Feb 3rd, 2022
We are back with Season 15 of The Cinematologists podcast. To begin our new run we are starting with a real high point: a double episode featuring the seminal film scholar, critic, and composer Michel Chion.
From the late 70s onwards Chion has been one of the leading voices at the intersection of film scholarship and cinephilic criticism. His work spans a huge roster of filmmakers and subjects, but it's his work on film sound with which he is arguably most identified. Books such as The Voice in Cinema (1982), Audio/Vision (1993), Music in Cinema (1995) & Film, A Sound Art in many ways defined the sub-field of film sound criticism. Chion also wrote for Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1980s and has written books on the work of Jacques Tati, Andrei Tarkovsky, Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch.
Before turning to cinema, Chion was part of the experimental school of Music Concrete under the mentorship of Pierre Schaeffer, the "godfather" of avant-garde electronic music in France. He continues to compose to this day.
Chion asked that he give his answers in French so I enlisted the help of a colleague from the University of Brighton, the sound artist, composer, and performer Johanna Bramli (check out her work here), to help with the translation. This is another interesting first for the podcast.
At the end of part 2 of this double episode, Neil and Dario discuss many aspects of the interview and Chion's approach to film scholarship. We hope you enjoy what we think is a fantastic start to the new season.
Chion biography (Experimental music): https://electrocd.com/en/artiste/chion_mi/Michel_Chion/biographie
Pierre Schaeffer and Music Concrete - https://www.frieze.com/article/music-22
GRM: Group Recherché Musical https://www.musicainformatica.org/topics/groupe-de-recherches-musicales.php
Luciano Berio - https://www.universaledition.com/luciano-berio-54
Transition music for this episode taken from Michel Chion’s
La vie on Prose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK3xqAv65r0
La Grand Nettoyage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUUkA8wqlxQ
Johanna Bramil: http://www.johannabramli.com/
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‘Theme from The Cinematologists’
Written and produced by Gwenno Saunders. Mixed by Rhys Edwards. Drums, bass & guitar by Rhys Edwards. All synths by Gwenno Saunders. Published by Downtown Music Publishing.