October (2013) - The Sound of "The Birds"
- article: The Sound of "The Birds"
- author(s): Richard Allen
- journal: October (Fall 2013)
- issue: volume 146, pages 97-120
- journal ISSN: 0162-2870
- publisher: The MIT Press
- keywords: Alfred Hitchcock: Centenary Essays (1999) edited by Richard Allen & S. Ishii Gonzales, Alfred Hitchcock, Bernard Herrmann, Bill Krohn, Blackmail (1929), Bodega Bay, California, Cahiers du Cinéma, Elisabeth Weis, Franz Waxman, François Truffaut, George Tomasini, Helen Scott, Hitchcock Annual, Hitchcock Chronology: 1951, Hitchcock Chronology: 1955, Hitchcock at Work (2000) by Bill Krohn, Hitchcock's Romantic Irony (2007) by Richard Allen, Jack Sullivan, James Wierzbicki, Jessica Tandy, Laurence Olivier, Lee Edelman, London, England, Margaret Herrick Library, Beverly Hills, California, Michel Chion, New York City, New York, Oskar Sala, Rebecca (1940), Remi Gassmann, Richard Allen, Rod Taylor, Saul Bass, Slavoj Žižek, Spellbound (1945), Steven C. Smith, The Birds (1963), The Silent Scream: Alfred Hitchcock's Sound Track (1982) by Elisabeth Weis, Tides Wharf Restaurant, Bodega Bay, California, Tippi Hedren, Veronica Cartwright
In this essay the author explores the role of electronic sound in the 1963 motion picture "The Birds" directed by Alfred Hitchcock. More specifically, the author evaluates and seeks to understand the role played by electronically composed sound effects, created by an instrument called the Mixturtrautonium played by the German musician Oskar Sala, in the director's overall conception of the film. It is argued that Hitchcock's embrace of electronic sound should be understood as a self-conscious effort to push the boundaries of his art.