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Sound Scripts

Sound Scripts

Article Title

Suburban Dread: The Music of Angelo Badalamenti in the Films of David Lynch

Abstract

When the Comte de Lautréamont wrote of a chance dissection of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table, he could hardly have foreseen that his idea would become a motto for the production of visual art. The Surrealist movement took Lautréamont at his word, using the unlikely juxtaposition of ordinary objects to provoke an experience of what Andre Breton called the marvelous. Breton however never extended his linguistic notion of the marvelous into sound, and a subsequent history of such juxtapositions in sound work, including musique concrète, neo-avant-garde and Krautrock remains to be thought out. Although a diversity of positions in Surrealism have been exhumed by recent art criticism, this paper is focussed specifically on Breton’s own orthodox Surrealist notion of the marvelous. This paper traces the idea within the Surrealist paradigm before moving to the work of Steven Stapleton, better known as the principal artist behind Nurse With Wound. The album, The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion is a chaotic collage of sounds which puts Breton’s own theory of the marvelous into practice in the realm of sound art, yet unlike the productivity of visual surrealism, it also enacts a simultaneous negation of this very same marvelous.

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