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  • Editorial
  • Anahid Kassabian and Ian Gardiner

In September 2007, the Institute for Musical Research in London convened a major international conference on Sound, Music, and the Moving Image. Many of its organisers have been actively involved in this journal, and MSMI had its official launch on the opening evening. One of the many reasons that the conference was so exciting was the sense expressed by many of its participants that it seemed to mark the arrival in our field of an integrated and genuinely interdisciplinary community, bringing together scholars from across Europe and North America, with over 50 presentations.

Two of those papers appear in developed form at the outset of this issue, both seeking to readdress and challenge accepted theoretical positions. Ben Winters' article on the use of sonic and musical heartbeats in cinematic settings draws together theories from the philosophy of music with recent developments in psychophysiology and cognitive studies to question established notions of non-diegetic and diegetic positioning in film music; he goes on to propose a multiple 'heartbeat hypothesis' that amalgamates ideas of cinematic fiction with empirical and philosophical observations on musical emotion. In her article on the US television show American Dreams, Faye Woods examines a genre in TV drama that not only sets itself in the recent past, but also re-uses and re-stages TV broadcasts from the period as a central narrative device, exploring the potential for this technique to move beyond representations of nostalgia, as critiqued by Jameson and other theorists of post-modernity, towards a more multivalent position that may offer an array of social and political meanings for its contemporary audience. Nostalgia is also a central thread in the final article of this issue, Tim Anderson's discussion of the recording and the record collector in contemporary films such as Ghostworld, The Virgin Suicides, and High Fidelity. Anderson argues that while nostalgia is not always regressive, record collecting in films often serves as a trope of a debilitating relationship to the past, and thus to the present: 'By revealing how present the critique is and how unable to represent a popular vision of the record – where the listener [End Page 1] holds the record, inspects and searches for the past but finds clues of the future that provoke the present – we have warnings worth our attention to keep us from falling into a rabbit hole of perpetually purchasing records in search of a pure, unaffected past.'

Our next two issues will explore developing themes in MSMI studies, as selected by our guest editors. In Volume 2.2, Anthony Grajeda and Jay Beck conjecture 'The Future of Sound Studies' through a sequence of invited position statements on, among other issues, new technologies and media, the melding of sound design with film composition, TV sound, and the need for new vocabularies and analytical tools. The study of sound is one of the domains we very much hope to help develop through the life of this journal, and this issue makes a forceful start. In Volume 3, Miguel Mera curates an issue on adaptation, prequels/sequels, translations, and re-invention, examining, for example, the transfer of works between media or cinema traditions, director's cuts, or more drastic examples of bricolage and mash-up.

In the diversity and quality of material sent to us, Music, Sound, and the Moving Image is gathering momentum, and hopefully reflects the emergence of this integrated community of scholars. As always, we're grateful for your thoughts and comments on this issue and the journal in general. [End Page 2]



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pp. 1-2
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