‘The Soundscapes of Jóhann Jóhannsson’ by Alex Hobbs

Alex Hobbs discusses Laurent Jullier’s notion of the “film-concert” in relation to the work of the late Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Depth of Field

According to Emilio Audissino, referencing the work of Laurent Jullier, the typical mainstream film has become a “film-concert”: an event “in which the sound elements are being foregrounded to such an extent that the enveloping and saturated aural experience […] is one of the biggest attractions”.[1] Expanding on this, Rossella Valdrè describes the film-concert as a “sensations bath” designed to provoke an intense emotional and physical response from the audience by creating or imitating a “growing similarity between emotions felt in reality or at the cinema”.[2] However, she quickly dismisses the film-concert as only applying to a few specific films and asserting that cinema is not purely “an amusement park”.[3] Similarly, Audissino frames his discussion of the film-concert as a criticism of mainstream cinema. He mourns the reduced importance of music in film, which he suggests has been undermined by new digital technologies that allow hundreds of…

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