Art of Record Production Conference
May 17-19, 2019
Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
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Sunday, May 19 • 11:30 - 12:00
Placing The Sound: Intertextuality in the recording of Dutch Uncles’ Big Balloon

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This paper aims to explore the techniques and practices used in the studio during the recording of Dutch Uncles 2017 album Big Balloon. 
The ideological implications of making a record often go unspoken even between the people most intimately involved in its creation. Yet it is this ideological rhizome that I am always trying to unravel when listening to other peoples records. And while I may be able to identify the ideological underpinning of the sound-world which we created; I am equally aware that there was no collectively conscious decision to ‘create’ this meaning.
The aim of this essay is to analyse our own creative process after the fact, and the consequent meanings inherent in our sonic choices. How do we, consciously or not, choose and combine an assemblage of textual references in order to weave a cohesive framework that will hopefully translate our preferred discursive position to the listener? And if we are to accept that the meaning of a text is reliant on the point of reception, then how do we judge and analyse the success of our own practice, which undoubtedly attempts at least in part to ideologically fix an audience’s many possible interpretations? 
I argue that intertextuality can be invaluable to the current record maker because it allows you to place the sound world of a new record within the lineage of multiple past works and also the social and political context attached to them. 


Jamie Birkett

University Of Salford

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