Time and narrative forms

The narrative techniques and styles evolve through time, and I could that the velocity on how we obtain information in the present (like google search) is training our brains to acquire information, fast, and our capabilities to make a whole out of parts allow us to retrieve information without mattering the historical or time order of it.

Also, it has become a style, and for some stories, it creates more drama, anxiety and attention.

I used to do some VJing back in Mexico, and unlike some VJs who just “mix” the actual official videos of songs, or just put flashes and girls dancing, I like to tell stories in it… history of pyramids, traditions, metaphysics, nature phenomena are just a few examples of what I like to show, and the possibility of the mind of absorbing information in non structured way and “fast” has being letting me share it with audience, or at least that is what I think.

Is nice to see and experience through the time more and more nice use of this kind of storytelling in movies and art pieces, it is like jumping into someone else mind and decode it or showing your mind as it flows in your head, (sometimes we think so fast and have already made connections for information that we don’t need to organize it in order to access to it.


Rhythm, bpm

by Susana Alarcon



Rhythm affects the flow of a composition, it can help us to modify time, but on another hand is a tool to manipulate brains and heart beats, and maybe everything in the world.

In the last years I have been very interested in how our world is made of vibrating particles moving at a certain frequency and time.  We humans, same, function in certain rhythms and frequencies and the exposition of our body and brain to rhythms and frequencies modifies the way they work. Is it like a synching connection?

Music rhythm can affect heart beat and in funky and recent studies it has prove to modify cells, water, particles of objects… but until there is not more studies, information available and regulations on the topic (I’m sure they will some day) sound designers can keep playing with the manipulation by rhythm and also frequency.



Is innate in humans the creation and colouring of the reality with music. If we do it in the reality (example parties, trips, special moments, just “fill the ambience”, to remember …) it is obvious its use in movies when the aim is to create a reality. But as seen, and thinking and analyzing more deeply… the use of music in created realities, movies, games, apps, … is larger and richer in those worlds.

in the reality you have place with specific sounds, in the created one it is possible to set places, periods, dimensions, styles, time flow, emotions, sensations…I am not saying we don’t do it in reality, but the variables in use of music in movies specially,  are more defined.


by Susana Alarcon


I just loved the topic! It is so natural to recognize a leitmotif once you hear a piece critically and it is so impressive that they become such a powerful tool to make a point, bring emotions or characters and situations to scene, with nothing more than sound!

Better: the sound doesn’t stay in the movie teather, or in the DVD, or the .mov file, if it is strong enough it stays with the audience forever. It can become a “meaning” in the real world, in the real tradition.

Something to remember that I took out of Wikipedia basic Leitmotif definition and that I think gives a complete picture of it and how it works and lives in a movie, song, even literature:

The Leitmotif is a recurring figure,  “the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity.”and it can be”clearly identified so as to retain its identity if modified on subsequent appearances, whether such modification be in terms of rhythm, harmony, orchestration or accompaniment.

Silence the music

by Susana Alarcon


I know that kind of half of my posts have been about the use of silence and imagination, but here I go again pointing out it.

“It is not good to decorate images with too much music when the images themselves have sufficient content to awake audience’s imaginations intensively. ”

Toru Takemitsu.

Even in silly fashion, interiors, products,… designer stuff, we know sometimes less is MORE.

I guess the difficult part in it would be to learn when to say “that’s too much” and to appreciate the focus on the other media (visuals) in the play. A powerful image, lightly or even lacking of sound (either sfxs, music, or both) can trigger audience’s mind and boost the story.

We are used to expect more than reality

by Susana Alarcon


I will use a not very good example to make my point, but, I kind of new it and had thought about it with fight scenes.

I used to attend to box in my country (Mexico) and hmm, yes, you can hear the punch if you are close enough, but of course that the sound, its qualities and amplification, have nothing to do of what we see and expect in a movie.

Oh other example, UFC ! Now they have microphones really close to the action and I’m sure they are super amplified to be transmitted so the audience can hear the punch. But still, not as “punchy” as in movies.

In movies, we expect a fake amplified reality, is that cinema and sound evolution’s fault? What will happen with our reality if we keep expecting more and more immersion in an exaggerated reality, will it become boring?



Hitchcock and Psyco

by Susana Alarcon

Though I know now that Hitchcock didn’t want a score in the shower scene and the sound team (ok, more because Bernard Herman) anyway put a selection of horror style strings composition, and, it worked out awesome. I think the outcome of Mr. Hitchcock’s idea description could had worked as well… let’s read:

We should hear water gurgling down the drain of the bathtub, especially when we go closer it… during the murder, the sound of the shower should be continuous and monotonous, only broken by the screams of Marion.”

I think I still think in the power of our mind and the idea of creating tension with real and hyper real sounds, force reality and let our imagination work.

Other point:

I think that for sure, the good implementation of the sounds in Hitchcock’s movies has a lot to do with his descriptions of sounds and feeling, after all he was the mind creating the world. As he said, ‘To describe a sound effect accurately, one has to imagine its equivalent in dialogue.’