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  • Thumbnail for Fantasy for Charcoal: Two Scores and an Animated Film
    Fantasy for Charcoal: Two Scores and an Animated Film by Ling, Rishi

    Fantasy for Charcoal explores the connections between animated films and music. In my self-scored, self-animated film, I create two soundscapes that impact the film in markedly different ways. The animation itself draws from the techniques of William Kentridge, a South-African artist who animates with charcoal and conté. My charcoal animation interacts with two contrasting soundtracks. The first, a piece for classical guitar, is inspired by Toru Takemitsu’s Folios (1974) and All in Twilight (1988); the piece interacts with and responds to moments in the film through twentieth-century extended guitar techniques, harmonies, and textures. The second soundtrack, inspired by Lech Jankowsky’s soundscape in Stacey Steers’s experimental animation Edge of Alchemy (2017), reflects the animation’s source material. Composed from sounds recorded in the animation studio, such as the sounds of charcoal and eraser rubbing on paper, this piece evokes the film’s creation albeit masked by distortion, layering, reverb, and other digital effects. My project addresses the following questions: How can sound communicate ideas left out of the film? How can a soundtrack that uses sounds from the animation studio communicate the creation process of the film itself? How does the order in which the two versions of the film are screened influence the viewer’s experience of each film? How have twentieth- and twenty-first-century composers and animators collaborated to create films that constitute strong emotional works through dissonant conceptual music, and occasionally, non-representational imagery?