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The Sound of an Android’s Soul: Music, MIDI and Muzak in Time Of Eve

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The Palgrave Handbook of Sound Design and Music in Screen Media
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Abstract

Brophy analyses the manifold mirages of musical instrumentation in the Japanese anime film Time Of Eve—a story about the seamless integration of androids into a near-future human society. Distinguishing between the film score’s use of (a) real piano performances, (b) MIDI-constructed pieces utilizing digital synthesis, and (c) Muzak stylization and representation, he maps out the sono-musical terrain of the film’s soundtrack. The film’s mannered apparitions of music are discussed not solely in terms of signification, but in line with the film’s consistent application of virtual instrumentation, anacoustic sound, and computer-generated assemblage. These procedures are argued as collectively exemplifying a uniquely Japanese perspective on the peculiar and distinctive traits and effects of ‘fake’, ‘artificial’ and even ‘soulless’ music—in turn, suggesting post-human possibilities for broadening notions of film music language and its operations on the film soundtrack.

Automated dialogue replacement (ADR) is a standard post-production technique for adding spoken sound in contemporary film and television. This chapter discusses ADR’s role in the production of a coherent match of voice, sound and vision that is crucial to the mainstream Hollywood style, in particular in technoscientific genres, where much of the action takes place on screens inside the narrative. The sounds made by computer screens and computer operators, as well as the sounds attributed to babies, are examined in particular. The concept of enunciation is used to explain the interplay of redundancy, information, communicative acts and repetition in the production of meaning in several film and television genres, especially in productions released in the digital era.

Sections of this article first appeared in Cinefile, Vol. 7, No. 1, 9–13.

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Brophy, P. (2016). The Sound of an Android’s Soul: Music, MIDI and Muzak in Time Of Eve . In: Greene, L., Kulezic-Wilson, D. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Sound Design and Music in Screen Media. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-51680-0_23

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