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A Sonic Arts Approach to Sound Design

This practice-as-research study documents the development of a sonic arts approach to film sound design. An interdisciplinary conceptual framework that combines selected theories of electroacoustic music and apposite perspectives from film soundtrack studies informs the approach. Over the course of the research, broadening practical knowledge of theoretical applications influenced the development of the sound design approach and its conceptual framework.

The term ‘sonic arts’ characterizes the compositional tenets of the sound design approach, which takes the form of an inter-modal strategy based on the interdependence of two compositional modes. The intersonic compositional mode corresponds to sound-object design and to the forming of meaningful structural relationships between soundtrack elements. The audiovisual compositional mode corresponds to forming meaningful relationships between soundtrack elements and film images. The overall approach also reflects Walter Murch’s concept of sound design as a multifaceted practice endeavour, which includes taking creative responsibility for the soundtrack in post-production (Murch 1995). (Carl Boland)

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