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Lastra, J. (1992). Reading, writing, and representing sound. In R. Altman (Ed.), Sound Theory Sound Practice (pp. 65–86). New York: Routledge. 
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard (3/3/06, 2:09 PM)   Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Resource type: Book Chapter
BibTeX citation key: Lastra1992
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Categories: Film Music/Sound, Narrative, Semiology
Keywords: Authenticity, Film sound, Reproduction/Representation
Creators: Altman, Lastra
Publisher: Routledge (New York)
Collection: Sound Theory Sound Practice
Views: 13/1087
Discussion on sound reproduction and representation, the original and the copy, sound as event or sound as structure, phenomenology and ontology as defining sound. Is there an original, unadulterated sound? Some discussion of sound semiotics.
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.68   Here, Lastra is paraphrasing Chrstian Metz to whom what is important is the functional or narrative use of sound in film rather than whether a sound is authentic or not. "...what matters is the ability to identify the source of the sound. ...the sound event must be legible -- it must be recongnizable across a series of different contexts as a culturally defined signifying unit. Against the definition of sound as an essentially unrepeatable event, Metz describes sound as an eminently repeatable and intelligible structure."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Reproduction/Representation
p.70   Discussing the notion of an 'original' sound prior to recording and reproduction: "...the primary ideological effect of sound recording might be creation of the effect that there is an "original" independent of its representation."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Reproduction/Representation
p.78   Developing Altman's description of 1930s sound recording/representation development (spatial fidelity giving way to intelligibility): "A recording with a high degree of reflected sound, or some other indication of spatial signature, is linked to sound considered as an event, while closely-miked sound, with a relatively "contextless" spatial signature, is linked to sound considered as an intelligible structure -- as a signifying element with a larger structure."

Although this is usually aplied to speech, Lastra points out that it also applies to sound FX.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Acoustic ecology Space
p.78   ""real" space is simply not an issue for most images on screen -- their scale and angle are functions of narrative emphasis, not of more or less precise perception."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
pp.81–82   "Those aspects of a sound which mark it as authentic are never simply self-evident "attributes" of that sound. Only their inscription within a system allowing or requiring them to become perceptible gives them a semiotic import within that system. Thus, the supposed unique attributes of an original sound become significant and, to a certain degree, perceptible as such only through their constitution as signs -- precisely that which is not unique."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Authenticity Semiotics
pp.74–75   Makes the interesting point that, when discussing a recording of sound, much of our understanding of what that sound will be like is derived from assumptions (culturally and technologically derived) as to how that sound was recorded. The sound is therefore pre-structured for us before we get to even hear it.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Reproduction/Representation