many sounds, no sounds

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Mar 14 2006 - 21:02:18 PST

One element that marks the experimental tradition is an instability of
soundtrack. It's not just Harry Smith, many works have been screened with
no sound then had tracks added, tracks abandoned, new tracks added and so
on. It's a minority element to be sure, but you don't find it in narrative
or documentary. So, without getting into the argument of what any of us
owe to an artist's intent, just as there are films that have only been
backed by a single consistent intent, the history of exhibition of other
films show they do not have a stable intent, they morph, it's something
that really is 'experimental.' So I think people should be able to screen
these films with any variation (in the things that have been varied) that
suits their purpose for picking that piece to show. So for Harry Smith: If
Fred chooses silence, if someone else picks the jazz or the Beatles, or
any other track that strikes them as being in the spirit of any of the
above, it's all good -- as long as there's a interesting rationale for the
sound (or not) image relationship -- as in Fred's idea about sound masking
visual rhythms, or the notion the films have jazz rhythms, or the notion
that their perhaps eternal and universal abstract nature works well in
contrast with the specificity of the latest pop fad, or...

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