A number of films were released online during the lockdown which really deserved a true cinema premiere. Sound of Metal is certainly one of them. But don’t go thinking that it’s down to wonderful cinematography. That sound is every bit as important as images is certainly borne out by the movie’s magnificent sound design. Protagonist Ruben (Riz Ahmed), a drummer, is everything sound. He gets up to laidback jazz, but then switches to all-out driven drum sets every evening, performing together with his girlfriend and bandmate Lou. When he suddenly loses his hearing, his relationship to sound changes completely.

Whether or not the music played in Sound of Metal should be referred to as metal is debatable; I would describe it as (excellent) noise rock myself. Yet that makes no difference: Sound of Metal is so much more than just music: it’s an auditory trip where the divide between sound design and music is constantly blurring. In an interview, Abraham Marder, Sound of Metal’s music producer, had the following to say: ‘As the film is an (unspoken) three-act structure of sound, it has long been my desire to create an album that could act as a both visceral and bittersweet reimagining of Ruben’s sonic journey. Blurring the lines between sound design and music, I worked with the Oscar-winning sound team and sound designer/composer Nicolas Becker as well as legendary deaf percussionist, Evelyn Glennie. The newly composed score was designed to be felt in your body as much as heard with your ears.’ It should come as no surprise that the movie won a (richly deserved) Oscar in the Best Sound category for 2020/21.