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October (2013) - The Sound of "The Birds"




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.