Who Heard What . . .
"Until the late nineteenth century, people ususally had little access to music unless they made the music themselves, and even in the nineteen-twenties, when Wired Radio began, most people's lives were still tuneless much of the time." (69)
Tuneless? Maybe, maybe not. And researching this is tough, too, right?
After the description of his movie music experiment (which seems a little naive to me, I mean, he said he was a sound engineer), Collis says,
"Suddenly, I understood that the emotional content of a movie is driven largely by your ears. Your eyes can tell you what's going on in a scene, but its hard to feel through your eyes." (69)
Interesting, and problably true given certain movies at certain times. But this particular mapping of sensory experience and affect seems very culturally specific. This piece might have worked better if Owen were studying the prescene of music in the experience of the bourgeois family in the US . . . who might not have had much experience of public music and sound of the 19th century (but then again) and who might or might not be historically related to the shoppers at Abercrombie and Fitch. Or if he'd emphasized the historical association of music and consumption.
Categories: aural, material, spatial, newyorker, film