TEACHING AUDIO TO ANIMATORS: RETHINKING SOUND PEDAGOGY IN CONTEMPORARY ANIMATION CURRICULA
Luigi Allemano (Canada)
1 – Concordia University
Luigi Allemano is an animation filmmaker, music composer and sound designer. His work appears in more than 70 productions of the National Film Board of Canada, four of which have received Academy Award nominations. His piece Improvisation no.1: Cumulative Loops was nominated for Best Animated Film by the Canadian Screen Awards Academy in 2015 and his piece RGBebop / Anthropology received the 2018 ASIFA Excellence in Sound Design Award. Since 2009, Allemano has held faculty appointments at Concordia University in the Film Animation Undergraduate Program where he lectures on animation filmmaking and sound for animation. Allemano’s research interests include philosophy of improvisation, methodologies of pre-cinematic animation and contemporary approaches to animated visual music composition.
While animation critical theory has become an established field of academic inquiry, the role of sound in animated media remains less widely studied. Similarly, and perhaps to a greater extent, sound remains neglected in the pedagogy of animation practice. Within vocational training for the highly departmentalized animation entertainment production industry, the inattention to sound is perhaps explicable. In the context of contemporary independent auteur animation filmmaking pedagogy, the lack of tuition about sound is more problematic.
Apart from Robin Beauchamp’s pioneering Designing Sound for Animation, a published method specific to the task of educating animation artists about sound is difficult to find. Expanding on Beauchamp’s text, drawing from Randy Thom’s concept of speculative sound for animators and investigating animation-specific concepts posited by Chion, this paper proposes a paradigm of sound pedagogy for animation students, one that stems from radio arts, sound phenomenology and acoulogical theory rather than the typical film sound post-production or specialized music recording strategies. Furthermore, this paper argues that animation sound pedagogy has the potential to contribute to the understanding of animation’s ontology and to the dismantling of the persistent barrier between animated image and sound production methodologies that assume a de facto collaborative process precluding autonomous audio-visual creation and truly independent animation practice.
Luigi Allemano (Canada)