Mar 30, 2011

Norman McLaren's Soundscapes and the use of Jazz in Abstract Animations

The still above is from Norman McLaren's (1914-87) animation, Neighbours, from 1952. Although in itself it is not a non-objective abstracted animation, the soundtrack functions in itself as a form of abstracting the visual dialogue that unfolds throughout the duration of the animation. With bleeps and bloops that form an electronic soundscape the piece easily dissolves into a wordless dispute that explores semiotics and language through the minimalist environment created by the soundtrack.

Upon further investigation of the use of sound as a means to further a dialogue with abstraction through animation I was lead to a posting on Cartoon Brew about the utilization of jazz within animation shorts--again not particularly of the non-objective variety, but more as the precursors to the use of jazz and music as an elaboration and companion to abstract forms and content. In explanation of some of the music used as a means of reinforcing the abstracted landscape being created in these animations, a timeline of information was offered to give a sense of how vital jazz and music in general was to the animations during much of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

Albert Ammons

Eldon Rathburn

The end of the posting mentions that animators like McLaren carried on this tradition. McLaren is noted for collaborations with jazz artist Albert Ammons, and film composer Eldon Rathburn--both pictured above.


Cartoon Brew

|| Post by: Stephanie Clark ||

1 comment:

  1. I really love your posts. Also, I was hoping somebody would post about Neighbors!