Landscape, soundscape, taskscape in the films The Hurt Locker (2008), Katalin Varga (2009)

Jean Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new, exciting film sound practice is emerging. Contemporary film soundtracksdo not exclude music, but seamlessly integrate it with sound design andsoundscape composition. Such emancipated use of sound in film, whetherenvironmental or musical, has merged different sound practices developed in the20th century:1) Acoustic ecology and the soundscape composition explore the relationshipof humans with their acoustic environments. They reflect and createawareness of soundscapes and use techniques of field recording to documentthe sonic environment preserving their contextual associations.2) Digital sound and music technology enable sound designers to play thestudio apparatus like a composer uses an orchestra, employing sophisticatedtechniques (e.g. selecting, augmenting, sampling, manipulating,mixing and diffusing sound in the surround field) to create emotions. Asa result, the collaboration between image and sound track has intensified,for example, reducing the importance of the establishing shot.This paper reflects theories of landscape, soundscape and taskscape in the contextof film and shows how the artistic practice of soundscape composition can createrich film soundtracks, taking two recent films, the Oscar winning The HurtLocker (2008) and Katalin Varga (2009) as examples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalThe New Soundtrack
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • film sound
  • soundscape


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