The Auditory Setting

Environmental Sounds in Film and Media Arts. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2021)

The Auditory Setting_cover_FRONT

The Auditory Setting introduces and investigates how narrative and a sense of place are constructed in film and media arts through the reproduction and mediation of site-specific environmental sounds, or ‘ambience’. Although this sonic backdrop acts as the acoustically mediated space where a story or event can take place, there has been little academic study of sound’s undervalued role in cinematic setting and production. Drawing on theories of narrative, diegesis, mimesis and presence, and following a varied number of relevant audio-visual works, this book is a ground-breaking exploration of human agency in mediating environmental sounds and the nature of the sonic experience in the Anthropocene.

Listening and viewing examples:

Part III: On location and other stories

Land, field, meadow

Street, public squares, urban neighbourhood

Riverbank, beach, island

Forest, jungle

Village, rural environment


Public transport


Underwater, outer space

(More to be added soon)