Skip to main content
Luxonline Home Themes Artists Work Histories Education Tours Help Search
Screen Online
Vision as Sound
Found Sound
Vision as Sound
Related Collections
IntroductionClick here to Print this Page

Another approach to creating sound with film is to negotiate directly with the material of film.

A film's soundtrack is read optically as it plays through a projector and translated into sound. The film carries a soundtrack which can be physically exploited to generate sound.

Lis Rhodes' ingenious 1974 film Dresden Dynamo is an experiment in this process as she directly applies different processes to the surface of the film and extends this visual design across the soundtrack. As the film plays through the projector, the projector literally reads the visual as sound so that you hear the rhythms created by the visuals of the film. It is an approach which demands an immediate response to film, at once destroying illusion and creating a new dimension for the viewer.

Guy Sherwin's Soundtrack similarly ingeniously uses the image of train sleepers filmed while moving at speed to generate the soundtrack to the film. By using a technique that translates the image into optical sound, he reveals the visual rhythm of the rails creating the synchronised soundtrack and making an actuality out of a recorded version of reality.

In The Eye and the Ear Franciszka and Stefan Themerson analyse the visual qualities of the Polish composer Julian Tuwim's orchestral piece Slopiewnie, in an exploratory montage of image and geometrical shapes.


Dresden Dynamo

The image is the sound and the sound is the image.


Uses a technique that converts pictures into sound.

The Eye and the Ear

'Rhythm is not the only sort of structural pattern common both to visual and to musical phenomena'.

Home Themes Artists Work Histories Education Tours Help Search