This book explores how photography and recorded music act as vehicles or catalysts in processes of remembering, and how they are regarded, treated, valued and drawn upon as resources connecting past and present in everyday life. It does so via two key concepts: vernacular memory and the mnemonic imagination.
Film has shaped modern society in part by changing its cultures of memory. Film, Music, Memory reveals that this change has rested in no small measure on the mnemonic powers of music. As films were consumed by growing American and European audiences, their soundtracks became an integral part of individual and collective memory. Berthold Hoeckner analyzes three critical processes through which music influenced this new culture of memory: storage, retrieval, and affect. Films store memory through an archive of cinematic scores. In turn, a few bars from a soundtrack instantly recall the image that accompanied them, and along with it, the affective experience of the movie. Hoeckner examines films that reflect directly on memory, whether by featuring an amnesic character, a traumatic event, or a surge of nostalgia. As the history of cinema unfolded, movies even began to recall their own history through quotations, remakes, and stories about how cinema contributed to the soundtrack of people’s lives. Ultimately, Film, Music, Memory demonstrates that music has transformed not only what we remember about the cinematic experience, but also how we relate to memory itself.
This book shows how the mnemonic imagination creatively uses the resources of photography and music in the registering and management of change. Looking in particular at major transitions and turning points, it covers key issues of identity for the remembering subject and key scales of remembering in vernacular milieus. The book explores the connections of memory and remembering with transformations in intimate relationships, migration and spatial mobilities, loss and bereavement involving loved ones or those with whom close affinities are felt, resulting in a volume that helps fill the gap in memory studies caused by lack of sustained ethnographic work. Drawing on extensive fieldwork on the processes and practices of remembering in everyday life, it demonstrates how the mnemonic imagination is central to the management of change and transition, and how its cross-temporal interanimations of past, present and future are fostered and facilitated by the visual and sonic resources of photography and recorded music.
For eight years, James Landry published MusicFromTheFilm.blogspot.com, a work of over 1,000 photographs and stories narrating the human condition, excerpted as Memory Music. Using overheard conversations from Metro and city streets, and photographs of Washington, D.C., the Eastern Shore of Maryland, New York, Hawaii, Britain, Iceland, and Spain, James Landry has created a masterpiece of found art. Explore James Landry's art at sites.google.com/site/landryjart