MPSE Wavelength

Fall 2023

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M OT I O N P I CTU R E S O U N D E D I TO R S 55 for understanding. "The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another." (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980). "George Lakoff made it clear in his earliest writings (Lakoff, 1987, 1993; Lakoff and Johnson 1980) that there are two main hypotheses in CMT: (1) metaphor is a matter of thought; (2) metaphor is a central phenomenon in our everyday life." (Cuccio, V., 2018). Juan Chattah developed a very interesting system for embedding Conceptual Metaphor Theory into the analysis of sound and more specifically, film soundtracks. Like me, he is interested in how our embodied cognition of music and sound influence the uses we give it and the way we perceive it. In "Film Music as Embodiment" he claims that the potential of music to produce affective experiences comes from our tendency toward metaphoric reasoning. And that "We resort to metaphors to understand abstract phenomena in terms of concrete embodied experiences." (Chattah, 2015). He explains that metaphors are the most suitable vehicle for musical interpretation and introduces the concept of 'schemas' as abstract- level mental structures that emerge from our perception of objects or concepts. He proposes a LINEARITY schema; "A metaphorical correlation based on the LINEARITY image schema, for instance, highlights a continuous one-dimensional quality in two domains. Examples of concepts that share a LINEARITY soundtrack can be analysed within this embodied cognition framework. After we've established how embodied cognition can be a tool for the analysis of the soundtrack, we'll talk about its merits in informing sound design choices. To explain how sound informs the embodied cognition of a film, we'll first look at Juan Chattah's brilliant chapter, "Film Music as Embodiment," for examples on how we can apply various conceptual metaphors to the analysis of the film's soundtrack. In this section of the chapter, I am interested in how our embodied cognition of music influences the uses we give it and the way we perceive it. In order to be comfortable with the material ahead, let's define metaphor and Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT); Metaphors in language are figures of speech that refer to a concept by invoking another. One of the most popular metaphors is TIME IS MONEY. Conceptual Metaphor Theory Now that we've defined metaphor, let's define Conceptual Metaphor Theory. CMT was coined by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in their book Metaphors We Live By (1980). According to Zoltán Kövecses, "The theory goes back a long way and builds on centuries of scholarship that takes metaphor not simply as an ornamental device in language but as a conceptual tool for structuring, restructuring and even creating reality." (Kövecses, 2016). In Conceptual Metaphor Theory, metaphors are used as methods Frames from The Godfather (1972). PSYCHOLOGICAL TENSION IS LOUDNESS conceptual metaphor at play.

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