32 SOUNDS is an immersive feature documentary and profound sensory experience from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green (The Weather Underground, A Thousand Thoughts) featuring original music by JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN). The film explores the elemental phenomenon of sound by weaving together 32 specific sound explorations into a cinematic meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us. Filmmaker Green takes the audience on a journey through time and space and into the world of experimental musician Annea Lockwood (her Piano Burning performance captured the sounds of a piano on fire) suggests — as she records “wild” sounds from a marsh in New York — that we should be listening with the environment, rather than to it. A freewheeling exploration of how sound shapes and moves us, the film is “full to bursting with humor, emotion and curiosity…a uniquely mind-expanding plunge into a dimension of the human experience so many of us take for granted, a rare and rewarding sonic journey. 32 SOUNDS investigates the mysterious nature of perception and the subtle yet radical politics that arise from sensation and being present in one’s body. Director Sam Green known for such films as A Thousand Thoughts, and his Academy Award nominated film Weather Underground joins us for a conversation on his collaboration with electronic musician JD Samson, as well as how he went about gathering all the samples sounds, ranging from the sounds inside the womb, the mating call of a now-extinct bird, the audio effects created by a Hollywood Foley artist, the hush of snow falling in Japan, and John Cage’s famed piece, “4:33.”
About the filmmaker – Sam Green (Director | Writer | Editor) is a New York-based documentary filmmaker. Green’s most recent live documentaries include A Thousand Thoughts (with the Kronos Quartet) (2018), The Measure of All Things (2014), The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller (with Yo La Tengo) (2012), and Utopia in Four Movements (2010). With all of these works, Green narrates the film in-person while musicians perform a live soundtrack. Green’s 2004 feature-length film, The Weather Underground, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for an Academy Award, was included in the Whitney Biennial, and has screened widely around the world.
“A uniquely mind-expanding plunge into a dimension of the human experience so many of us take for granted, a rare and rewarding sonic journey with the potential to enrich our lives.” – Peter Debruge, Variety
“Calling 32 SOUNDS a documentary doesn’t do it justice. … this film is an enjoyably interactive and thoughtful exploration of sound, how it triggers emotions and transports us through memory.” – Valerie Kalfrin, AWFJ.org
“Designed to be watched at home with headphones on, 32 Sounds is a magical mystery tour through sound, music, sound on film, and how it affects us emotionally.” – Alex Heeney, Seventh Row