren’t cruel dictators, yes it is the one and only, Sir Charles “Charlie” Chaplin. The best use of sound as silence was made by the godfather of silent films, Charlie Chaplin, through his legendary movies with the help of his renowned acting skills. Sound played a very crucial in depicting these works of art and as there wasn’t any dialogue in silent films, and some didn’t even have a background score or any sound effects, so it was very important for sound to come across in actions of visuals. Charlie Chaplin tried to depict the same without any use of words, for that purpose he even composed the music for his own films.

Not to forget in the Indian film industry, Raja Harishchandra was released in the year 1913 and after that it took them 18 years more to see the birth of the Bombay Talkies which is what we know as Bollywood today. The creators of the film Alam Ara made us realize the importance that sound would have on the cinema and raced for the completion of the film before other contemporary movies. The crowd’s response was so overwhelming that police aid was required to control the public during the screenings of the movie. From then till now the Cinema and Sound in the Indian Film Industry has reached great heights in the areas of music, sound engineering, and back ground score as masters like A.R Rahman and Russell Pukooty receive Oscars for their performances in the field.

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