From timbre to form and even pitch, everything we do in sound and music is about time. And hit movie Dunkirk offers some accessible examples of that.
Some of the most obvious things you can say about music turn out, oddly, to be the most profound. Producer/composer Nicolas Bougaïeff was over in the office here in Berlin the other day to tutor electronic music producers (more on this soon), and one of the things he tried to get across was thinking about time. That is, from the largest element to the smallest, from biggest structure to tiny details of timbre, “all musical parameters are about segmenting time.” As Dr. Nick put it, that’s “adding significance to an infinite stream.”
But that’s a big deal. In the midst of talking about perfect kick drums or which branch of tech-house someone thinks will do well on Beatport, it’s easy to forget what music really does. We change the perception of time by segmenting it with vibrations of air. (Seriously, I imagine you can – and if you love music, should – keep thinking about that for the rest of your life and not ever tire of the issue.)
Now, this can very quickly get academic. So let’s look at an example that you could share with just about anyone – a film score.