1. bookVolume 20 (2021): Issue 1 (November 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2066-7779
First Published
04 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Role of Experimenting with the Human Voice in Film Music in the Representation of the Human/Alien Divide: the Case of Arrival (2016)

Published Online: 15 Nov 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 20 (2021) - Issue 1 (November 2021)
Page range: 1 - 19
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2066-7779
First Published
04 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

This article focuses on the musical dimension of experimentation in the creative space of science fiction film, concerning its uncanny, new and fantastic places, and otherworldly encounters within fictional, but possible worlds. The aim is to consider the function and potential of the audible – to examine how sound is used in the filmic exploration of the boundaries between the human and the alien (the unknown). More particularly, we are interested in the role that human voice-like and human vocal sounds can play in this divide, as we believe manipulations with such audible qualities contribute greatly to the emotional dimension of cinematic stories of otherworldly encounters. For that purpose, we concentrate on Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival (2016) and its soundtrack composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, who resorts to different singing practices and vocal techniques to accompany a story charting the territories between the human and the alien.

Keywords

Altman, Rick, McGraw Jones, and Sonia Tatroe. 2000. Inventing the Cinema Soundtrack: Hollywood’s Multiplane Sound System. In Music and Cinema, eds. James Buhler, Caryl Flinn, and David Neumeyer, 339–359. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Baines, Josh. 2016. We Got Jóhann Jóhannsson to Conjure Up a Mythical and Futuristic Playlist. Vice. https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/jp9xy7/jhann-jhannsson-mythical-futuristic-playlist. Last accessed 20. 03. 2021. Search in Google Scholar

Barthes, Roland. 1977. Image, Music and Text. London: Fontana Press. Search in Google Scholar

Brend, Mark. 2012. The Sound of Tomorrow: How Electronic Music Was Smuggled into the Mainstream. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic.10.5040/9781501382888 Search in Google Scholar

Camilleri, Lelio. 2010. Shaping Sounds, Shaping Spaces. Popular Music vol. 29, no. 2 (May): 199–211. Search in Google Scholar

Chiang, Ted. 2005. Stories of Your Life and Others. New York: Pan MacMillan. Search in Google Scholar

Chion, Michel. 1999. The Voice in Cinema. New York: Columbia University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Clark, K. and Stanze, E. (2016a). Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design. Behind the scenes featurette of Arrival [Blu-ray Disc], Paramount Pictures. Search in Google Scholar

Clark, K. and Stanze, E. (2016b). Eternal Recurrence: The Score. Behind the scenes featurette of Arrival [Blu-ray Disc], Paramount Pictures. Search in Google Scholar

Cosi, Piero and Graziano Tisato. 2003. On the Magic of Overtone Singing. In Voce, Canto, Parlato. Studi di Onore di Franco Ferrero [Voice, Song, Speech. Studies in the Honour of Franco Ferrero], eds. Piero Cosi, Emanuela Magno Caldognetto, and Antonio Zamboni, 83–100. Padova: Unipress. Search in Google Scholar

Deleon, Cara M. 2010. A Familiar Sound in a New Place: The Use of the Musical Score Within the Science Fiction Film. In Sounds of the Future, ed. Mathew J. Bartkowiak, 10–21. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland. Search in Google Scholar

Hall, Jacob. 2016. Interview: Arrival Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson on How You Score First Contact. Slashfilm. https://www.slashfilm.com/johann-johannsson-arrival-music/. Last accessed 20. 03. 2020. Hirway, Hrishikesh. 2016. Song Exploder: Jóhann Jóhannsson on the Secrets of Arrival’s Score. Vulture. https://www.vulture.com/2016/11/arrival-score-johann-johannsson-song-exploder.html. Last accessed 20. 03. 2021. Search in Google Scholar

Kenny, Tom. 1995. Star Trek Generations. Mix: Professional Recording, Sound and Music Production vol. 19, no. 1 (January): 72–83. Search in Google Scholar

Lentjes, Rebecca. 2017. The Essence of Voices. VAN Magazine. https://van-us.atavist.com/against-the-grain. Last accessed 20. 03. 2021. Search in Google Scholar

Levinson, Jerrold. 2007. Contemplating Art: Essays in Aesthetics. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Marsh, Charity and Melissa West. 2003. The Nature/Technology Binary Opposition Dismantled in the Music of Madonna and Björk. In Music and Technoculture, eds. René T. A. Lysloff and Leslie C. Gay, 182–203. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press. Search in Google Scholar

O’Connell, Sharon. 2016. Arrival composer Jóhann Jóhannsson: People are hungry for new sounds. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/nov/26/arrival-johann-johannsson-soundtrack-oscar-nominated. Last accessed 20. 03. 2021. Search in Google Scholar

Patches, Matt. 2016. The Mystery Line in Arrival Revealed. Thrillist. https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/arrival-chinese-line-ending. Last accessed 20. 03. 2021. Search in Google Scholar

Schmidt, Lisa M. 2010. A Popular Avant-Garde: The Paradoxical Tradition of Electronic and Atonal Sounds in Sci-Fi Music Scoring. In Sounds of the Future, ed. Mathew J. Bartkowiak, 22–41. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland. Search in Google Scholar

Shepherd, John, David Horn, Dave Laing, Paul Oliver, and Peter Wicke. 2003. Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume II: Performance and Production. London and New York: Continuum.10.5040/9781501329234 Search in Google Scholar

Yandell, Kate. 2017. The Mystery of Whale Song. The Scientist. https://www.the-scientist.com/features/the-mystery-of-whale-song-31945. Last accessed 20. 03. 2021. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo