Sound editing of Herqueville – 1

Last Monday, I went to Claude Beaugrand’s studio in Bedford to listen to what he had been doing during the week after our first meeting. Editing sound over the noise music of Fred Frith was quite a challenge. Dramatically, Fred’s music was absolutely doing the job. Actually, in the first place, the film was constructed according to the music so it was no surprise that there was a very strong organic connection between the music and the images and that it seemed that maybe nothing else was needed.

But my basic intuition was that some sound were needed to give a sense of space to the film by adding sounds of nature. The initial objective was rather naturalistic, but nothing is naturalistic in this film so it was obvious that any added sound would somehow have to become a metaphor. But I was convinced that Claude was «the» person who could succeed to walk on this tight line. The problem he was facing seemed a little bit similar to what i had to deal with when I first started to work on the animation and was unsure if the film needed any animation anyway.
So we first had a lenghty discussion at Claude’s workshop in Montreal and designed a first approach to this final phase of the production. It was interesting to see that even at sound editing time the entire meaning and form of the film was back on the loom. One of the new thread that had to be strengthened by sound was this whole idea of Icarus that was introduce with the new title (Herqueville ou l’éblouissement d’Icare, which I am now just about to abandon to go back to simply Herqueville, I felt I was trying to spell out too much the meaning of the film). so the sounds of birds where going to be important.
Claude worked by himself for a week and last Monday I heard what he had been doing. We spent the entire day balancing his sound effects with Fred’s music and we were both quite happy with the result and were convinced that we were on the right track. We recorded noise of paper sheets to be synchronized with my hands putting the poems on screen. This is something I wanted to try but at that point I was not too sure because there was so much already going on with the music and the sound of the waves, but it proved very effective. So Claude was to spend another week to work on the birds, the paper noise and some volcanic noises that we were hoping would give a deeper character to some of the waves. Tomorrow morning I will go again at Berford to listen to what was done during the week.

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