Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

Music and European Identity: Notes on Pere Portabella's The Silence Before Bach

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2010), 4, (2), 213–224.

Abstract

Pere Portabella's Die Stille vor Bach (El silencio antes de Bach) (2007) is a non-narrative film full of metaphors built through the interaction of image, music and silence. In this article I stress how Portabella understands the music and the persona of Bach as an important item in contemporary European identity, focusing on the ubiquity of his music in different places and contexts. Thus, Bach acts as a pan-European icon, building bridges between the different countries of Europe. This is also represented in the characters, who travel through time and space, breaking physical and metaphorical frontiers.

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Altman, R. (ed.) (1992) Sound theory, sound practice, New York & London: Routledge Sound theory, sound practice Google Scholar

Beardsley, M. C. & Hospers, J. (1990) Estética: Historia y fundamentos, Madrid: Cátedra Estética: Historia y fundamentos Google Scholar

Brook, P. (1977) The Empty Space, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books The Empty Space Google Scholar

Caron, A., Labrande, C. & Salmona, P. (eds.) (1996) Figures du compositeur: Musiciens à l'écran, Paris: Éd. De la Réunion des musées nationaux Figures du compositeur: Musiciens à l'écran Google Scholar

Chion, M. (2003) Un art sonore, le cinema, Paris: Cahiers du Cinéma Un art sonore, le cinema Google Scholar

Donnelly, K.J. (2001) Film Music: Critical Approaches, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; and New York: Continuum Google Scholar

Sardà, Z. (2010) 'Pere Portabella: Amb la incorreció per lema', Serra d'Or, No. 603 Pere Portabella: Amb la incorreció per lema Serra d'Or Google Scholar

Wurtzler, S. (1992) 'She Sang Live, but the Microphone was Turned Off: The Live, the Recorded, and the Subject of Representation' in Altman, R. (ed.) Sound theory, sound practice, New York & London: Routledge She Sang Live, but the Microphone was Turned Off: The Live, the Recorded, and the Subject of Representation Sound theory, sound practice Google Scholar

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Author details

Radigales, Jaume