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  4. Alexis Luko (Carleton University): Ingmar Bergman's Soundtracks: The Sonatas, Screams and Silence of a Sonic Auteur




Alexis Luko (Carleton University): Ingmar Bergman's Soundtracks: The Sonatas, Screams and Silence of a Sonic Auteur




Alongside his breathtaking visuals and psychologically penetrating narratives, Bergman's brilliance is also evident in his soundtracks which intertwine music, a rich palette of sound effects, deathly silence, and blood-chilling screams.

This presentation examines Bergman’s style as a "sonic auteur" and explores the vital role of the soundtrack in his films. It elucidates Bergman's formative musical experiences, his associations with musicians, how his innovative theories pushed the boundaries of music and film, and the elements that contribute to the unique quality of his soundscapes: classical music, 20th-century film music, sound effects, and even the vocal qualities of his key characters.

Discussion of a previously undiscovered recording of an editing session with Bergman and his sound technicians sheds new light on how he encoded music in his cinematic narratives. Examples will be drawn from a number of Bergman's films: In the Presence of a Clown, From the Life of the Marionettes, Through A Glass Darkly, Saraband, Autumn Sonata, and Persona.

This presentation reveals how music inspired Bergman's filmmaking and how he used ticking clocks, church bells, classical music, screams and silence to provoke and disturb.

Alexis Luko is an Assistant Professor of Music in the School for Studies in Art and Culture and the College of the Humanities at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds a PhD from McGill University and previously worked as a Visiting Professor at the Eastman School of Music and the College Music Department at the University of Rochester.

She has published articles in the Journal of Film Music, TVNM, the Journal of Plainsong and Medieval Music, Early Music History, The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, and The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia. At Carleton she teaches courses on film music, Baroque opera, Richard Wagner, gender and music, and music of the Medieval and Renaissance eras.

Her book, Sonatas, Screams, and Silence: Music and Sound in the Films of Ingmar Bergman, was published in 2015 by Routledge.

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When and where

5.30pm - 7.30pmWednesday 21st October 2015

AG09 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom