Acousmatic Foley: Son-en-Scène

  • Sara Pinheiro Center Audiovisual Studies FAMU


“Acousmatic Foley” is practice-based research on sound dramaturgy stemming from musique concrète and Foley Art. This article sets out a theory based on the concept of “son-en-scène”, which forms the sonic content of the mise-en-scène, as perceived (esthesic sound). The theory departs from the well-known features of a soundscape (R. M. Schafer, 1999) and the listening modes in film as asserted by Chion (1994), in order to arrive at three main concepts: sound-prop, sound-actor and sound-motif. Throughout their conceptualization, the study theorizes a sonic dramaturgy that focuses on the sounds themselves and their practical influence on film's story-telling elements. For that, it conveys an assessment of sound in film-history based on the “montage of attractions” and foley art, together with the principles of acousmatic listening. This research concludes that film-sound should be to sound designers what a “sonorous object” is to musique concrète, albeit conveying all sound’s fictional aspects.