Latest Alumni News:
Issue 4 of the Department of Film and Television Studies' regular newsletter is now available for download.
Michael Pigott speaks about sound, cinema and field recording at University of York
Sounds of the Projection Box: Liner Notes for a Phonographic Method.
Abstract: In order to investigate, document and analyse the soundscape of the analogue projection box, before it passes into history, a series of audio recordings was made within functioning boxes, a selection of which will be released as an ‘album’ on the Gruenrekorder label in 2018. The recordings, made in UK boxes that maintain both 35mm film projection and digital projection, also capture the shifting sonic texture of this environment as it changes from primarily analogue to primarily digital operation. This paper will explore the role of phonographic field recording as a practical methodology within a film historical research project (the UK AHRC funded Projection Project), which investigates the role of the film projectionist and cinematic projection throughout the history of cinema exhibition in the UK. Through an analysis of both the recordings themselves, and the experience of making the recordings, it will extract some observations regarding the character, history and culture of the projection box as a lived environment and workplace. Just as cinema-goers seldom get to see inside this hidden room at the back of the auditorium, these sound recordings also reveal it to be a sound-proofed box, a noisy environment in which the interface between operator and machine takes audible form, in which noise of one sort indicates smooth operation, while another sort indicates faults that need to be addressed. It will consider the legibility of noise and propose that the relationship between projectionist and machine is significantly aural as well as visual and tactile.