Saturday, August 06, 2011

Movie Music

I love the idea of going "to the movies," but I don't go very often because the mini-megaplex located on a highway near us (they closed the theater in our town) rarely shows movies I want to see. Every time I go, I am bombarded by the volume they set for movies, and even more bombarded by the coming attractions.

I know that my family tires of me stepping out and asking the concession stand workers to ask the projectionist to turn down the volume, so Last night, for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I brought a set of earplugs.

Even with the earplugs, the coming attractions were almost unbearable. They all seem to use a constant ultra-low bass drone that makes my stomach and its surrounding digestive organs rumble. I wonder if this is an intentional way to get people viscerally excited about seeing something, particularly when the movie may just be an "updated" version of an proven classic like The Shining or Jaws. Without earplugs the bombardment is all-encompassing (and I believe dangerous), with earplugs it's possible to hear the manipulative rumble-bass layer.

I used to want to write film music. There is so much of it, particularly music for films made in the 30s, 40s, and 50s that I truly love. Given my age and location (as well as many other factors), I can't imagine that the possibility of writing film music will ever come up for me, but if this high-volume manipulative-bass stuff is what writing film music has come to, I don't think I would even be interested.

I did like the movie, by the way.


Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I love my earplugs. I keep a set in my gig bag, and also take a pair when I go to parties, movies, etc. (Keep them clean by using a little case or even a tiny zip-loc.) My hearing is too precious to waste it on noise. A few years ago we went to the bar mitzvah for a friend's son - the music at the party was so loud that we had to leave. It made me sick to my stomach and hurt my ears. I was sad for the kids who danced directly in front of the speaker - surely there was permanent hearing loss. Two years later when we went to his sister's bat mitzvah, I remembered to take my earplugs. It was too noisy to talk with tablemates, anyway. The noise ruined both events for me. Same thing at a recent gala dinner. Why do people think that louder is always better? The volume distorts anthing musical and it ends up as sheer noise. /rant

--Sarah said...

I bring my musician's earplugs everywhere these days. We went to The Tree of Life (which I loved) and the movie was fine, but the previews were deafening. I should bring my decibel meter along and see what they are doing to our ears!

Darren Mcandrews said...

Movie trailers are extremely loud that’s why I always have my earplugs with me whenever we go see a movie. I always remind my friends who frequently go clubbing to wear one too, because once our sense of hearing is gone, you can’t get it back. We really shouldn’t take it for granted.

Darren Mcandrews