SOLDIERS ARE DJs
The war and entertainment industries have close relationships. The war became film with the use of multiple technological weapons called special effects. These tools turn the fight scene into a real film set. It is now a matter of making war cleanly, with no trace of injuries, and mediately more acceptable. This cleanliness passes by the declension of utensils of war in product of entertainment, and vice versa. Thus, the sound systems used for movie theaters were first used by the army, the looping of Eminem or Metallica's music made the sound torture softer, drones used by the army are now sold in stores. A tribute was even maid to the film Apocalypse Now by reactivating the famous scene of the "ride of the walkyries" during an attack in Baghdad.
The sound boundaries are now settle in an indeterminate balance between playgame, culture and war that Maxime Le Moing offers various artistic interpretations. Inspired by Juliette Volcler's essays and the concepts of "imaginary cinemas" specific to "lettriste" filmmakers of the 50s, the modeler proposes for this project a film that was mysteriously sabotaged by a member of the team during the filming. The film was titled "The Soldiers Are DJs" and had the ambition to be a documentary fiction on the use of popular music and sound decoys in the use of war. Only a few elements could be recovered from the shoot: a script, some images and a soundtrack. From this scattered evidence, the public is invited to recompose the film by mental representation.
2018 / 30min / found footage
The soundtrack discovered on this link: 30min / 68,4 MB / MP3 320Kbits/s
The 35mm film found on this link: 5min26 / 104 MB / 720x576 Mute
The script discovered in consultable on this link:
The sound you are actually listening to is not true. Do not be fooled by appearances. This is a war landscape that is hiding. It is called a special effect, an atmosphere, a sound decoy. Here, the Thai jungle mixes with barking dogs. Released at high volume by the American army during the pacific war, this composition was intended to frighten the enemy. In European country, this listening would spread no effect, but in Japan the barking of dogs is borrowed from a superstition announcing an imminent death.
This sound ruse was never used, however it acquiesces the will of the army to transform the places of war in set of filming. For the staging is used sound decoys called special effects. Modern society has learned to quantify emotions, to the point where war becomes a concentrated psychological terrain of sensational explosion, like in the cinema.
There is a great company of
fiction that accompanies the
effort of war, legitimate
torture, scene the special
forces on the ground.
Cinema, video games, television series feed this business. For example, during a siege in Baghdad during the war in Iraq, the US Army reactivates the mythical scene in Francis Ford Coppola's film Apocalypse Now, in which the extermination of a Vietnamese village by air raid takes place on the music The ride of Walkiries by Richard Wagner. This reactivation was intended to do as in the film. Examples using sound as a transformation of reality are numerous.
By chronological disorder, the British were already experimenting sound tactics of disorientation in the North African desert at the beginning of the 1940s with the help of a film production company.
During the Vietnam War, the US Army broadcast religious music, cries of tigers or voices from beyond the grave during the night. One of the most popular tapes on this topic was The Wandering Soul. It was so famous that this tape was sometimes re-used for other wars.
Similarly, the music Fire by Robert Brown in 1968 was looped to infinity by an American soldier. The enraged enemy became vulnerable to the highest degree.
Twenty-five years earlier, during the Pacific War, planes flew over the villages, broadcasting Japanese folk music, pledges of abundant food and medical care. The capitulation of the enemy was immediate.
A little later in 1950, five US planes prevented the arrival of trucks filled with North Korean soldiers heading for the Manchu border by sending messages advising them capitulation and promises of good treatment once returned. Without injury, the fight was over. The air intimidation was not always so conclusive. For the anecdote, a certain rumor claimed in the 30s that the release of bottles from the air generated a particularly strident and frightening sound. Tests were conducted and resulted in a real failure. A bottle falling from the sky makes no noise. I let you imagine the wrong interpretation they made when this same team launched into the search for possible way to blur the view with sound...
SEQUENCE 2: EXT. DAY. MIST IN THE FRENCH CAMPAIGN 1944
Let's go back to our sheep ...
The first uses of special sound effects through loudspeakers date back to the middle of the Second World War. The team of soldiers with this practice was called The Beachs Jumpers. It was declined by the formation of another army called The Ghost Army. If they didn't participate to the D-Day, they were still responsible for previously sending false radio messages. Recruited by Hollywood studios and art schools in New York, these graphic artists, comedians, painters, designers and other artists, arrived a few weeks after the D-Day to intervene including Rennes or Metz. Equipped with inflatable tanks and trucks and a consequent loudspeaker device, this army was transformed into a true DJ team broadcasting crawler sounds, moving troops and vehicles to deceive the enemy. To do this, the soldiers had learned to mix the ambience of an army on the move from a sound library they had made the sounds on their bases in America. They knew how to manipulate the disk tournaments: On stage 1, the sounds of trucks arriving and parking. On stage 2, sounds of unloading material, on stage 3, a bulldozer in action and a bridge being built. If their actions during the invasion in France were difficult to quantify in terms of effectiveness (this efficiency is counted in survivor and not in number of deaths), their practice was well seen by the staffs. Nevertheless, some of boondoggles arrived, where the war movie sank into tragic comedy. In particular, there was a unit of weakened combatants who counted on the arrival of tank reinforcements that were actually ... in plastic.
SEQUENCE 3: INT. IN A CELL OF TORTURE
This is how the loudspeaker became the most effective weapon to reach the target called the ear. Unlike the eyes, it is not possible to prevent our body from listening. A weak point of the human being in combat. Frequencies transform our behavior. They also make the injuries less visible even if the damage is still present, but hidden in the brain. Since the war is present by the public opinion and the media, it must be more acceptable to them. Retroactively this CNN factor redraws the war. In spite of himself, the media created these non-lethal weapons that hide the scandal. Due to of spectacularization, the war is interfering with our entertainment products. It becomes strangely more familiar, even banal, death appearing less frightening. A blur settles where the objects of entertainment are transformed into weapon of war and vice versa.
It is no longer surprising to see Western soldiers using the playlists of their I-pod as a weapon of torture. Their prisoners undergo shabeh, a method of kidnapping, where the inmate finds himself in a half-seated position on the back, a bag obstructing his view, all accompanied by sleep deprivation, sensory isolation, and repeated diffusion of music. From heavy metal to make the inmates deaf to rap to make crazy, from the harmless folk ballad to the biblical words of redemption, from the Bee Gees where you can't stop dancing to the virulents words of Rage against the machine, any sound genre is good to loop to attack the brain. A so-called gentle weapon most effective in torture. Similarly, the playlists used by the CIA in some prisons reveal an astonishing variety in which Britney Spears mixes with the children's cartoon credits.
On January 3, 1990, the Panamanian statesman Manuel Noriega takes refuge in the Embassy of Panama. To get him out of his burrow, the US Army deafened him by the massive spread of rap music and rock music such as I fought the law by the Clash, Welcome to the jungle by Gun n Roses, Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix, Panama by Van Halen or Too old to Rock n Roll: Too Young to Die by Jethro Tull. These musics are used as much for their guitar riff judged irritating as words using the context to provoke the statesman.
In 1993 in Waco, Texas, cult members retreated to the Guru's farm. Encircled by the police and the FBI, they find themselves trapped and nagging audibly by discordant music, Tibetan songs, cries of babies, train noises in tunnels, dentist's wheels, rabbits being slaughtered, a military march, a music of Alice Cooper and another one of Nancy Sinatra.
From 1973 to 1990, musics of Julio Iglesias or the ex-Beatles George Harrison are broadcast in prisons and Chielan's concentration camps sponsored by the statesman Augusto Pinochet. The real feeds once again with fiction when the soundtrack of Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick is used to torture. This film depicts the imprisonment of a bandit undergoing special care to remove the evil that lives inside his body.
At Guantanamo in Cuba, it will be the credits of the cartoon 1 rue Sesame that will be played.
Alongside the Horn of Africa, Britney Spears' songs are broadcast at more than 120 decibels by the British merchant navy to warn of pirate attacks. Injuries are camouflaged by laughter, sometimes with the spread of an advertisement for kibble cat where the animal's miaous affirm its voracious desire to eat turkey. Through humor and dread, the disagreement becomes soluble.
Boney M, Metallica, Nancy Sinatra, Yoko Ono, Slim Shady, Dr. Dre, Christina Aguilera, Queen, Drowning Pool, Nine Inch Nails, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Marilyn Manson, Decide, Dope or David Gray participate for some without knowing it at war. They are used as much for their unbearable melody as for their defamatory, aggressive or domineering lyrics. Some artists will complain to the US Department of Defense such as Skinny Puppy claiming $ 666,000 after discovering that their music was used as an instrument of torture in Guantanamo prison. If some are indignant with this pratice, others are proud like James Hetfield, the singer of Metallica proclaiming this use.
For me these pieces are a
expression form, a freedom
to express my madness. If the
Iraqis are not used to the
freedom, so I'm happy to
help to confront them.
The White House made sound torture a secret weapon in the war on terror, so today information about its use remains not well known. While some NGOs such as Zero Db protested to stop this sound torture in prison camps, there was little support by President Barack Obama, and less now with President Trump.
SEQUENCE 4: EXT. DAY. IN THE STREETS OF BAGHDAD
During the war in Iraq in 2003, these same musics serve as a stimulus for soldiers to attack the enemy. Hearing musics in their vehicles (even tanks), the doping effect proved to be extremely effective. What a better way to kill with loud music, like in movies. Armed with another loudspeaker device that can broadcast up to 140 dB called the LRAD, the US Army gives itself the repeated and very high volume broadcasting of popular music on enemy terrain, and those to dislodge the snipers in Iraq. It is impossible to not be sensitive face to these vibrations absorbed by the body. If in France we are sometimes accustomed to hear the announcement of a circus show from the loudspeakers of a car circulating in the streets, we must imagine these tanks and armored trucks crossing the ruins that bombard music that the Arabs tend not to support: heavy metal and rap. Against this pollution, Arab soldiers broadcast prayers, songs and Arabic music. When these sound systems are not using to kill, they are sarcastically transformed into a symbol of festivities. It is not uncommon to see them reused for the national holidays of July 4th. Later, they will be used for frees partys, just as could be the speakers of the Ghost Army who were the precursors of stereo HIFI and used for film distribution. If in the second opus Crocodile Dundee used spiritual sounds of rhombe to worry Colombian traffickers, modern soldiers prefer to use the culture of entertainment.
The use of sound has always existed in the sphere of war. Drum, trumpet, military singing, symmetrical rhythm of the march, baton of the CRS hitting their shield, Haka of a rugby team. The rhythm allows warning, intimidating and stimulate the troops. Today's Djs practice the same art of deafening as soldiers do in Iraq. The nightclub moves to the battlefields, this is how the cultural contents of the Western world impose their controls on the body and the mind. Without visible injury, it is no longer a question of killing, but also a question of silenced. It is necessary to paralyze the enemy, to train him to the conceptions of the West. The strategy of american war is now based on technology and culture.
SEQUENCE 5: EXT. DAY ABOVE AT HOME
These sound combat devices, we will find them now in the West during certain events. Indeed, a device used today can disperse the dissatisfied crowd. His name: the LRAD. The same material used to dislodge Iraqi snipers. An extension will exist with the Beethoven which allows, for the modest sum of 680 euros, to broadcast high frequencies only perceptible for people under 25 years. This cleaning of young zonards is just one example. The sound barriers used against certain fish, or forest's animals, such as the use of a false shot to prevent the animals to not croos the vines, are now found in humans zones. A democratization of sound weapons is taking place. They are now found in an indeterminate balance between play, culture and war... On a larger scale, the concept of non-lethality has created an aesthetic of hygienisation behaviors, where sounds diffusions transform our spaces and play the borders.
The sound boundaries become
porous between the civilian
and the military industry,
between industry and war,
between consumption and
repression in order to clean
the public from policy
Invisible and actually present, these barriers reinforced with the peaks of technology will soon be unbreakable. Behind this usage is negotiated an internalized war of our operations. Any oppression, any dispute can be clean with speakers. Collective criticism breaks out to reconnect with the individual: be docile. The borders of European countries are equipping with this materials, putting all migration in the same basket. And inside it the publicity broadcasts disciple us for consumption. Countries are slowly becoming virtual and are sparing singular sound compositions. Everything is under control, the hulks are silent, the improbable does not happen anymore and life is happy in his cage where time is mastering. A little color on this palette wouldn't be too much. When nowadays the listening of our grounds is done more and more extinguished, where the sound system is normalized to let only the roar of the cars and the planes be heared, it is important to not let all these sounds define our soundscapes like vulgar compressed MP3. These sound barriers monopolize the feeling of being in an imminent danger. It must be discarded. Every morning you go to war without even knowing it. The use of the alarm is the responsible. The term comes from Italian language meaning the call to arms. When the alarm rings, we are more or less called to arms. And if it's the first Wednesday of the month we will hear the firemen's siren sound and spread the distress, or if we live near the airports that copulate faster than the humans during the baby boom period make us constantly reminded of a possible air raid...