The first commissioned artist project for the de Young Museum’s iconic Hamon Tower Observatory, The Companions: Sounds for a Lost Screenplay is a cinematic audio environment created in collaboration with Sound Designers Gary Rydstrom and Josh Gold of Skywalker Sound. Inspired by research into The Companions, an unrealized screenplay written in 1982 by a woman named Carol Montana, the work explores the vital role sound plays in shaping narrative and affective space in film. The work uses immersive and directional sounds to move visitors through a thematic, narrative, and atmospheric interpretation of The Companions, using the sweeping views from the Tower as a visual container. The work employs over 1500 sound elements from Skywalker's extensive libraries, as well as original recordings of organist Jonathan Dimmock performing works by Messiaen and Mendelssohn on the Legion of Honor's massive Skinner Organ.

This video documents the installation, framing views from the Hamon Observatory (along with footage of visitors interacting with work) against the 20-minute audio composition.

Read more about the project and its development on the de Young’s website here; or access a downloadable version here.

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