Cultural Intersections

The 10th Art of Record Production Conference took place on 6-8 November, 2015 at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Three packed days saw 64 paper presentations, two panels, and two keynotes. The delegation came from every continent with the exceptions of Africa and Antarctica. The 10th Conference felt like a milestone as the study of recorded music production matures and grows. It is in that spirit that the overarching theme of Cultural Intersections was chosen. As we reach this milestone, it is apparent that the ARP community continually reaches into the cultures of both the industry and multiple academic disciplines to better understand the craft of record production. At the 10th Conference, the intersection of record production studies with musicology, ethnomusicology, sound studies, science & technology studies, cultural and communication studies, philosophy, and others were on display.

Record Production in the Internet Age

The ninth Art of Record Production Conference, “Record Production in the Internet Age,” hosted by the University of Oslo, aimed to illuminate the ways in which contemporary culture is characterized through changes and new modes of music production, distribution and consumption as a consequence of digital technology and the new musical arenas opened by the Internet. Four general fields of investigation were identified: “Recording aesthetics”, “Musical ownership and authorship”, “Virtual archives and new platforms for distribution” and “Music production in a transcultural space.” “Recording aesthetics,” sought to address the question of the intimate relationship between recording technology and the finished sound recording in light of the new context of digital technology and the Internet. In particular the emphasis was placed on the ways in which digital technology and the digital audio workstation (DAW) has made its mark on the sound of popular music from the 1980s onwards: How has the DAW audibly affected recorded and live music during the last thirty years?

Technostalgia and the Cry of the Lonely Recordist

Timothy Taylor wrote of a “scientific imaginary” (Taylor, 2001), a period in mid 20th century culture seemingly obsessed with futurism, as the world rebuilt itself following the second world war. For Taylor and others, the utopian and dystopian visions of the era’s literature, films, and music say more about their time than the futures they portended. But this reflection of the contemporary in dreams of the future was inadvertent, an unconscious residue of the past clinging to the bright shiny objects of the science fiction age. The science fiction of current pop culture now looks to the past with a sad, longing eye – a tacit acknowledgement that the best is not yet to come; it is already come and gone. Note the overt nostalgia at the core of Christopher Nolan’s recent film, Interstellar, a movie whose central conceit is that only the past can save the future.

Technology, Time and Place

Our original call for articles suggested a broad topic scope, from philosophical considerations of determinism to scientific approaches to technological change; a diverse set of propositions representational of our interdisciplinary area of discourse. The resulting articles, whilst by no means a narrow reflection of the subject area, consider the relationship between technology, time and place from four key perspectives: history, analysis, environment and dissemination.

The State of the Art and the State of the Discipline

Seven years ago I traveled to London to speak at a conference convened by a couple of new outfits—one calling itself the Center for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM) and the other, simply, the Art of Record Production (ARP). Now called the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production, […]

Change and continuity: transformations, innovations and tensions in the art of record production

There is a strong probability that the last conference you went to was the best you have been to, at least that is, until the next one. The sixth annual Art of Record Production Conference which we had the privilege to host was very much a case in point. With a record number of papers submitted to the conference it proved to be a stimulating event building on the thinking and experience of five previous conferences while opening up new avenues of thought for our field. In this way, there was an element of continuity between this and previous conferences while, at the same time new presenters provided fresh perspectives on the issues concerning those of us interested in the Art of Record Production. Change and continuity is an inherent feature of any annual conference and the same theme provides the focus for the papers in this edition of JARP.

The Art of Record Production

The title of this journal and organization asserts the notion that record production is a mode of creative expression. And indeed, turning musical utterance into electrical current requires, by the project’s very nature, an intervening aesthetic sensibility which may, in turn, impinge on the final result. Recording does not simply capture sound, it transforms it […]

A Journal on the Art of Record Production

The first issue of a new academic journal is if nothing else an exciting moment in the sociology of knowledge! Why this particular set of interests now? Why can’t they be expressed in existing publications? Is this the first map of a new field or just another subplot on an existing disciplinary site? What does this journal mean for the development of new concepts and methodologies?