Richard Dyer noted of auteurship that it “made the case for taking fi lm seriously by seeking to show that a fi lm 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. Identifi cation and analysis of Tarkovsky’s ‘sonic fi ngerprints’ are useful tools for establishing how his fi lms work overall, for Tarkovsky considered sound to be as important a vehicle for the communication of specifi c meaning as any other cinematographic element. But what, exactly, are his characteristic and recognizable uses of sound? What are the ‘sonic fi ngerprints’ that recur throughout Tarkovsky’s fi lms?