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Audible absence: searching for the site in sound production

Ambient sound is a standard term used by sound practitioners to denote the site-specific background sound component that provides a characteristic atmosphere and spatial information in a sound work. In this project Budhaditya Chattopadhyay sets out to examine how ambient sound is used as a site-specific element to create spatial awareness in sound production. Taking a critical attitude towards the notions of diegetic sound, mimesis, presence, artistic transformations of soundscapes, and technological innovations, the project highlights the inherent similarities and differences between the ways ambient sounds are used in film and sound art; the aim has been to investigate how the latter practice informs the former and vice versa. The dissertation cites examples from a substantial number of representative Indian films and focuses on three of the recent sound artworks. These case studies are examined via critical listening, historical mapping, and thorough analyses of the sound production processes. The project also draws inputs from prominent sound practitioners in the form of semi-structured interviews.

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