• Sara Pinheiro PhD student, Bangor University, The School of Music and Media Wales, United Kingdom
Keywords: foley, gesture, acousmatic, film, sound design


The research project “Acousmatic Foley” addresses common traits between foley art and Concrete Music, based on the idea that the foley artist is an acousmatic listener and, in turn, that acousmatic listening is a form of fiction. In this line, the study argues that both fields have similar treatment of the “sonorous object”. For this purpose, the research builds on two lines of thought: the “son-en-scène” and the “mise-en-son”. Firstly, the “son-en-scène” focuses on the sounds of the filmic mise-en-scène (and its sound props), from very early cases to contemporary instances. The focus on these sound-props provides a perspective of sound for film that emphasizes its role as a tool of fiction and, thus, foley as the craft that leads to that experience. Secondly, “mise-en-son” sheds light on the making of the sound itself by exploring the concept of musical gesture. Either in contexts in which the musical gesture is visible (as with instruments), more cryptic (as with electronic devices), or completely delegated (as in acousmatic music), gesture can be seen a form of agency. Given that foley consists of maneuvering a sound-prop, gesture is as central to foley as it is to musical practices. This paper focus on the idea that gesture carries the same conception as the “sonorous object”, that of an “intentional unit”. In line with this, and in particular when of acousmatic nature, the research argues that the sonorous object is analogous to the sound-prop. In the end, these two lines of thought (son-en-scènce and mise-en-son) bridge the poietic and esthetic, as in Nattiez’s semiotic distinction, towards an experience of “acousmatic foley”.

Author Biography

Sara Pinheiro, PhD student, Bangor University, The School of Music and Media Wales, United Kingdom

Sara Pinheiro graduated in Cinema (Lisbon, 2008) and holds a Master of Music in Sonology (The Hague, 2012), where she is a guest lecturer. She has been part of the teaching committee at CAS – FAMU since 2013. Her academic work is practice-based research under the name of “Acousmatic Foley”. She is currently a PhD student at The School of Music and Media in the Bangor University (UK), under the Parry Williams scholarship. She does sound recording, editing, foley and mixing for film and video-art. In her solo practice, she makes acousmatic pieces, usually for multichannel performances, radio broadcasts or installations.