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Re: silencing cicadas

Subject: Re: silencing cicadas
From: "nikolas.valsamakis" nikolas.valsamak=
Date: Thu Jun 9, 2011 5:28 am ((PDT))

Hi Roger and Martyn,

I've just forwarded a question from a friend of mine that works in the film=
 industry here in greece. Therefore, =C9 don't want to be in the position o=
f defending his enquiry. Moreover, I'm far from accepting the practice of t=
he filmmakers of silencing the cicadas here in greece. Saying this I would =
like to comment:

> So, why try to remove them from a film soundtrack. If where you are is no=
isy why try to portray it as otherwise.

A movie has usually little to do with "reality". It takes elements from the=
 world (outside or in a studio) in order to construct a fiction. Sometimes =
the whole movie soundtrack is reconstructed afterwards, during post-product=
ion, using recordings from different sources: recordings from the same loca=
tion, recordings from other places (similar or totally different), recordin=
gs that are processed and transformed in various degrees, synthesized sound=
s etc. There are many layers of sound in a movie soundtrack (the same is tr=
ue in an electroacoustic soundscape composition).

There is also a discussion concerning "reality" or objectivity of what we r=
ecord. We tend to focus and record what it is meaningful to us and hide oth=
er sides of the environment that goes beyond our interests.The subject of o=
ur attention is part of our value system. And our value system is culturall=
y constructed. For example, we tend to focus to a bird and try to hide the =
sound of the wind and the leaves of a tree. There is an obvious trend of bi=
ophony over geophony on the recording practice. Moreover, the practice of f=
ocusing to a specific subject (say, a bird) instead of accepting the "amorp=
hous" blur of the millions of sounds that occur every moment at a specific =
location is also a preference. Our recording practice follows a hierarchy o=
f preferences on what is meaningful and what is worth to record from a soun=

Saying that, I would agree with you on the subject of human intervention on=
 the environment.

--- In  "Roger.Norwood" <=
> wrote:
> seems strange that we constantly strive to capture the perfect recording =
of our subject notwithstanding that mostly such subjects exist within a son=
ic mire of man made audio pollution. I try to record the natural voices of =
buzzards, ravens, red kites and rooks among others, but the times they seem=
 most vocal when I am able to get my kit set up in the right place at the r=
ight time, is also the time of the most unwanted intrusion. But wait a mome=
nt, this is the world we and our subjects live in now, there is no perfect =
time to catch their cries and calls without the unwanted sounds of mans pre=
sence. So, why try to remove them from a film soundtrack. If where you are =
is noisy why try to portray it as otherwise. If you don't want cicadas, don=
't film in Greece, let them sing their song and film elsewhere.

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