Disaffected Sounds, Temporalized Visions: Philip Glass and the audiovisual impulse in postminimalist music

Authored by: John Richardson , Susanna Välimäki

The Ashgate Research Companion to Minimalist and Postminimalist Music

Print publication date:  November  2013
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409435495
eBook ISBN: 9781315613260
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042556


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The sounds, meanings and affective content of postminimalist soundtracks in film and video have been the subject of a fair amount of debate in recent academic writing. 1 1

See Susan McClary, ‘Minima Romantica’, in Daniel Goldmark, Lawrence Kramer and Richard Leppert (eds.), Beyond the Soundtrack: representing music in cinema (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2007), pp. 48–65; Rebecca M. Doran Eaton, Unheard Minimalisms: the functions of the minimalist technique in film scores (PhD diss., University of Texas at Austin, 2008); John Richardson, ‘Resisting the Sublime: loose synchronization in La Belle et la Bête and The Dark Side of Oz’, in Steven Baur, Raymond Knapp and Jacqueline Warwick (eds.), Musicological Identities: essays in honour of Susan McClary (Aldershot, 2008), 135–48; see also Richardson’s An Eye for Music: popular music and the audiovisual surreal (New York and Oxford, 2011); and Pwyll ap Siôn and Tristian Evans, ‘Parallel Symmetries? Exploring relationships between minimalist music and multimedia forms’, in Graeme Harper (ed.), Sound and Music in Film and Visual Media (New York, 2009), pp. 671–91.

Most of this work has been concerned with explaining how postminimalist music works differently from the traditional Hollywood underscore; how it interacts – or does not interact – with simultaneously presented moving images and, to a lesser extent, what other types of film soundtrack might be thought to work in a similar way. 2 2

Richardson, An Eye for Music, p. 62.

Included among the last of these categories are possible precursors of postminimalism in cinema: examples of soundtracks in which a minimalist influence seems likely; and, lastly, those that work similarly but where a direct influence appears unlikely.

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