João Pedro Oliveira

Federal University of Minas Gerais

Gesture relationships Between Sound and Image

This presentation analyses several possibilities of interaction between image movement and sound, under the perspective of gestural and textural relations. Departing from theorists such as Hatten, Smalley, Wishart and Chion, who analyzed the idea of gesture and texture in music, we present several examples from the cinema repertoire (Hitchcock, Lawrence, Kubrick, Reggio, Tarkovski) , as well as some author’s experimental videos, where specific gestures in the image interrelate with sound/music gestures, in ways that can have multiple meanings, or go beyond the direct translation of one into the other. Gesture will be analyzed as being structurally related to its energetic potential, emotion induction, movement, meaning/metaphor. Others concepts such as causality, energy-motion-trajectory, articulations of the temporal continuum, hierarchical levels and disturbances, analyzed by the above-mentioned authors will also be applied to the sound-image relation.

Keywords: Musical Gesture; Sound-image relationship; Audiovisual composition


João Pedro Oliveira began his music studies at the Gregorian Institute of Lisbon where he studied organ performance. Also studied architecture at the Fine Arts School of Lisbon. From 1985 to 1990 he moved to the US as a Fulbright student, with a fellowship from Gulbenkian Foundation, where he completed a PhD in Music at the University of New York at Stony Brook. His music includes one chamber opera, several orchestral compositions, a Requiem, 3 string quartets, chamber music, solo instrumental music, electroacoustic music and experimental video. Recently he has been exploring the possibilities of interaction between instrumental and electroacoustic sounds, and most of his recent works use both media. He has received over 50 international prizes and awards, including three Prizes at Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition, the prestigious Magisterium Prize in the same competition, the Giga-Hertz Special Award, 1st Prize in Metamorphoses competition, 1st Prize in Yamaha-Visiones Sonoras Competition, two times the 1st Prize in Musica Nova competition, etc.. His music is played all over the world, and most of his works have been commissioned by Portuguese and foreign groups and foundations. He is Professor at Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) and Aveiro University (Portugal) and teaches composition, electroacoustic music and analysis. He published several articles in journals, and has written a book in analysis and 20th century music theory. He contributed to the development of a new generation of Portuguese composers, and several of his students have received national and international awards.