Sound of Noise – When music becomes a crime

I never thought of playing music as a crime, I never thought of art in general as illegal. On the contrary, I always believed that art was a peaceful weapon.

I was advised to watch this swedish movie, Sound of Noise, directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärme Nilson. I found that the concept was horribly original and intelligent; mixing, criminal case and music was genius. Therefore, it was raising a very specific question: to which extent music becomes illegal?

The story, in a nutshell, is about a detective, Amadeus (notice the affiliation to Mozart) Warnebring (played by Bengt Nilsson) born and raised among musicians, but who experienced this counter-effect of hating music.
One day, a patient in a hospital was musically attacked, that is to say, used as an instrument, in a surgery room by a bunch of people. That event, was the intro, prelude, of a mad symphony, orchestrated by unknown percussionists, seeking sounds by bringing them out of objects or even humans in that case.

But it is only when reaching the final, after hard efforts to catch the noisy demented musicians, that Amadeus, finally understood the fact that, to be able to put a hand on them, he had to abide to music. He had to turn into a bandmaster, leading the last part of the symphony.


Now, it is often said, that the beautifulest melodies, the most amazing piece of art music, and the most extraordinary sounds we could hear, were coming from nature, environment and Earth themselves. And I couldn’t help it, but thinking of, a musician named Amon Tobin, who once was leaving next to a industrial firm, hearing the machines working, the mechanisms interacting with each others, and producing noises that the DJ, had decided to use in his music. So basically, it is about catching the right note with random objects, and producing a melody.
And what the band in the movie is doing, and especially in the scene of the hospital, is just so catchy, breathtaking and hypnotizing. Passion is palpable.
An other important aspect of the movie, would be that, even though Amadeus doesn’t love music, we humans, have in ourselves, a gene, a musical gene, allowing us to intercept, and hear music, at a different levels. Thus, even though he totally withdraws music, he still hears it, he still has to hear it.


The movie is well structured, mixing a lot of genres, including the musical genre, the criminal genre and a sparkle of comedy. It might be the first detective movie, including those types of crimes, but however raising the controversy of defining the actions orchestrated by the band, in the movie, as felonies.

Music is everywhere, so why are we stuck with just few instruments, specially defined and conceived following norms? Why aren’t we using the infinite instruments offered all around us, and expanding music into reaching a highest point in the Musical History?