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2: Sounds of the Future Past

Los Angeles November 2019. We are in Blade Runner's timeline. Five writers explore the film's impact and legacy. 2: Writer Frances Morgan on sonic layers of the future.

Los Angeles, November 2019. Blade Runner's future is now ours. Ridley Scott's 1982 classic future film of replicants escaping to a retrofitted Earth and meeting their end at the hands of the washed out, titular Blade Runner, Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, is adapted from Philip K. Dick's equally classic 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Both film and book are meditations on what it is to be human but we have been looking through the eyes of the film ever since it plunged us into its acid rain, neon coated, West Coast nightmare of flaming night skies, commercial ziggurats, flying cars and fake animals. Now its future is our present. We live in a world of mass species die off, environmental crisis, rapidly developing A.I., all powerful corporations & extreme divides between rich and poor.

Film and book have bled into our culture in many different ways and in this series of the Essay, we mark the year of Blade Runner, in the month of Blade Runner.
Frances Morgan, writer and researcher into electronic music, pierces the sound barrier of a film that defined the future not only in the way it looked but in the ways we heard tomorrow.

"The first thing I think of is the film’s sonic environment. The main character, the Blade Runner Rick Deckard, moves through the city, from its murky streets up to its corporate penthouses, against a constant backdrop of hissing rain, distant explosions, synthesized voices from billboard-sized screens, bleeping machines, hybrid pop music, multilingual chatter and the buzz of neon. Music ebbs and flows around him: deep drones swelling into gauzy synthetic strings. His apartment pulses with a low hum. Blade Runner is suffused, saturated with sound."

Producer: Mark Burman

Available now

14 minutes


  • Tue 5 Nov 2019 22:45

Blade Runner: Sounds of the Future Past

Blade Runner: Sounds of the Future Past

Electronica expert Frances Morgan on the soundscape of a film that defined the future.

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