Stephen O’Malley

DANIEL MENCHE leaves a good taste once again

Posted: Sep 10, 2004

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Betsy Nuse"
To: xxxx
Subject: Victoria film screening
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 19:55:56 -0700

Dear Vanessa,

I would like to add some thoughts after the screening of your film "Hope and
Prey" in Victoria on 3 September: It was I who spoke to you afterwards,
objecting to the volume of the soundtrack, and not able to accept it as

I have a master's degree in musicology and years of work as a music
therapist. This is not to brag or pull rank, only to show you that I, too,
have a very broad spectrum of music, having studied ambient, natural,
acoustic and instrumental music and sounds quite extensively.

The soundtrack inflicted on us, the audience, was absolute torture. I felt
physically and emotionally violated and my body was still shaking the next
morning. I had earplugs as well as my fingers in my ears.

I was astonished that so many of the audience did not, apparently, feel any
There may be reasons for that:-
1) We have become a brutalised society in many ways. It is well known that
rock group members go deaf after exposure to the high decibels of
amplification. Police sirens and jack hammers also damage the ears. If you
experienced 16 amplifiers in one room, you may not realize anymore how
extreme your soundtrack is - and neither may some of the members of the
audience. Deafness is cumulative.
2) Perhaps there is an age-related effect: we are strong, resilient and
immortal when young. Now, however, I'm more sensititve to many things, and
also much more aware of the consequences of events and experiences.

Please understand that, like many young people, I am totally disgusted with
the uncaring, greedy and brutal society we live in, and I long for a kinder,
gentler and more generous world.
Experimentation in the arts is just fine -as you said - to make us wake up
and think. The brutality of our surroundings does not, however, give the
artist a license to brutalise and damage an audience.

It may be that you and your "composer" ( I still cannot call it "music")
friend have not yet done any acoustical or physiological research to
discover the damage that is done to the human system by continuous exposure
to such loudness. For the sake of future audiences, I urge you to do so.

The visual aspect of the film was very interesting. The "heart would have
come up" anyway, with 1/5 of the volume of sound.

Yours sincerely,
Gillian Sanderson