Journal of Sonic Studies, volume 6, nr. 1 (January 2014)James Batcho: THE SONIC LIFEWORLD: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF THE IMAGINATIVE POTENTIAL OF ANIMATION SOUND
The wonder of animation lies in its ability to create entirely new worlds that exist only in the imagination. Much care is taken to render these worlds visibly in great detail. Sound, however, is grounded in everyday reality in order to legitimize our expectations of experiential logic and continuity. This paper argues for new ways of thinking about how sound might move beyond this strict adherence to the visual by going beyond the rational. The problem of sound design is that it is an exercise in satisfying modes of Cartesian dualism, which separates the outside world of extension from the inner world of consciousness. Sound design should instead be conceived phenomenologically, as modes of disclosure and nondisclosure to consciousness. I propose new ways of thinking about the sonic connection of character to lifeworld, and in the process offer a critique of prevailing notions of film theory as related to the hearing and listening subject.