‘Sound of Noise’

[24 August 2012]

By Michael Barrett

This surreal Swedish put-on centers on a police detective (Bengt Nilsson) who doesn’t like music because he’s tone-deaf, which is unfortunate because he’s from a family of famous musicians. He finds himself investigating the antics of the other half of the plot, a “terrorist” gang of drummers led by a hot babe (Sanna Persson) with whom he falls in love. Her gang performs a four-movement piece called Music for City and Six Drummers, which involves guerrilla acts of musique concrete all over the city. (I’m mis-describing on purpose; actually it’s composed music with found instruments, but that doesn’t sound as nifty.)

So the structure of the plot is mostly these setpieces, and the detective inexplicably finds that he can no longer hear sounds produced by anything they’ve used as an instrument (including people), so naturally he writes a piece for them to perform over the whole city via electricity. Apparently in Sweden one man can shut off a city’s power by going to the plant and throwing a convenient outside switch, and you can do this indefinitely because nobody will check up on the outages. Is it quirky enough for you? If not, there are also making-of’s and music videos of found-percussion pieces.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/162322-sound-of-noise/