Richard Dyer noted of auteurship that it “made the case for taking film seriously by seeking to show that a film could be just as profound, beautiful and important as any other kind of art, provided … it was demonstrably the work of an highly individual artist.” 1 There is no doubt that Andrey Tarkovsky is such an artist, or that his use of sound is not only profound and beautiful but also wholly unique and distinctive. Identification and analysis of Tarkovsky’s ‘sonic fingerprints’ are useful tools for establishing how his films work overall, for Tarkovsky considered sound to be as important a vehicle for the communication of specific meaning as any other cinematographic element. But what, exactly, are his characteristic and recognizable uses of sound? What are the ‘sonic fingerprints’ that recur throughout Tarkovsky’s films?