The 12th Art of Record Production Conference Mono: Stereo: Multi

The 12th Art of Record Production Conference (ARP2017) – Mono: Stereo:Multi was held at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden, December1 – 3, 2017. ARP2017 was organized in co-operation between the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production and the Royal College of Music.

But why Mono: Stereo: Multi? Drawing on the both literal and metaphorical connections with the history of audio formats, the 2017 Art of Record Production conference explored a range of ways in which singularity, dichotomy and multiplicity can be contrasted. Whether it was the monocultural versus the multi-cultural, the mono-media versus the multi-media, a mono-disciplinary versus a multi-disciplinary approach or the mono-phonic versus the multi-phonic, we had long and short format paper presentations,poster presentations and recorded music playback presentations in the following contexts:

A: Research vs. Practical Education. How does the singular versus themulti-faceted relate to the various dichotomies faced in the juxtaposition ofresearch and practical education? What are the differences between singularand multi-disciplinary approaches? How broad or narrow should the scopebe in our approach to education or in the development of new knowledge?What does it mean to be a specialist in the rapidly changing world of recordedmusic and how broad a range of skills and knowledge can an individualsuccessfully assimilate?

B: Production vs. Consumption. In what ways are production and consumptionsystems related to our engagement with and immersion in recordedmusic? How are distribution systems that situate control of the mix processin the hands of consumers affecting the idea of authorship and ownership inproduction and consumption of recorded music? How are new and variedsystems of production and consumption affecting our understanding andcontrol of production and/or consumption?

C: Aesthetics vs. Technology. Whether it be Schaffer’s concept of reducedlistening or the complexities of multi-modal perception, there is a complexinteraction between the affordances that technological developments offerand the way that aesthetics and cultural values drive their usage. How arethese socio-cultural and technological changes related to the sounds of recordedmusic and the way we interpret them?

D: Traditions vs. Innovations. How have histories and developments inthe practices of recorded music making related to these broad interpretationsof the terms mono, stereo and multi? This stream ranges from the multipleformats of recorded media to the variety of musical and technical practicesand from ways of thinking about sound to the nature of our academic discipline.When and how do technologies become old and what differentiates asmooth progression from a discrete innovation?

E: Centre vs. Peripheral. How do notions such as ‘mainstream’ and ‘alternative’relate to recorded music and, indeed, to our academic field? Thismight be related to geography, economics or various forms of identity, andmight explore the idea of the ‘normal versus the ‘other’ or might be a moreliteral interpretation of the concept of centrality. Indeed, in spatial terms,why do we need the centre to be in front of us?

At the conference, we had 107 registered participants from 14 countries.We had 64 oral presentations and of the presentations, 20 are documented aspapers in these proceedings. All submitted abstracts are also published (Appendix1). We also had five keynote speakers: Bernard Löhr: From MonoMusic to the Future; Göran Folkestad: The Ecology of Music Production;Bill Brunson: Space for Imagination: The Sound Dome at KMH; LindaPortnoff & Thomas Florén: The Music Industry in Scandinavia & SwedishMusic Export and a celebrity interview with Benny Andersson, interviewedby Göran Folkestad. Furthermore we had two panels: Producers on Mono -Stereo – Multi and Methodologies in Record Production Research-Panel/Workshop. We rounded off the first conference day with a specialevent at the Abba Museum, and also had a pre-celebration of Saint Lucy’sDay by a group of young choral singers from Adolf Fredrik’s Music School.

The conference committee organized the selection of the 64 oral presentations at the conference and the 20 papers in this publication, with help from 26 expert reviewers from three continents. The editorial team of this publication, Jan-Olof Gullö, Shara Rambarran, Katia Isakoff, Per-Henrik Holgersson and Bo Westman, would like to thank all our reviewers for their continued support of the the conference and journal.