Sculpting in Sound

“The ear goes more towards the within, the eye towards the outer.” These are Robert Bresson’s words, but they must have rang true to Andrei Tarkovsky as well. For the Russian master’s use of sound is second to none, even though his haunting visuals often get all the attention of viewers and critics alike.


Not in this video essay. Alpha Alpaca Pack, the nom de video of Elliott Nunn, listens carefully to the sound design of Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Using quotes from the director’s book Sculpting in Time and of collaborators, this video essay weaves together an aural tapestry that reveals the subtle permutations in the sound design of that classic movie. Nunn takes his time to let the audience listen to the changing rhythms and atmospheres, not falling for the usual hectic pacing of some other YouTube video essayists. A nice contribution to sound studies, one of the fields the audiovisual essay is most suited for.