Interview Sascha Engel

Sascha Engel is a German filmmaker, choreographer & dancer.

Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Sascha Engel, a German filmmaker, choreographer & dancer, living and working in Tel Aviv.

Is there a sound that brings back memories of your childhood?

Many. Too many to pick a favourite. So, I just make a random choice of a few.
– the sound of a VHS tape, when the motor sucks it in.
– the sound of a 35mm camera, when winding the film for the next shot.
– the bell of the tram
– the sound of cow bells
– the sound of a needle when hitting the vinyl.
– the sound of squeezing snow into a hard snow ball.
– the sound of the machine stamping your ticket in the busses of Munich.

Which certain disappearing sound should be preserved?

The sound of a VHS going into a VCR is definitely one of them.

How important are sounds to you in your everyday life?

Very. Though my most developed sense in terms of memory access is smell. As filmmaker and choreographer music & sound plays an immense role in my life. I am deep addict to both.

Could you describe the soundscape of your daily work?

Extremely versatile. In both filmmaking and dance, there is an ever changing environment. No week is like the other: The sounds, that surround me, are changing with each adventure and project I am engaging in. That is part of why I love my work.

Have you sensed a transformation of sounds over time?

Yes, absolutely. It seems the faster and more intense society and daily life gets, and as more Information as we have to process each day in digital life, the transmitters of sounds become more aggressive and loud, to be noticed. Since we become number and less sensitive to visual and audio information, the volume is radically turned up in the digital age.

Should sound be preserved? Why?

From a very practical POV of an editor: I use Foley sounds for movie editing every day, so it should be already preserved, so that people like me can access sound-banks for creational purposes. But also for the ordinary folk: For example a sound museum, that preserved all sounds of the evolving human history. When I see how baffled sometimes small kids are when entering our studio (which is full with vintage stuff), and seeing an old telephone with a dial ring, you understand, that what was still normal for me growing up, is an antique now. The dark side of a moment like this: You are reminded to your age

Is there a sound you would not preserve? Why?

Not that I could think of. Even the most horrifying sounds are worth preserving: Even if just for a reminder of not to repeat the actions that caused them.

Sascha Engel, Tel Aviv, January 1st, 2019
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