Art of Record Production Conference
May 17-19, 2019
Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
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Saturday, May 18 • 18:00 - 18:30
The economic and environmental cost of recorded music

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This paper will take the form of a 13-minute documentary film called “The Cost of Music” followed by a 7-minute paper discussing the music creation as a form of environmental consumption. It will also discuss the challenges of practice-led research arising from releasing recorded music (as opposed to producing it). Created by Matt Brennan (with onscreen contributions by Jo Collinson-Scott and Kyle Devine) and directed by Graeme O’Hara, the film was conceived as a vehicle for public engagement with current research on the economic and environmental cost of recorded music on the one hand, and practice-led research (based on Brennan’s experience of releasing his debut album as a solo artist) on the other. A film synopsis in italics follows: “Disillusioned by prevailing attitudes about the disposability of new music and the decline of the album, a musician and researcher sets out to record his own songs and release them in an unusual format: not so much a ‘concept album’ as a musical sculpture that explores the concept of albums as historical artefacts. In doing so, he uncovers how the cost of listening to records has changed over the past century: while the economic cost of listening to one’s choice of recorded music has never been lower, the environmental cost has never been higher.” The paper draws on research from a wider project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which explores new directions in music and sustainability research.

avatar for Matt Brennan

Matt Brennan

Reader (Associate Professor) in Popular Music, University of Glasgow

Saturday May 18, 2019 18:00 - 18:30 EDT
Classroom 311 (3rd floor)