||Stream of Consciousness and Minimalism: A Study of Mrs. Dalloway, The Hours, and the Music of Philip Glass
||Department of English
||Chin Kang Hu
Stream of consciousness
縱觀現代的電影配樂，從如羅素列克（Russell Lack）所敘述的輔助劇情、製造氛圍的陪襯角色，轉變至今，成為電影元素中，闡述故事、引導劇情、甚至是主導劇情的角色。本論文主要的宗旨在於探討菲利普格拉斯（Philip Glass）極簡主義音樂及吳爾芙（Virginia Woolf）文本中的音樂性，及藉由《時時刻刻》電影裡，三位女主角們的意識流中與格拉斯配樂交疊助瀾的相互作用。正如同黑格爾（Hegel）在於音樂的美學中提到音樂能帶來人體內在的悸動，爾後消散於無形之中。另一方面阿多諾（Adorno）更指出，音樂的表現將其中所代表的意象合理化，使音樂本身如同語言一般傳達當中所包涵的意義。列克另一方面認為，電影中的配樂（score）及音軌（soundtrack），在無形中開啟觀眾的感官世界，並以更直覺的方式，使觀眾更能融入電影的角色劇情中。因此電影音樂可被定義成電影中，另一種「非語言式」（Nonverbal）的敘事手法。並且在近十幾年中的電影發展裡，成為常用的表現技巧。在《時時刻刻》中，格拉斯的配樂之所以能以極簡主義的手法，成功地展現出吳爾芙文本中所呈現的意識流動，其箇中的道理在於吳爾芙的文本中，那種非線性的「陰性書寫」，無意中與極簡主義中不斷重覆的精神，相互呼應。加上格拉斯那如同成癮般瘋狂重疊的旋律，比起其他極簡主義音樂家的風格，更能顯現出《時時刻刻》中，吳爾芙、布朗夫人及克勞莉莎和理查之間那種近於瘋狂的精神狀態並且另一方面突顯出後現代生活中人們之間那種受到空間壓縮、格式化般不斷重覆地機械化生活。
||This thesis aims at the investigation of musical fluidity in the context of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and how Philip Glass’s minimalist music related to Woolf’s works. The similarities and differences between minimalist music and the Woolf-style of stream of consciousness in Mrs. Dalloway is also one main concern of this project. Hegel’s aesthetics of music refers that the ear “listens to the result of the inner vibration of body…[Also it] is annihilated again by its very existence, and…vanishes of itself.” In addition, Adorno in Essays On Music offers a compelling theory to interpret music as a kind of language—“Music aims at an intention-less language, ...which used the rationalization of music as a means of coming to terms with its resemblance to language” (Adorno, 114). Moreover, Russell Lack also points out that a film score is not just a supporting element in a film production; it can play a more significant part in narrating the story for a film (Lack, 174). According to Lack’s passages, people can tell how a film score can function as a key to open the threshold to the audience’s feelings (174) and therefore the musical soundtrack flows along with the states of mind among the characters in the film of The Hours. Film music can be defined as a kind of nonverbal, but suggestive voice-over in storytelling through its “lyricless” acts.
In addition, a piece of film score or original soundtrack can also functionally offers a different environment for the audience to “re-experience” the aura of the film with the acoustic bodies of sound and its musical narratives to the literary work. Instead of regarding music and image as a sort of language, it is much better just to focus on the sublime of these two media and how they correspond with each other to the Text (in Barthian sense), and in this case, the context of Woolf. Kant describes the differences between beauty and the sublime: “the beauty in nature is a question of the form of the object … whereas the sublime is to be found in an object even devoid of form (Kant, 75).” If one compares sheet music to a form of a language, the purpose of this musical language may vary from the language we know. The point is—one can realize the beauty of a language from a book as well as sense the sublime of the context. The reading of a sheet music, however, cannot reveal neither the beauty nor the sublime of music itself . As real music is released into the thin air, it seems the form of the music deforms itself even though the sublime of the music keep suspending in the air like Glass describes in his interview in Scott Hicks’s documentary— the music is gone, but you know it is there under a calm stream.
However, the correspondence of minimalist music to the image in the film and the context from the story is the main purpose of this thesis. To put it differently, the trinity of music, image and text collaborates with one another constructing a “harmonious structure” within the work of a movie. Furthermore, features of minimalist music echo relationships among people’s lives especially the doubling life in the modern city, i.e., the repetitive and molecularized life in space of modernism/post-modernism. As in another film music of Philip Glass, there is still some development in his musical style. From cult films to Hollywood motion picture, Glass’s music clearly has underwent certain changes, in other words, has become more mature than his earlier ones. Unlike other minimalist musicians, Glass’s music obtains its own style of addictive process (Eaton, 74). In his early work of Koyaanisqatsi (1982), the film is majorly focus on the city life and the documentary of the slow consumption of industrial society and technologies. Human being have become a part of the “machine” that orchestrates the chapters of our city lives—the repetitions of people’s daily routines and the resemblance of crowds in the train station during the rush hour have formed a great society of systematic works. In this sense, no other genre of music portrays the life in a modern city more affectively than minimalist music. On the other hand, The Hours is a story about subjectivity in crisis and choice of life rather than merely life and death themselves. As Glass mentions in “The Music of The Hours,” the function of the music is to convey the structure of the film. Thus, the use of the same music segments ties the characters together as a thread throughout the three separated stories. As seen in the film, the theme and variations structure of music keeps appearing and re-appearing throughout the entire film. The music sometimes stops and restarts from time to time, sometimes the music even “waves on” infinitely like the ripples of water.
With the theoretical analysis of Adorno, Hegel, Roland Barthes, Kant, and etc., the aesthetics of Philip Glass’s music in the visual transition of Stephen Daldry’s The Hours speaks to its audience about how the three stories through different time and space would link not only the life of three women’s but the states of mind that flowing on and off through the whole film, and how the hypnotic music conveys the flow of turbulent minds under a calm stream.
||Table Of Contents
Table Of Contents vi
Stream of Consciousness and Minimalism: A Study of Mrs. Dalloway, The Hours, and the Music of Philip Glass 1
Chapter 1. Soundtrack and/of Literature 14
1.1. The Language and/of Music 14
1.2. Film Music and the Contexts 25
1.3. The Role of Soundtrack in Films and Literature 29
Chapter 2. Minimalist Music on Film 35
2.1. Philip Glass & the Minimalist Music since 1960’s 35
a. Minimalist music in Hollywood Motion Pictures 40
2.2. Melancholy and the Minimalist Music in The Hours 42
2.3. The Minimalism in The Hours and Mrs. Dalloway 44
a. Glass’s Musical Language: Koyaanisqatsi, The Hours 45
b. Glass’s Musical Language and The Hours/Mrs. Dalloway 47
2.4. Mrs. Dalloway & Minimalist music 49
Chapter 3. Music, Mechanism, Modernism 58
3.1. The Correlationship among Music, Image, and the Text 58
3.2. The Doubling and Minimalism 62
The List of Figures & Charts 71
Works Cited 82
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