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Vocal Tracks

Author: Jacob Smith
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520942841
Size: 60.37 MB
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This entertaining and innovative book focuses on vocal performance styles that developed in tandem with the sound technologies of the phonograph, radio, and sound film. Writing in a clear and lively style, Jacob Smith looks at these media technologies and industries through the lens of performance, bringing to light a fascinating nexus of performer, technology, and audience. Combining theories of film sound, cultural histories of sound technologies and industries, and theories of performance, Smith convincingly connects disparate and largely neglected performance niches to explore the development of a modern vocal performance. Vocal Tracks: Performance and Sound Media demonstrates the voice to be a vehicle of performance, identity, and culture and illustrates both the interconnection of all these categories and their relation to the media technologies of the past century.

Anatomy Of Sound

Author: Jacob Smith
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520285328
Size: 23.29 MB
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"This collection of essays examines one of the most important, yet understudied, media authors of all time--Norman Corwin--using him as a critical lens to consider the history of multimedia authorship, particularly in the realm of sound. Known for seven decades as the 'poet laureate' of radio, Corwin is most famous for his radio dramas, which reached tens of millions of listeners around the world and contributed to radio drama's success as a mass media form in the 1930s and 1940s. But Corwin was a pioneer in multiple media, including cinema, theater, TV, public service broadcasting, journalism, and even cantata. In each of these areas, Corwin had a distinctive approach to sonic aesthetics and mastery of multiple aspects of media production, relying in part on his inventive atmospheric effects in the studio both prerecorded, and, more impressively, live in real time. From the front lines of World War II to his role as Chief of Special Projects for United Nations Radio and his influence on media today, the political and social aspect of Corwin's work is woven into these essays. With a foreword by Michele Hilmes and contributions from Thomas Doherty, Mary Ann Watson, Shawn VanCour, David Ossman and others, this volume cements Corwin's reputation as perhaps the greatest writer in the history of radio, while also showing that his long career is a neglected model of multimedia authorship."--Provided by publisher.

Eco Sonic Media

Author: Jacob Smith
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520286138
Size: 45.27 MB
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The negative environmental effects of media culture are not often acknowledged: the fuel required to keep huge server farms in operation, landfills full of high tech junk, and the extraction of rare minerals for devices reliant on them are just some of the hidden costs of the contemporary mediascape. Eco-Sonic Media brings an ecological critique to the history of sound media technologies in order to amplify the environmental undertones in sound studies and turn up the audio in discussions of greening the media. By looking at early and neglected forms of sound technology, Jacob Smith seeks to create a revisionist, ecologically aware history of sound media. Delving into the history of pre-electronic media like hand-cranked gramophones, comparatively eco-friendly media artifacts such as the shellac discs that preceded the use of petroleum-based vinyl, early forms of portable technology like divining rods, and even the use of songbirds as domestic music machines, Smith builds a scaffolding of historical case studies to demonstrate how “green media archaeology” can make sound studies vibrate at an ecological frequency while opening the ears of eco-criticism. Throughout this eye-opening and timely book he makes readers more aware of the costs and consequences of their personal media consumption by prompting comparisons with non-digital, non-electronic technologies and by offering different ways in which sound media can become eco-sonic media. In the process, he forges interdisciplinary connections, opens new avenues of research, and poses fresh theoretical questions for scholars and students of media, sound studies, and contemporary environmental history.

Locating The Voice In Film

Author: Tom Whittaker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190261145
Size: 28.57 MB
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Where is the place of the voice in film? Where others have focused on Hollywood film, this volume aims to extend the field to other cinemas from around the world, encompassing Latin America, Asia and Africa amongst others. Traditional theoretical accounts, based on classical narrative cinema, examine the importance of the voice in terms of a desired perfect match between visuals and sonic effects. But, as the chapters of this volume illustrate, what is normative in one film industry may not apply in another. The widespread practices of dubbing, postsynch sound and "playback singing" in some countries, for instance, provide an alternative means of understanding the location of the voice in the soundtrack. Through seventeen original chapters, this volume situates the voice in film across a range of diverse national, transnational and cultural contexts, presenting readings which challenge traditional readings of the voice in film in exciting new ways. By taking a comparative view, this volume posits that the voice may be best understood as a mobile object, one whose trajectory follows a broader network of global flows. The various chapters explore the cultural transformations the voice undergoes as it moves from one industry to another. In doing so, the volume addresses sound practices which have been long been neglected, such as dubbing and non-synch sound, as well the ways in which sound technologies have shaped nationally specific styles of vocal performance. In addressing the place of the voice in film, the book intends to nuance existing theoretical writing on the voice while applying these critical insights in a global context.

Spoken Word

Author: Jacob Smith
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520267036
Size: 71.71 MB
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“How quickly we forget! Not so many decades ago, we were all listening to Vaughn Meader’s First Family album, Steve Martin on LP, or Columbia’s I Can Hear It Now. Alas, spoken word records, like so many aspects of phonography, have been relegated to garage sales and footnotes. Finally, thanks to Jacob Smith’s Spoken Word, this important form of entertainment and culture is receiving the attention it so richly deserves.” —Rick Altman, author of Silent Film Sound “Jacob Smith’s engaging study of spoken word LPs is as revelatory as it is welcome. No other book has so thoroughly explored a phenomenon that was unique to the 1950s and 1960s, when LPs were the only widely available medium that allowed consumers to enjoy repeated exposure to recorded material. —Krin Gabbard, author of Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture "Smith's work contains historical material that few scholars have studied and many people have never even heard of. ... The grouping of these unique case studies results in new connections to and between various performance styles, materials, and industries." —Susan Murray, author of Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars

Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory

Author: Elsie Walker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190219130
Size: 49.23 MB
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Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory breaks new ground by redirecting the arguments of foundational texts within film theory to film sound tracks. Walker includes sustained analyses of particular films according to a range of theoretical approaches: psychoanalysis, feminism, genre studies, post-colonialism, and queer theory. The films come from disparate temporal and industrial contexts: from Classical Hollywood Gothic melodrama (Rebecca) to contemporary, critically-acclaimed science fiction (Gravity). Along with sound tracks from canonical American films including The Searchers and To Have and Have Not, Walker analyzes independent Australasian films: examples include Heavenly Creatures, a New Zealand film that uses music to empower its queer female protagonists; and Ten Canoes, the first Australian feature film with a script entirely in Aboriginal languages. Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory thus not only calls new attention to the significance of sound tracks, but also focuses on the sonic power of characters representing those whose voices have all too often been drowned out. Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory is both rigorous and accessible to all students and scholars with a grasp of cinematic and musical structures. Moreover, the book brings together film studies, musicology, history, politics, and culture and therefore resonates across the liberal arts.

Film Dialogue

Author: Jeff Jaeckle
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231850425
Size: 49.55 MB
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Film Dialogue is the first anthology in film studies devoted to the topic of language in cinema, bringing together leading and emerging scholars to discuss the aesthetic, narrative, and ideological dimensions of film speech that have largely gone unappreciated and unheard. Consisting of thirteen essays divided into three sections: genre, auteur theory, and cultural representation, Film Dialogue revisits and reconfigures several of the most established topics in film studies in an effort to persuade readers that "spectators" are more accurately described as "audiences," that the gaze has its equal in eavesdropping, and that images are best understood and appreciated through their interactions with words. Including an introduction that outlines a methodology of film dialogue study and adopting an accessible prose style throughout, Film Dialogue is a welcome addition to ongoing debates about the place, value, and purpose of language in cinema.

Alain Delon

Author: Nick Rees-Roberts
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 162356445X
Size: 13.62 MB
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Few European male actors have been as iconic and influential for generations of filmgoers as Alain Delon. Emblematic of a modern, European masculinity, Delon's appeal spanned cultures and continents. From his breakthrough as the first on-screen Tom Ripley in Purple Noon in 1960, through two legendary performances in Rocco and His Brothers and The Leopard in the early 1960s, to his roles in some of Jean-Pierre Melville's most celebrated films noirs, Delon came to embody the flair and stylishness of the European thriller as one of France's most recognizable film stars. This collection examines the star's career, image and persona. Not only focusing on his spectacular early performances, the book also considers less well documented aspects of Delon's long career such as his time in Hollywood, his work as director, producer and screenwriter, his musical collaborations, his TV appearances, and his enduring role as a fashion icon in the 21st century. Whether the object of reverence or ridicule, of desire or disdain, Delon remains a unique figure who continues to court controversy and fascination more than five decades after he first achieved international fame.

Mismatched Women

Author: Jennifer Fleeger
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199936900
Size: 18.87 MB
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In Mismatched Women, author Jennifer Fleeger introduces readers to a lineage of women whose voices do not "match" their bodies by conventional expectations, from George du Maurier's literary Trilby to Metropolitan Opera singer Marion Talley, from Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to Kate Smith and Deanna Durbin. The book tells a new story about female representation by theorizing a figure regularly dismissed as an aberration. The mismatched woman is a stumbling block for both sound and feminist theory, argues Fleeger, because she has been synchronized yet seems to have been put together incorrectly, as if her body could not possibly house the voice that the camera insists belongs to her. Fleeger broadens the traditionally cinematic context of feminist film theory to account for literary, animated, televisual, and virtual influences. This approach bridges gaps between disciplinary frameworks, showing that studies of literature, film, media, opera, and popular music pose common questions about authenticity, vocal and visual realism, circulation, and reproduction. The book analyzes the importance of the mismatched female voice in historical debates over the emergence of new media and unravels the complexity of female representation in moments of technological change.

The Thrill Makers

Author: Jacob Smith
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520270894
Size: 40.38 MB
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“Starring human flies, daredevil aviators, bridge jumpers, and lion tamers, The Thrill Makers is a great read, as evocative as it is theoretically savvy, and convincingly argued. Culling telling details from a host of long-overlooked sources, Jacob Smith’s account of sensational, high-risk public performance from the Victorian age to the 1930s unearths and illuminates the interwoven histories of public spectacle, masculinity, the motion picture industry, new forms of celebrity, and the expanding American metropolis.”—Greg Waller, Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University. “The Thrill Makers is an historical tour-de-force that illuminates the origins of risk-taking performance in American entertainment, and shows how its practitioners were gradually marginalized as invisible stunt doubles during the rise of the motion picture industry. Smith’s analysis of the lion tamer, the human fly, and the airplane wing-walker—as well as the many others who thrilled audiences before and during the advent of cinema—inspires us to reconsider the nature of media spectacle, masculinity, performance, celebrity, and labor at the turn of the last century. Impeccably researched, this book is a captivating read that re-frames the emergence of cinema in the context of its relationship to other forms of modern entertainment.”—Barbara Klinger, author of Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the Home.