Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

Immersive Point-of-Audition

Alfonso Cuarón’s Three-Dimensional Sound Design Approach

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2019), 13, (1), 31–58.

Abstract

Technological advances have always had an impact on the development of new audio-visual aesthetics. Recently, exploiting the spatial capabilities of immersive sound technology in the form of Dolby Atmos, Alfonso Cuarón introduced in Gravity (2013) an innovative sound design approach that enhances the illusion of ‘presence’ in the space of the diegesis by always maintaining a coherent, realistic, and immersive representation of a given point-of-audition. Such sonic strategy – which we have termed immersive point-of-audition – provides a three-dimensional representation of the filmic space, localising sound effects, music, and dialogue in accordance to the position of the sources within the diegesis. In this paper, we introduce the definition and main characteristics of this emergent sound design approach, and using Gravity as an illustrative example, we argue that it has the potential of facilitating the processes of transportation and identification in cinema.

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Author details

Idrovo, René

Pauletto, Sandra