If you were suspicious of Mary Morstan from the start, you’ve got a great ear.
Listen to the strings in these audio samples. The first is from the scene in The Reichenbach Fall where John picks up the envelope with the breadcrumbs in it. The second, also from TRF, is Donovan introducing the sound bridge from 221b to Aldate’s and the third is from the scene in The Empty Hearse of John in front of Sherlock’s grave. They all employ the same wind-blown/howling hammering effect. The scenes are connected sonically! (It’s also used in the music of TBB during the opera scene and in Belarus in TGG but I associate it primarily with these bits from the soundtrack in TRF.)
You could argue that Mary’s entrance on the scene at the grave site transforms the ominous start of the music to something brighter, a new beginning as the camera rises above the couple. But I didn’t feel that way. I took it as a kind of sugar coating of the more powerful and memorable plinkings of Moriarty’s threats in TRF. I associated Mary with the danger of Moriarty almost immediately.
Actually, if I’m not mistaken that’s the beginning part or the short pause in the ‘pursuit’ theme, or Sherlock’s theme really. So it sounds much more like an aural callback to the danger and excitement that Sherlock engenders around him (or again mostly just Sherlock himself) overlaid with John’s theme played slowly to great emotional effect, along with the brightening that happens when Mary enters. But if you really listen, you’ll notice that it’s just slightly out of step with that pursuit theme still playing quietly underneath, a great cue as to how the relationship between the three will play out.
Yes. So the question becomes does the soundtrack require us to consider it as a whole in order to make sense of it or can we take it in pieces as I’ve done here? Are both valid readings? I think tracking the aural trope in its wide variation is important so both! This post with this comment is meta gold!
I am with antivertigo here. The hammering effect is used in almost all episodes if I’m not mistaken. I think it references the (not-dead) Sherlock at whose grave they are standing, and not Mary. However, the music at that scene does contain some disharmony as antivertigo said.
Tracking how themes and sound effects are used is indeed important and I am actually working on that right now, so I might be able to say more on the matter, soon!
Michael Price calls the effect “tinkly” and “twanky.” It was made by dropping a ball point pen on the string of a mandolin! And yes, of course it’s in the famous theme. The question is how does the effect make meaning throughout the series. Does each time it sounds evoke the last time it sounded? In this case it with the grave stone and the two lovers it should evoke Sherlock, right? But for me it doesn’t because it’s the contorted, dark version. It’s the portenty bits when it stands in for Moriarty’s malevolent influence that ring together in my mind when I hear it with the very false feeling of Mary’s “uplifting” happy “new dawn” influence. They sound together. And it’s sinister. So I guess I’m saying that the meaning of the effect of the pen on the mandolin string is colored by other factors such as key, the image on-screen, etc. How music means is an age-old question. I hope to learn more about it.
Why don’t I own this?
The designer is here: http://www.pengtaodesign.com/pages/tea_time.html
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY
Glen Keane’s 7 Animation Essentials
1. Make a Positive Statement
- Do not be ambiguous in your approach.
- Thumbnail until you have that clear approach and conviction.
- Be bold and decisive.
2. Animate From the Heart
- Feel your drawings.
- Let your action be an extension of how you believe the character feels.
- Put yourself in the place of the character your animating- associate.
3. Make Expressions and Attitudes Real and Living
- Focus on the eyes and eyebrows, mouth and cheeks.
- Always lead with the eyes.
- Be sure the eyes are solid and placed securely in the head.
- Study your own attitudes. Ask yourself, “Does this drawing feel the way my face feels?”
4. Draw As If You Were Sculpting
- Describe the forms in dimension.
- Understand the character design in 3D.
5. Animate the Forces
- Allow the momentum of and already animated movement to suggest the next drawing.
- Draw the leading edge of forces.
6. Visualize and Feel Dialogue
- Be sure you are truly capturing the inflection, volume and tone of the dialog with proper mouth shapes.
- What is the essence of your scene, your action, your expression — what is indispensable in communicating your thought?
In honor of the relaunch of Kelly Sue Deconnick’s Captain Marvel series this week, I’m giving away 3 different aluminum cuff bracelets! Pictured are
prototypes oftwo of the three, "punch holes in the sky" and “nos dinosauros icimus” with an airplane and dinosaur charm, respectively, and a teensy “Carol Corps” on the inside. The third cuff will be the “official” House Danvers motto—voting is still open here until the end of Friday 7 March. These cuffs are pure food-grade aluminum, which has a very low rate of skin reaction, and the charms are lead- and nickel-free. (You can see my other items at my etsy shop. Hand-stamped cuffs will be popping up there very soon!)
To enter, simply like and/or reblog this post. That’s it! I’m willing to send the bracelets pretty much anywhere in the world since they are quite light (aluminum, yo!), so if you’re outside the US go ahead and enter! I’ll pick three random entries (via RNG) on Wednesday ~6pm CST, and send the winners an ask, so your askbox must be open.