Chance Encounters: Serendipity and the Use of Music in the Films of Jean Cocteau and Harry Smith

Article


Chapman, D. 2009. Chance Encounters: Serendipity and the Use of Music in the Films of Jean Cocteau and Harry Smith. The Soundtrack. 2 (1), pp. 5-18.
AuthorsChapman, D.
Abstract

The exploration of ‘chance’ as part of the creative process emerged as an increasingly important element in art practice during the twentieth century. It can be regarded as one of many approaches by which the avant-garde expressed its desire to create new forms in opposition to the aesthetic and conceptual values of the past. Film was not immune to this interest in chance procedures. This article focuses on notions of chance in the context of exploring the relationship between film image and music. More specifically, I discuss Jean Cocteau's method of ‘accidental synchronisation’ and Harry Smith's notion of ‘automatic synchronisation’, distinctive approaches to the use of music with film predicated on chance procedures. These methods can be viewed in terms of a longer history of experiments with sound, images and colour, that is, as precursors of the light-shows and multi-media events of the 1960s and other more contemporary media forms. Cocteau and Smith's experiments open up important questions about the processes by which audiences perceive and make sense of music in relation to film.

JournalThe Soundtrack
Journal citation2 (1), pp. 5-18
ISSN1751-4193
Year2009
PublisherIntellect
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1386/st.2.1.5_1
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1386/st.2.1.5_1
Publication dates
Print01 Aug 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Nov 2018
Copyright information© 2009 Intellect
Permalink -

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/86386

  • 9
    total views
  • 28
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 8
    downloads this month

Related outputs

Falkland: a sonic investigation of place
Chapman, D. and Wilson, Louise K 2010. Falkland: a sonic investigation of place. Journal of Media Practice. 11 (3), pp. 231-242.
The caress of the audible: Re-sounding Falkland
Chapman, D. and Wilson, Louise K. 2011. The caress of the audible: Re-sounding Falkland. Social Semiotics. 21 (4), pp. 517-529.
Context-Based Sound and the Ecological Theory of Perception
Chapman, D. 2017. Context-Based Sound and the Ecological Theory of Perception. Organised Sound. 22 (1), pp. 42-50.
The Undersea World of the Sound Department: the Construction of Sonic Conventions in Sub-aqua Screen Environments
Chapman, D. 2016. The Undersea World of the Sound Department: the Construction of Sonic Conventions in Sub-aqua Screen Environments. The New Soundtrack. 6 (2), pp. 143-157.
Microphones in a Landscape: Sound, Place And the Ecological Model of Perception
Chapman, D. 2014. Microphones in a Landscape: Sound, Place And the Ecological Model of Perception. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Arts and Digital Industries