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The art of Randy Thom

 Sound designer (FW35)

BEGIN WITH A MEMORY

PAT MURPHY
BEGIN WITH A MEMORY

You are in a small arthouse cinema in Venice, California in the late seventies, at a screening of Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy by Graham Coleman.
You are used to experiments with duration and repetition in avant-garde performance and film, familiar with the reasons: “…working with boredom as an element in the piece”. “… breaking through audience expectation that something should happen.”

You are not, however, used to the motive driving these four hours of film. Itas hard to stay with the clarity. You drift in and out. Suddenly a sub-title says: “Protect us from the Memory-stealers” - an isolated phrase which resurfaces again and again over the years as you try to work out what they mean by it.

Memory-stealers?
Supposing memory is not accumulated anecdote evoked and cherished as our selves, but the momentary arrest of that flow of story - the moment of awareness when you see how the scenery and lights are working. Memories can become static wellworn roads, an illusion of movement leading us up to the brink, only to veer away again at the last moment. Our desire and fear of this is like watching Mommo in Bailegangaire. You long for her to finish her story yet dread the revelation.