In the first iteration of Distant Listening and TV Sound, I turn an ear towards the past to analyze the rich sound effect design of one of the most prolific animation studios of all time: Hanna-Barbera Productions. For generations,Hanna-Barbera defined what Saturday mornings sounded like, yet little scholarly attention has been directed towards the studio’s wacky sounds. Building on Franco Moretti’s methodology of distant reading, this project uses computer audition to develop what we might call distant listening. This research method is motored by the studio’s shear output (over 175 series from 1957-1985). The project looks to the tools and methods of digital humanities to get at a rich texture of the sonic register of the studio’s output, asking if there is a deep formal rhythm structuring the sound effects of the studio.
PI: Patrick Sullivan, Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow (2016-2018)