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Pat's Response to Tarkovsky
Here are the statements from Tarkovsky that seemed to me the most striking:
"I find music film most acceptable when it is used like a refrain...The refrain brings us back to our first experience of entering that poetic world..." -- The idea of music themes in film has a strong history and I agree that it is very effective. Returning to familiar material in new ways provides the subtle musical "coloring" of which Tarkovsky speaks in his essay. From a practical standpoint, the use of familiar material can be an expedient way to keep music in the background of audience attention. As we read earlier, film is a "verbocentric" art form, and music generally cannot be so prominent as to distract attention from the characters' lines.
"Music is not just an appendage to the visual image." -- This seems reminiscent of both "The Unity of the Senses" and our reading about Added Value. The idea that music must be conceptualized as an integral part of a film is compelling and seems widely popular. However, knowing that the standard procedure in the industry is to compose and integrate music after the video image, I wonder how film directors truly understand the scope of exactly what the music brings to the table. Perhaps it is a question for Bill and Doug.
"Music in cinema is for me a natural prat of our resonant world, a part of human life." -- I seem to write about this quite often, but it comes up in so many readings that I cannot help but extract a common theme. Good music for me encapsulates some facet of human experience, and Tarkovsky seems to agree. Plus, the view that music must be somehow organic reinforces the argument that music must conceived as a natural and fundamental part of the film as a whole.
"Above all, I feel that the sounds of this world are so beautiful in themselves that if only we could learn to listen to them properly cinema would have no need of music at all." -- Unfortunately, I must end my reaction in disharmony with this statement from Tarkovsky. Certainly the natural sounds and rhythm of life are beautiful. But in my view the best music understands this beauty, and organizes, amplifies, and embodies the sounds of life in a way that is so much more powerful than just the sounds themselves. Music reflects the sincerity and intentionality of human experience, and for this reason will for me always supersede mere sound.