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Artaud – Use of Sound and Text
             taken from Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty by Albert Bemel

Artaud encouraged acto...
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Artaud sound and noise

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Artaud sound and noise

  1. 1. Artaud – Use of Sound and Text taken from Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty by Albert Bemel Artaud encouraged actors to test out new voices, expressions, movements and to free themselves from old habits and routines “at the first rehearsal, Artaud rolled around on the stage, assumed a falsetto voice, contorted himself, howled and fought logic, order and the “well-made” approach. He forbade anyone to pay too close attention to the ‘story’ at the expense of its spiritual significance. He sought desperately to translate the ‘truth’ of the text, and not the words.” Raymond Rouleau – actor in Artaud’s production of A Dream Play He wanted the spoken word to acquire a varied theatricality, instead of becoming a recital of information and feelings Text must be intoned, shouted, whispered, wheezed, howled and groaned, sometimes in contradiction to the denotative meanings of the words and sentences Words are suggestive sounds and should be delivered for the sake of their sonority, explosiveness, sensuous and associative properties The voice is an instrument, to produce a flow of literally living sound that was not simply meaningful speech Artaud was the first director to use four distributed loudspeakers in his production of The Cenci to create stereophonic sound. In this production, he combined sound effects of recorded footsteps and rhythmic stamping, stormy winds and waves, the ticking of a metronome, the clacking together of wooden blocks, notes from an organ, the recorded chimes of Amiens Cathedral and the recorded humming-whirring of a factory, in addition to atonal music Artaud - ‘repeated sounds have a hypnotic effect’ The vocal and recorded sounds would be combined with music, silence, light, colour, movement and gesture to create a “total language”. Aim – to create an immersive, dangerous, sensory theatrical experience, which assaults and swamps the audience, leaving them exhausted and changed.

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