The music we hear is always inhabited by voices of previous performances. Because listening is now so often accompanied by moving images, this process is more complex than ever. Music videos, television and film music, interactive video games, and social media are now part of the contemporary listening experience. In An Eye for Music, author John Richardson navigates key areas of current thought - from music theory to film theory to cultural theory - to explore what it means that the experience of music is now cinematic, spatial, and visual as much as it is auditory. Richardson maps out the terrain of recent audiovisual production over a wide array of styles and practices, and sketches out a set of common structures that inform how we experience sound and vision. Whether examining Philip Glass or The Gorillaz, Richard Linklater's Waking Life or Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, Richardson's arguments are both fascinating and provocative.
Acknowledgments 1. Introduction 2. Navigating the Neosurreal: Background and Premises 3. Neosurrealist Tendencies in Recent Films: Waking Life and Be Kind Rewind 4. Neosurrealist Metamusicals, Camp and Reparation: Yes and The Wayward Cloud 5. Rescoring the Moving Image: La Belle et la Bete, Mashups and (Mis)syncing 6. The Surrealism of Virtual Band Gorillaz: Clint Eastwood and Feel Good Inc. 7. Performing Acoustic Music in the Digital Age, or a Surreal Twist of Fate 8. Concluding Thoughts: Of Liquid Days and Going Gaga Bibliography Index
John Richardson is Professor of Musicology at the University of Turku in Finland and author of Singing Archaeology: Philip Glass's Akhnaten (1999).
Reviews for An Eye for Music: Popular Music and the Audiovisual Surreal
This book unveils the 'audiovisual surreal,' a key emerging tendency in digital audiovisual culture. In zeroing in on his subject in ways both exacting and generous, John Richardson invites the reader to participate in the heady pleasures of theorizing with a bustling crowd that includes Sigmund Freud and Simon Frith, Michel Gondry and Tsai Ming-Liang, Susan Sontag and Georges Bataille, T.W. Adorno and Madonna. Claudia Gorbman, author of Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music A breathtakingly interdisciplinary study of contemporary media-music forms. Using the lens of neo-surrealism, Richardson guides us through digital culture, music video, online mashups, and films that reroute traditional musical meaning, function and sense. Required reading for anyone interested in tapping the rich potential of contemporary audiovisual culture. Caryl Flinn, author of Strains of Utopia and Brass Diva This book opens up an exciting area for audiovisual analysis. It abounds with original perspectives that will sustain the attention of scholars who have an eye for contemporary and popular forms of musical expression. Stan Hawkins, author of Settling the Pop Score and The British Pop Dandy