CINESONIC The World of Sound in Film

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Author: Edited by Philip Brophy
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Philip Brophy’s new film sound anthology Cinesonic is a highly engaging and significant publication that italicises the rapidly growing importance of film sound/music studies in local and international contexts, and specifically, attests to the refreshing role that Melbourne’s first Cinesonic conference has played in ushering in new timely cross-disciplinary theoretical and industrial/practical perspectives into the study of the film soundtrack. Further, hagiographical sentiments aside, the anthology also clearly points to Brophy’s indefatigable energy and prolific seminal ideas on film sound matters. The calibre of the film theorists, critics and film composers and sound artists/ designers who contributed to the anthology is also further incontestable evidence of the importance of the conference itself and Brophy’s refreshing innovative project to open up wide the Australian film conference landscape.

In this critical sense, both the anthology and the first two conferences (so far) have been concerned with (amongst other aims) contesting the increasing canonisation and institutionalisation of film and media studies. Brophy’s brief editorial words introducing the thirteen conference essays and interviews to the reader suggest his multifaceted and far-reaching objective to plumb the “deep oceans” of film sound under the relatvely unexamined weight of literary and visual discourse that marks contemporary cinema studies. To this end, the anthology is quite successful – for one of the underlying focal points that unites all the various contributions is the hermeneutic objective to make us aware (as often we need to remind ourselves) that cinema consists of image and sound. Too often, we think of it as solely as image. This is not to overlook the increasing trend in European art cinema and video/media festivals in the last twenty years or so to speak of “the image” as something being more than just the visual.

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