Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Sound in Lost and the disavowal of reality

Nardi, C. (2012) Sound in Lost and the disavowal of reality. In: Montano, E. and Nardi, C. (eds.) Montano, Ed and Nardi, Carlo Situating Popular Musics: IASPM 16th International Conference Proceedings. Liverpool: International Association for the Study of Popular Music. 2225-0301. pp. 185-191.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Abstract: This paper looks at the use of synchronised sound in the American television series Lost (2004-2010). Here the score bypasses the conventional distinction between diegetic and nondiegetic sound, thus affecting the viewer’s capacity to make sense of the narrative. I will show how this reflects a current tendency in the media towards the spectacularisation of reality and the fictionalisation of information. The inclusion in the plot of issues such as torture, terrorism or racism, which at the time of the screening were at the centre of the public debate, makes this use of the medium especially problematic. The effect of the score in Lost is not just one of disorientation, as it also contributes to the conviction that there is no available perspective that would grant an understanding of the countless mysteries that characterise the series; accordingly, the possibility itself of a rational explanation of the fictional events is often avoided through illogical turns in the plot. Background sounds play a role in generating this divergence between (fictional) reality and perception: if the fictional world is mystified, any means to know, understand and control it through our senses is frustrated, so that the spectator has to relinquish to the inexplicability of events. I will read this loss of perspective in the light of the theory of alienation, explaining how music is used in order to obtain a derangement of perception
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lost, senses, alienation, conspiracy theory, infotainment
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1992 Television broadcasts
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature on music > ML3800 Philosophical and societal aspects of music > ML3830 Psychology
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature on music > ML2080 Television music
Creators: Nardi, Carlo
Editors: Montano, Ed and Nardi, Carlo
Publisher: International Association for the Study of Popular Music
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology
Date: 20 December 2012
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 185-191
Title of Book: Situating Popular Musics: IASPM 16th International Conference Proceedings
Event Title: Situating Popular Musics: International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) 16th International Conference
Event Dates: 27 June - 01 July 2011
Place of Publication: Liverpool
Event Location: Grahamstown, South Africa
Event Type: Conference
Number of Pages: 359
Language: English
ISBN: 2225-0301
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
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