Journal of Arts & Ideas, no. 5 (Oct-Dec 1983) p. 39.


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Notes for an Aesthetic of Cinema Sound

Kumar Shahani

As life slowly climbed the ladder of evolution, one sense after another arrived and developed. Hearing was the last to arrive, and the last to attain a state bordering on perfection.

We have acquired the habit of giving the greater part of our attention to what we see, leaving a mere fraction to what we hear

óJames Jeans (1937)

Eoth the senses of sight and sound, it may be noted, arose out of the need to perceive movement; to locate an object, and one's own relationship to it; to gauge the pressures at work; to achieve points of equilibrium and to move in a controlled manner not only from static point to static point, as we seemed to imagine in our classical civilisations, but to find in these different vibrations, and differences of pressure, the vitality of being itself.

"When does one say that a piece of material lives. When it continuously does something, moves ..."

The atomic physicist, Erwin Schrodinger, quoted by Fritz Winckel. Winckel goes on to add that

"... impulses to movement are, for example, electrical or chemical potential differences. When they are equalised, the tendency to form a chemical bond ceases: temperatures become equalised through heat transfer. Thermodynamic equilibrium results in a condition of constant rest (of maximum entropy), a condition which is precisely: death. From the physical standpoint, disorder is continuously created out of a condition of order. Nature strived for a condition of ideal disorder. . ." And again Schrodinger

"The trick by which an organisation can keep its place on a rather high level of order consists in reality of a continuous absorption of order out of the surrounding world."

Thus Music;

Journal of Arts and Ideas _ 39


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