32 Sounds – an immersive sensory film experience featuring original music from Le Tigre’s JD Samson
32 Sounds is an immersive feature documentary and profound sensory experience from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green (The Weather Underground) featuring original music by JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN). The film explores the elemental phenomenon of sound by weaving together 32 specific sound explorations into a cinematic meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us.
Join Green and JD as they take viewers on a journey through time and space, exploring everything from forgotten childhood memories, to the soundtrack of resistance, to subaquatic symphonies. Experience in new ways the astonishing sounds of our everyday lives.
32 Sounds investigates the mysterious nature of perception and the subtle yet radical politics that arise from sensation and being present in one’s body.
Directed by Sam Green (The Weather Underground, A Thousand Thoughts). With Music by JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN). JD Samson has a full-time teaching position (as Assistant Arts Professor and Area Head of Performance at The Clive Davis Institute at NYU/Tisch), performs with CRICKETS, and tours with the original live score for the film 32 Sounds, directed by Sam Green.
32 SOUNDS VERSIONS
For clarity, 32 Sounds exists in several unique and equally exciting forms:
Theatrical Version: This version plays like other movies on standard theatre speakers but is designed for a more immersive audio experience. This will be the most common version used during the theatrical run of the film.
Theatrical Headphones Version: This version plays in regular movie theaters,but each member of the audience is given their own set of headphones for a special immersive binaural audio experience.
Live Version: For this version, Sam Green narrates live and JD Samson plays music live and each audience member receives their own set of headphones for an enhanced binaural audio experience. This version started touring the world in 2022 and will continue for several years.
Virtual/ Streaming Version: This version is designed for streaming. It will have an enhanced binaural audio experience for those who choose to watch it with headphones, but will also work great on any speakers or computer.
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT -Sam Green
As its name makes immediately clear, 32 Sounds is a project about sound. It deeply explores the phenomenon of sound through 32 specific sonic experiences, ranging from the mournful tones of the San Francisco foghorns to the sound of Philip Glass playing piano, and from church bells ringing in Venice to the sound of Deaf sound artist Christine Sun Kim signing in ASL. Together, these experiences coalesce into a larger meditation on the ephemeral nature of sound, taking the audience on a journey through time, space, cultures and species.
One of the great creative challenges with 32 Sounds is the meta quality of the piece: it is a piece that is about sound, and the form itself is focused on the experience of listening closely and feeling deeply. So, in setting out to make 32 Sounds, I began really thinking about how people engage sonically with film. I became interested in tinkering with that relationship and trying to create a piece that could move people sonically in a way that most films work visually.
This film asks you to do some things,very gentle stuff like close your eyes at certain points, or feel free to make some sounds yourself in another moment. It’s all part of trying to scramble the normal relationship between viewer and film and open-up space for audiences to truly engage with their ears. In the same vein, we worked hard with Mark Mangini—our sound designer who has done a lot of the most expansive sound work in film, including with his most recent project, Dune, tocreate a variety of different mind-blowing sonic experiences for the film.
Due to the film’s subject being sound, it was essential to create unique and highly immersive mixes for the film’s different future homes, creating sound experiences that are unique and powerful regardless of the setting.In select theaters,32 Sounds will screen with special headphones that the film team travels with and provides to theatergoers.The film includes a lot of binaural sound–a kind of spatial sound technology that gives the listener a much clearer sense of space, soo the film works especially well with these headphones.
Similarly, the eventual streaming version of the film will be available to watch with binaural sound for those who choose to watch it with headphones.We also worked hard with Mark Mangini to create a 7.1 Surround Sound Mix that will knock your socks off, without headphones involved at all.
It’s important to us that 32 Sounds is accessible for D/deaf audience members and those with hearing loss, as well as blind and low-vision audience members. We have worked with Matt Lauterbach of All Senses Go on our access strategy, and he has developed rich and detailed closed captioning.The audio description was developed and recorded by Cheryl Green and Thomas Reid. It’s our hope that 32 Sounds can define a new way of listening to narrative entertainment. In making this film, we have been inspired by many people who think deeply about sound.
These words from Randy Thom have been a particular inspiration: “We are fundamentally emotional creatures who struggle to be rational, and sound plays the role of the puppeteer, pulling our strings more deeply and compellingly than perhaps any other sense. Odd then that we don’t take it seriously.”
Our hope is that after 32 Sounds, audiences will leave the theatre and never hear the world in the same way again.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.