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About Sounding Visual

Author: Maura McDonnell

Sounding Visual is the name of my practice and research as a visual music artist on the area of art with music or music with art.  The sounding visual blog is a more personal gathering of resources, inspiration, news about performance works, theatre works, cinematic works and audio visual works and what is of interests at a given moment in time. Everything is of its time, and instead of trying to understand everything fully and to completion, the posts happen according to what is happening and discovered in the now.  So the links are eclectic and varied.

A more formal blog that focuses on Visual Music only which was started in 2005 Visual Music stays true as much as possible to the visual music aesthetic.  This blog is updated regularly and will continue to do so, but for all other posts that are not strictly visual music but are of interest in the area of audio visual composition design for example in performance, theatre, concerts will be posted here.

The author Maura McDonnell is a PhD Candidate in Digital Arts at Trinity College, Dublin (started october 2011) and this blog is also a way of gathering, reading, writing about resources for my research.  The topic of her thesis is 'Visual Music'.

Her sounding visual website is badly in need of a redesign and reorganize but alas she has not got the time at present to do this.  However, the site is still live at:

Google Ads: Up till now (May 2016) I have not used google ads on my blogs but to cover time and costs I have started to include them in my blogs.  I have tried to make them not interfere with reading so they are in the header and the sidebar but not in posts.


Popular posts from this blog

Reading Noël Burch Theory of Film Practice - Ch 1

Gathering together examples referenced in Noël Burch's Theory of Film Practice, chapter 1

The most profound aspect of this chapter for me is near the end when Burch urges for filmmakers to:

"develop new "open" forms that will have more in common with the formal strategies of post-Debussyian music than with those of the pre-Joycean novel."

Burch discusses the potential for a third meaning (beyond shooting script and technical plan ) for découpage  

" no longer referring to a process taking place before filming or to a particular technical operation but, rather, to the underlying structure of the finished film.  Formally, a film consists of a succession of fragments excerpted from a spatial and temporal continuum.Découpage in its third French meaning refers to what results when the spatial fragments, or, more accurately, the succession of spatial fragments excerpted in the shooting process, converge with the temporal fragments whose duration may be roughly de…

Futurism – Movement and Sensation

by Maura McDonnell

Futurism praised and glorified the energy, speed and danger of machines in art.  The futurists had disgust for and rebelled against the 'relics of the past' (interestingly these relics in museums were ok for the old, the disabled and prisoners - people with no future?).  The new beauty was not the old art of the past, such as the sculptor piece 'Victory of Samothrace', but the beauty of speed.

How was something so ephemeral and invisible to the eye as speed to be rendered in painting?
Something invisible but felt?

In the two painting manifestos and in particular the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting, added to the futurist list of statements is the celebration of science - 'victorious science'.  Science could reveal what was hidden in nature and to our vision, x-rays had penetrated the 'opacity' and materiality of the body.  Chronophotography and the time-lapse photography of Eadweard Muybridge

Reading Noël Burch Theory of Film Practice - Ch 2

Chapter 2 - Nana, or the Two Kinds of Space

EXAMPLES  discussed by Burch in this chapter

Jean Renoir - Nana (1926) - excerpt

Ewald Andre Dupont - Variety (1925)
Extensive use of off-screen space
Excerpt below

Excellent video essay available on youtube by Kristin Thompson
Excellent article at:

Full film
(at around 67 minutes the fight and knife scene)
The film is famous for its extensive use of off-screen space.  Burch discusses the particular scene.
"Because during a fight scene that soon became famous, Emil Jannings and his rival roll on the ground, leaving the screen momentarily empty. A hand with a knife in it then enters the frame from below and immediately plunges out of frame again to deliver the fatal blow. Jannings then rises up and into frame all by himself . . . and several generations of film historians applauded this "magnificent understateme…