Archive for publications, 2020

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[Commlist] New book: The Auditory Setting: Environmental Sounds in Film and Media Arts

Wed Sep 23 10:17:28 GMT 2020

The Auditory Setting: Environmental Sounds in Film and Media Arts

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay


The Auditory Setting introduces and investigates how narrative and a sense of place are constructed in film and media arts through the reproduction and mediation of site-specific environmental sounds, or ‘ambience’. Although this sonic backdrop acts as the acoustically mediated space where a story or event can take place, there has been little academic study of sound’s undervalued role in cinematic setting and production. Drawing on theories of narrative, diegesis, mimesis and presence, and following a varied number of relevant audio-visual works, this book is a ground-breaking exploration of human agency in mediating environmental sounds and the nature of the sonic experience in the Anthropocene.

Table of Contents:

Part I: Introduction
1. The first sound and the curiosity
2. The auditory context and signification
3. Key concepts and definitions
4. Approach and method

Part II: Sonic trajectories
5. Monaural soundtracks and recording (sonic) reality
6. Stereo sound and the expanded space
7. Digital surround sound and the mimetic site

Part III: On location and other stories
8. Land, field, meadow
9. Forest, jungle
10. Village, rural environment
11. Indoors
12. Riverbank, beach, island
13. Street, public squares, urban neighbourhood
14. Public transport
15. Airport
16. Underwater, outer space

Part IV: Critical listening
17. Mapping the aesthetic choices in sound production
18. Auditory presence and better practice
19. The God of small sounds
20. Emerging trends and future directions

List of works


Budhaditya Chattopadhyay is an Indian-born media artist, composer, researcher, and writer. Incorporating diverse media, such as sound, text, and moving image, Chattopadhyay produces works for large-scale installation and live performance addressing contemporary issues of climate crisis, human intervention in the environment and ecology, urbanity, migration, race, and decolonization. Chattopadhyay has received numerous fellowships, residencies and international awards. His works have been widely exhibited, performed or presented across the globe, and published by Gruenrekorder (Germany) and Touch (UK). Chattopadhyay is the author of The Nomadic Listener (2020); his writings on various issues around sound and listening regularly appear in peer-reviewed journals, magazines, and other publications internationally. Chattopadhyay holds a PhD in sound studies from the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, and an MA in new media from Aarhus University; he has recently completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship. Website: <>

Contact: (mail /at/ <mailto:(mail /at/>

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