The Sound is Innocent: Johana Ožvold Review

It’s only right and proper that a film about electronic music should have its UK premiere here in Sheffield, after all, we all but invented it didn’t we? Well, no, as this film shows us, it’s been around since surplus technology, left over from the Second World War was re-purposed to create sounds. First time director Johana Ozvoid has made an unusual and very individual film, which asks as many questions about the future of the genre as it provides explanations of what has been achieved so far. It focuses on several influential pioneers, and asks the question early on in the film, how can we recognise the moment when sound becomes music? In the Fifties, electronic sounds made by composers was seen as music from the future. Against a backdrop of early space exploration, and sci-fi, the electronic music that was being created all seemed part of moving into new realms of experience. From the very start, electronic music was a place where science and art overlapped. It is perhaps no coincidence that a great deal of our own Sheffield sound came from the students of Psalter Lane Art College, and in this film, a section of the most interesting electronic music is performed by people who are visual art students. Experimental sounds rule the day, programmers become poets, and even the unusual way in which this film is constructed, all give the viewer a feeling that this is a world where music can be created from just about any source. From the opening sequence, which is a procession of outdated electronic devices which have reached the end of their useful lives, to seeing the interviewees appear in unusual ways, which I won’t spoil, as it’s all part of the fun, this is a fascinating film. By the end you begin to agree with the theory that electronic music is architectural. Rather than listen to it, you inhabit it.

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