During my  5 years of research into auditory spatial awareness, which is
discussed in my book Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural
Architecture, I examined the acoustics and aural properties of real and
virtual spaces from antiquity to modern cinema. I was looking for both
consistent patterns and well as culturally specific variants.

Certainly, cinema has some examples of the most creative use of spatial
concepts. Not only is there there combination of aural and visual spaces,
but the audience experiences multiple spaces overlaid. With the use of
surround sound, aural events can be located deep in the scene on screen or
behind the listener, as in an airplane flyover or enveloping reverberation
for music. There are obviously a very large range of choices.

In my research, I was unable to find much literature on the formalism of
these artistic choices, and how the director makes his/her choices. Does
anyone know of books or articles that analyze these choices and their
artistic consequences? Or perhaps, the use of aural space in cinema is still
too new to have settled into a consistent wisdom. I am familiar with Chion's
book Audio-Vision, and there is a large literature on Fantasia, which
pioneered aural space in cinema.

I would like to extend my analysis, but without the necessary experience and
expertise, I depend upon those who are professionally active is this area.
Because the book is so interdisciplinary, integrating some dozen fields, I
could not become an expert on all of them.

Information about my book, where these issues are discussed, can be found at
the MIT Press web at: and I can
provide copies of the Introduction and Table of Contents if you send me an
email requesting them.

Barry Blesser (former MIT Prof)
[log in to unmask]

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: