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Art of Record Production Conference
May 17-19, 2019
Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
berklee.edu/arp19

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Friday, May 17
 

08:30

Coffee and registration
Register here to collect your swag bag, wi-fi login and schedule information.



Friday May 17, 2019 08:30 - 09:30
The Red Room 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

09:30

Welcome
Welcome from the hosts and from the organisers

Speakers
avatar for Joe Bennett

Joe Bennett

VP of Academic Affairs, Berklee
Joe Bennett is vice president for academic affairs—strategic initiatives at Berklee. In this role, he leads and coordinates strategic projects relating to curriculum research, technologies including virtual and augmented reality, campus integration, and new program development... Read More →


Friday May 17, 2019 09:30 - 10:00
The Red Room 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

10:00

How to turn a lacklustre performance into one that sparkles. The varied and manifold engagements of recording producers
In fall 2018 a choral director, with whom the author has collaborated as a producer and balance engineer on a number of music recordings, was asked to describe the nature of the producer’s contributions to the successful results of their recordings. The musician’s extensive and thorough reply included such sentences as: “As a producer, her attitude and strategy can contribute to turning a lacklustre performance into one that sparkles. She encourages the artists to shine”, and “A performer can be helped to reach a higher level of inspiration or interpretive brilliance by being encouraged to linger on a phrase, be more indulgent, make a more generous sound or exaggerate a musical idea”.

Other recording artists have also comment that the producer “is extremely sensitive to the needs of the musical performance”, and also that she “is that rare producer who aims at listening with the ears of the artist she is recording.”

What is the nature of the contributions of recording producers who can lead musicians to express such well-defined opinions about their collaboration? In press music reviews it is easy to find evaluations of the beauty or the suitability of the recorded sound, but the producer’s contributions to the artistic results of the recording remain an elusive mystery.

A record producer with over three decades of experience in the recording of Classical music reflects on her actions to help musicians realize their vision, on her production style and on the secret to long-lasting creative working relationships with prominent artists. She describes the psychological tactfulness desired when leading musicians in recording, and she reflects on the challenges, excitement, anxiety and expectations producers experience in the evolving recording industry of the 21st century.

Speakers
avatar for Martha de Francisco

Martha de Francisco

Associate Professor, McGill University
Martha De Francisco is Associate Professor of Sound Recording at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. A native of Colombia, she has established a prominent international career for over thirty years as a record producer/engineer for classical music, frequently invited to produce... Read More →



10:00

The urge to “clean up” the rap: Rhythm and plasticity in rap music
Today, the lines between performer and producer are blurred, perhaps even more than they used to. The tools and traditions of modern record production, as well as the tendency towards many actors filling several different roles in a single creative endeavour, introduces techniques, tools and habits that shape the finished recorded product in many different ways.

It is now incredibly fast, easy and intuitive to nudge waveforms around to shape and change the microtiming in most DAWs, and “cleaning up” the rhythmical performance is common practice in many different genres. However, every mouse-dragged waveform is potentially a significant creative decision. How do we talk about these creative decisions with the artist?

Rap music is quite special in that the lead instrument eschews common melodic and harmonic parameters of music, operating almost completely as a rhythmic musical actor. Accordingly, throughout rap’s history microtiming has been important in shaping the sound of many significant performers. Recent trends seem to emphasise this even further.

This paper discusses the effects of applying the new editing techniques provided by the DAW to the rap in rap music. Presenting several analytical examples of recorded rap music, I will zoom in on aesthetic and stylistic aspects of manipulating the microrhythmic design of vocal rap, and discuss the impact of “deviations” from a quantised grid in rap performance, and the impact of either correcting or enhancing these deviations. How do new tools and production habits shape the rap of rap music?

Speakers
avatar for Kjell Andreas Oddekalv

Kjell Andreas Oddekalv

University of Oslo



Friday May 17, 2019 10:00 - 10:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

10:00

The Producer’s Vision: Creation, Form and Function
It is widely accepted in modern popular production, by producers and clients/artists, that in accordance with their responsibilities, producers mentally formulate “visions” for projects, and these mental representations are expected to exude a major influence on subsequent musical outputs (Anthony 2017). Self-reports reveal that producers approach envisioning differently, that visions vary in nature and serve varied purposes in productions. Envisioning is a context sensitive process that is dependent on the unique musical histories of individual producers, how they understand the intentions of their clients/artists and how the producer expects the vision to influence the act of creation. Anthony and Lefford (forthcoming) compares producing practitioners’ descriptions of their own visions to the cognition literature in order to identify forms of mental representation that these visions may take. This paper takes that work forward by explicitly connecting the intended purposes of a producer’s vision to its mental representation.

Purpose and mental representation are integrally intertwined. The form the mental representation takes restricts the kind of information it may plausibly hold and how that information may be mentally processed—and thus how it functions in the producer’s thinking. For example, does the producer envision a fully realized, balanced mix. Or is it something fuzzier, like a patchwork of reference recordings, drum sounds from here and guitar sounds from there? We have identified plausible mental representations, and four ways producers might utilize their visions, as templates, simulations, epistemes, management/leadership tools. To investigate factors that shape a vision and its influence on creative production processes, we consider these utilities across three stages: the formulation of a vision, as part of formulating a strategy for producing (given the context, producer’s history and artist’s intentions), and the manifestation of the vision through recording. This paper explores connections between the nature and utility of vision through these stages.

Speakers
BA

Brendan Anthony

Griffith University
avatar for Nyssim Lefford

Nyssim Lefford

Luleå University of Technology



10:30

Disruptive Creativity: a review of disruptive technologies used by independent music producers to predict next-generation…
Disruptive technologies displace established technologies or create a completely new industry (Christensen, 2013). The main-stream music and recording industry has been slow to adopt these new technologies and prefers legacy methods of recording music that occurs in specialized recording spaces by large numbers of staff (Tough, 2009, Sobel, 2007). Conversely, independent music producers are vanguards for leveraging disruptive technologies specifically developed for home or independent recording and production studios. Independent music producers need tools that keep pace with client’s creative needs, allow for collaboration with a wide range of clients, and utilize cutting-edge tools for small spaces and budgets (Rumsey, 2016). Currently, the three most influential disruptive technologies developed for independent music producers are web-based music platforms, digital audio processing, and networked audio protocols. Web-based music platforms, such as SoundCloud, enable creation of online portfolios for musicians to share audio files, sell completed works, gather feedback, and grow networks. This platform enables independent music producers to better collaborate with musicians during the production processes (i.e. file transfer process). Digital audio processing tools, such as Slate Digital, are software based plug-ins that emulate high-end analog equipment at a much lower price point. This cost reduction is critical for independent music producers who tend to have smaller budgets as compared to large studios or production facilities. Networked audio protocols, such as Dante from Audiante, allow producers, musicians, and clients to collaborate from disparate locations via the internet. Networked audio allows independent producers to expand their collaborative network, foster community, and keep budgets manageable (Rumsey, 2017). This paper will review these three disruptive technology areas and discuss what characteristics next-generation disruptive technologies must have to aid independent music producers in their creativity, collaboration, and connectivity. References: Christensen, Clayton. The innovator's dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail. Harvard Business Review Press, 2013. Rumsey, Francis. "Recording In The Light Of New Technology." Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 63, no. 12 (2016): 1053-1057. Rumsey, Francis. "Recording and Reproduction: Studio Myths and New Technology." Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 65, no. 9 (2017): 776-780. Tough, David T. Developing a consensus-driven, core competency model to shape future audio engineering technology curriculum: A web-based modified Delphi study. Tennessee State University, 2009. Sobel, R. (2007). Music schools: Are we incubating excellence? Music and Entertainment Educators Association Journal, 7(1), 177-186.

Speakers
avatar for Doug Bielmeier

Doug Bielmeier

Associate Teaching Professor, Northeastern University
With fifteen years proven success as a studio & live sound engineer and an ever-growing client list, Dr. Doug Bielmeier has worked as a staff & freelance engineer in Washington, DC and Nashville, TN. Currently, Doug is an associate professor at Northeastern in Boston MA and a freelance... Read More →



10:30

From Nothing to Multitrack Recording in The Dominican Republic
This presentation will demonstrate how to build a multi-track recording facility in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic based solely on donations, community support and student engagement.

After being invited to El Conservatorio Nacional de Música for a lecture on production, it was clear that despite a desire for a recording and production program, there was no infrastructure in place to start this project. As a result of our collaborative work, and 8 months of collecting donations, visits, workshops and increased student enthusiasm, the conservatory now has a complete facility and a curriculum that will start in the Fall of 2018. All donations were the result of collecting unused equipment from local audio engineers and producers in the Boston area. This presentation will offer video, photo and audio evidence of the process and the excitement of the students in this program, ages 13-25.

Speakers
avatar for Chrissy Tignor

Chrissy Tignor

Faculty, Berklee College of Music



Friday May 17, 2019 10:30 - 11:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

10:30

What You Hear is What You Hear: Contemporary Pop Music as Minimalism
‘What you see is what you see.’ The minimalist painter Frank Stella’s famous quote from 1964 has become a catchphrase for minimalism, and while a clear-cut definition of minimalism’s aesthetics is elusive the quote does imply some of the central characteristics of early minimalism: 1) a deflation of expressivity, 2) an emphasis on texture and surface, and 3) a fundamental grounding in the use of repetition. Via these three attributes this paper will explore how early minimalism can be used to understand current developments in contemporary pop music. The aim is not a 1:1 comparison but heuristic attempt to find new concepts and connections in pop music and its digital production methods. First, the paper will discuss the methodological challenges with reducing works of painters, sculptors and composers such as Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass into a few common denominators before applying them to a very different genre and period. Second, the paper will explore how to approach an application of minimalist aesthetics in pop aesthetics by examining how pop music - increasingly informed by hip-hop and EDM - is often composed by controlling different kinds of repetition when loops are intersected in a sequencer-based DAW. Musical examples will exemplify how various looping strategies affect musical form and create new experiences of spatiality and performativity. The result can be heard as a new kind of pop music that is based less on expressivity and more on a processual exchange and juxtaposition of texture. Or, in other words, with a little rewrite of Stella’s quote, what you hear is what you hear.

Speakers
avatar for Anders Reuter

Anders Reuter

University of Copenhagen



11:00

The sound engineer and his/ her role as subject of art [SKYPE]
Animated Abstract Here

The beginning of the digital era in musical productions has brought endless changes to the industry. Today there are very sophisticated software tools for processing audio, which allow sound to be manipulated in a manner that was unthinkable in the previous period. In the analogue era, the tools were limited to the hardware available. But the democratization of tools for editing and  processing audio in the digital era has meant that sound engineers have almost unlimited technical possibilities at hand, with the capacity to provide multiple finishes to the materials with which they work,  thus having a decisive influence over the performance and aesthetic of the final product.

This study consists of empirically testing the assertion that sound engineersbring substantial meanings to sound recordings, which should be taken into account when evaluating them. Based on the theories of Kress and Van Leeuwen (2001) and Chion (1993), an experiment was designed and applied to a concert series in which the present author personally did the PA engineering and made the recordings. Different postproduction techniques were applied to each sound recording, in order to compare the results. The sample consisted of 12 recordings and two versions of each were made. This not only allowed for an evaluation of the capacity of current technology to dramatically transform a pre-existing sound recording, but to demonstrate that the study of sound has gradually become a musical instrument in itself (Corey, 2010; Bates, 2012). Sound engineers thus acquire expressive skills that place them on an equal status as sound artists, conductors or other musicians in the construction of musical works.

Speakers
avatar for Juan Pablo Castillo Croes

Juan Pablo Castillo Croes

Universidad Central de Venezuela
Soundist finding out the way to become a musician throungh the gear.Balance in everything; in music, in sound, in life....!



11:00

Unintended Obsolecense: Reviving dead tech in Vaporwave production
What happens to old technology after it becomes not only obsolete, but culturally passé? Can it ever see a second life?

In this paper, I explore how producers of the Vaporwave genre employ the nostalgia-laden sounds of early tech relics in their music as a commentary on an increasingly IoT-oriented world of music production, which contrasts itself against our modern consumer culture of ephemeral trends and disposable technology. I detail the short cultural lifecycle of early creative technology and explore how Vaporwave producers turn a mirror on our own distorted sense of cultural memory.

Vaporwave is the music of abandoned malls, created with the aural flotsam and jetsam of 80s and 90s hazy pop nostalgia and exaggerated sounds of early computers—technological relics that lie now, plastic sun-bleached and brittle, in storage units and landfills. The melancholy this image evokes is embedded in the genre’s production style. Musicians deconstruct their childhood memories to create music—broken Nintendo consoles, trashed PCs and old computer vaporware are the instruments du jour to cre-ate this hesitant nostalgia.

Come learn about the evolution of the genre, its production style and its unique use of aesthetic and aural nostalgia.

Speakers
PB

Pippin Bongiovanni

iZotope, Independent




Friday May 17, 2019 11:00 - 11:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

11:00

Lo-fi as Effect: High Tech Affordances for Bad Sound
In 1994, The New York Times ran the article “Lo-fi Rockers Opt for Raw Over Slick,” legitimizing lo-fi sound. By 1995, “lo-fi” saturated music criticism such that many writers called for retirement of the term. But lo-fi has endured as an appealing aesthetic. Musicologists and media scholars consider lo-fi not only as a type of audio degradation, but also as a style and attitude. In the nineties, “lo-fi” went hand-in-hand with technophobia; it was a way of resisting whatever was considered too slick—overblown, oppressive, or uptight. In the past ten years, however, lo-fi has become a high tech effect: high-fidelity audio manufacturers now commonly market their products’ sounds as “lo-fi” (i.e., variously warm, dirty, dated, or minimalist).

This presentation considers the recent emergence of DAWs, plugins, pedals, and apps explicitly designed to contrive a lo-fi sound, and it situates them within the history of audio fidelity. It is based on archival research of amateur and professional publications about audio quality, including zines and audiophile magazines such as Option, Tape Op, Sound Choice, and Chemical Imbalance. Case studies will be the SVEX Instant Lo-fi Junky guitar pedal and the Goodhertz Vulf Compressor “Lo-Fi” option; I analyze the design, marketing, and operation of these devices, demonstrating how modern gadgets have taken the ethos of “raw” sound and turned it toward “slick” purposes. I use the concepts of skeuomorphism and the production myth to analyze the ways these tools construct nostalgia for an authenticity that never actually existed. Bringing together technical and socio-cultural aspects of fidelity, this presentation will consider how and why we continue to be drawn to sound that is flawed, degraded, overdriven, and incomplete—even when it comes at a high cost.

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton

The Graduate Center, CUNY



11:30

11:30

Open

Friday May 17, 2019 11:30 - 12:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

11:30

It's all about the Kick: The Aesthetics of the 1980's pop kick
How creative can we be about Kick Drum sounds?

The kick drum would often dominate a commercial pop music production in the 1980s and as Harding (2010) asserts, the client or “team leader” (Harding & Thompson, 2017) would be the driver of this mix decision. The kick drum sound was heavily influenced by the sonic properties of the Linn drum machine in the early part of the decade. Producers, artists and studio engineers were fascinated and excited at this introduction because for the first time ever, there was a sampled kick drum sound attainable in a way that was both manageable, and most importantly for engineers, controllable and instant. No compression was required and minimal equalization was usually used. The boosts on the SSL console, at around 80Hz and 3Khz, was quite often used gratuitously and without specificity, merely because of the default nature of their positioning. Provided the recording levels were set efficiently and no distortion present, the job was accomplished effortlessly.

This study explores and analyses some of the reasons behind the making of some astonishingly poor engineering and production decisions made in the 1980s that have lead to a legacy of largely unlistenable historical pop records, from an aesthetic point of view. Moylan talks about technical and scientific listening skills vs. artistic or creative expression in Understanding and Crafting the Mix (2006). We will investigate this phenomenon and analyse some of the sonic trends used by mix engineers (Bromham, 2017) which contributed to this historic problem and in doing so, conduct an interdisciplinary evaluation of kick drum sounds from this era.

Speakers
avatar for Phil Harding

Phil Harding

Independent
Dr. Phil HardingMusic Producer + Engineer / JAMES Co-Chair / Academic / AuthorForthcoming book:https://www.routledge.com/Pop-Music-Production-Manufactured-Pop-and-BoyBands-of-the-1990s/Harding-Collins/p/book/9780815392811
avatar for Gary Bromham

Gary Bromham

Researcher & Independent Music Professional, Queen Mary University of London



12:00

13:00

ARP Announcements
Speakers
avatar for Katia Isakoff

Katia Isakoff

ARP Executive, Women Produce Music
Katia Isakoff is a composer producer and multi-instrumentalist whose performances and productions first appeared in the Add N To (X) album Loud Like Nature (Mute Records). She has since collaborated on numerous albums and projects (see katiaisakoff.com) including John Foxx and Steve... Read More →
avatar for Shara Rambarran

Shara Rambarran

ARP Executive
http://www.artofrecordproduction.com/http://arpjournal.com


Friday May 17, 2019 13:00 - 13:15
The Red Room 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

13:15

A pedagogy for Hip-Hop production
A pedagogy for Hip-Hop production

Speakers
avatar for Prince Charles Alexander

Prince Charles Alexander

Professor Music Production/Engineering, Berklee College of Music
Prince Charles Alexander is a 3x Grammy winning, multi-platinum music producer, mixing engineer and professor at Berklee College of Music where he created the Commercial Record Production curriculum and co-authored the Vocal Production course for Berklee Online. He has taught at NYU’s... Read More →
JA

Jarritt Ahmed Sheel

Assistant Professor, Berklee College of Music
Jarritt Sheel is an assistant professor of music education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. He is also a fifth year doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Music and Music Education Department. As a professional musician, he has toured internationally... Read More →
avatar for Jason Stokes

Jason Stokes

Assistant Professor Music Production and Engineering, Berklee
A Grammy wining audio engineer and multi instrumentalist whose recording credits include Outkast, Goodie Mob, Boys to Men, Silk, 2.0, R.E.M., Pink, Matchbox 20, Collective Soul, Kronos Quartet, Mariah Carey, and many others.


Friday May 17, 2019 13:15 - 14:15
The Red Room 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

14:30

Reissuing Creativity or Creative Reissues?
This paper will consider the role of creativity in the work of reissue producers. Reissue work may be viewed in a number of ways; it can be consultative, proactive, destructive, and sometimes history-changing. When faced with the task of bringing to life recordings that have languished in the vaults for close to 50 years, how much agency should modern reissue producers have over their output? Is there responsibility involved in this sort of work? Should producers advocate for transparent reissues that reveal the work of the original artist, or to try make the record sound as good as possible? How do we determine if the latter is appropriate or successful? I will reflect on these questions using ideas from aestheticians about the ontology of works, an example of a completed Mozart work, and a discussion of the work of an art “restorer.” The core of my discussion will revolve around a number of Marvin Gaye recordings that I have completed as reissue producer, including an expanded edition of the 1972 Trouble Man project, and a more recent set of standards-oriented recordings spanning nearly two decades. In working with this material, I faced many of the issues described above, and will use them to bring tangibility to the discussion. I will provide audio examples to support my case studies, showing examples of questions that arose during my process. In a music industry constantly employing different listening formats, reissues are endemic to popular music. Their creativity matters more than you might think.

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Flory

Andrew Flory

Carleton College



14:30

AI, Neural Nets and Next Generation Production Tools
Machine learning and neural networks allow us to create new possibilities for production workflows and in signal processing by identifying unique characteristics and helping users manage complex relationships between audio signals.

Developing ‘smart’ processing tools is giving us new capabilities, it is important that the tools are useful rather than solutions looking for the problem. This involves intelligent UI design and an understanding of traditional production challenges.

We’ll look at a few examples of how AI manifests in state of the art tools and products that are created for audio restoration, mixing and mastering and we’ll speculate about what might be possible in the future.

Speakers
avatar for Jonathan Wyner

Jonathan Wyner

Education and Music Engineering, iZotope, Berklee, M Works
Record Production - technology influences on production aesthetics and extending our music vocabulary



Friday May 17, 2019 14:30 - 15:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

14:30

The Producer as Educator
Through my own producing and by working with many producers over two decades as an audio program director, and through my 30+ years in education, I have learned that much is the same in the studio as in the concert hall and in the classroom; but there are also some crucial differences. The producer manages the dynamics of the session and the musicians’ performances, while offering musicians a new and unique learning experience. This leadership can greatly enhance musicianship in and outside the studio. For example, when the producer directs the musicians’ listening towards elements that are the most relevant for making decisions about recording (in contrast to other performing scenarios), the producer unlocks the creative process for musicians, unlocks new ways to hear sound. Thereby, musicians not only gain insight into the recording process but creativity and performing in general. The unique role of critical listening (in spaces, of recordings, through technology) in the studio makes this work unlike the work musicians do with an instrument teacher or coach. The producer builds an aesthetic framework within which the artist can hone specific skills that are unique to working in a controlled recording environment and are also applicable to creative expression more broadly. This paper will explore the production process and techniques used from pre-production duties through the recording session to post- production. This study, though inspired by classical musicians, lends itself to a broader audience.

Speakers
avatar for Theresa Leonard

Theresa Leonard

Independent
Theresa Leonard is an internationally recognized music producer and audio educator. She holds a Master of Music degree in sound recording from McGill University and bachelor degrees in both music and education. In her more than 30- year career, she has served as Executive Producer... Read More →



15:00

Remastering Myself (Collaboration)
Remastering is the practice of manipulating older recordings to make them sound optimal using modern playback systems and evolved through the introduction of the digital CD as a replacement for the analogue vinyl record format (Nardi, 2014; Shelvock, 2012). When we consider the original musical artefact may be associated with a sense of cultural heritage or authenticity, the amount and type of manipulation undertaken to create the digital replica becomes of crucial importance, particularly if the aim is to maintain the context, meaning and significance of the original work (Bennett, 2009; Moore, 2002). In my study on remastering and collaboration, I apply the remastering practice and procedure used on the 2014 remaster of iconic Australian band Sunnyboys’ eponymous vinyl release in 1981 to a collection of analogue studio demo recordings from my previous bands Jumble Sale and Ben’s Calf.

Although my recordings are ‘lo-fi’ as compared to the record company financed professional recordings by Sunnyboys, there are similarities including being recorded mainly live, having few overdubs, completed on a tight budget, featuring predominantly analogue equipment, mixed to analogue tape and from a similar time period (Morey, 2009). In the role of researcher as artist/producer, I examine remastering practice in real time and the decision- making process undertaken between remastering engineer and myself. From there, I develop a personal, reflective account of remastering practice including the phenomenon of social and cultural interaction as a group of mature men deciphering and seeking improvement on past musical creations and recordings produced as adolescent males. Furthermore, I investigate the artistic choices underpinning the perception of authenticity and meaning of the original work in its digital replication, given the modern digital tools available for adjustment and manipulation.

Speakers
avatar for Stephen Bruel

Stephen Bruel

PhD Student, Queensland University of Technology
I am currently completing my PhD study into remastering music. I teach music and film production at TAFE QLD.



15:00

Algorithmic Music Scoring: An Approach to Automated Composition for Audiovisuals
In this paper, I review the concept of algorithmic composition and discuss its applicability and implementation in audiovisuals. Although the practical replacement of a human composer is not the objective in this approach, it is possible to envision a tool to leverage efficiency and variability on music creation for a wide variety of audiovisuals. Depending on narrative needs, productions may range from a thorough human-made piece, with traditional recording and mixing stages, to a highly variable, computer-produced sequence for multi-linear and interactive environments. Tools as Amper Music®, an AI music composer among others, currently provide a framework for automated music segment production tailored to audiovisuals. Although it features speed, control and royalty-free music output through an online browser interface, its proprietary algorithms are not open to develop a particular composer’s idea or style. It also opens a discussion about formulaic compositional techniques through style templates.

While algorithmic note-by-note generation potentially offers flexibility and infinite diversity, it poses significant challenges such as achieving performance sensibility and producing a distinctive narrative style through program design. Starting by evaluating suitability based on a range of audiovisual categories, I examine possibilities, advantages, and challenges offered by algorithmic composition studies that employ Markov models, a- life/evolutionary music, agents, generative grammars, and artificial neural networks/deep learning. According to those models, I outline rule-based strategies for music transformation in synchrony to emotional cues. Finally, I propose a compositional tool design based in modular instances of algorithmic music generation, featuring stylistic development in connection with an audio engine.

Speakers
avatar for Alvaro Lopez

Alvaro Lopez

University of California Riverside
Alvaro Lopez is an electronic musician, composer and sound designer, BM in Composition and Production, and MA in Music Technology. He is currently a PhD candidate in Digital Composition at UCR focused on artificial intelligence for music analysis, generation and composition. Lately... Read More →



Friday May 17, 2019 15:00 - 15:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

15:00

Take Two: Multitrack Audio as a Musical, Cultural and Pedagogical Resource
Few studies have been able to gain access to the private and intimate environment of a commercial recording session and gain critical insight into what actually happens during the creation of a popular music recording. This is because the recording studio is closed both acoustically and socially (Thompson & Lashua, 2014). However, fragments of each recording session remain in the separate individual pieces of audio that are created during a recording session. These pieces of audio are called multitracks and, prior to being combined at the mixing stage and then prepared for duplication and release at the mastering stage, can be used to shed some light on some of the creative decisions taken during the session.

This study builds upon previous studies in this area (PitS: Performance in the Studio, AHRC research project; Williams 2012; McNally et al 2017; Thompson et al 2017) and focuses on multitrack materials, the cultural, technical and musical knowledge needed to create them, and the development of new ways to analyze these materials to gain some useful insight into the commercial record production process more generally. By drawing upon a series of multitracks created during a week-long studio project at the Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, this study introduces new ways multitracks can be analysed and shows how giving access to commercially-created multitracks can begin to address the ‘virtual absence of pedagogical resources’ (Zagorski-Thomas, 2016) within the field of popular music and audio education.

Speakers
KM

Kirk McNally

University of Victoria
avatar for Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Reader in Popular Music, Leeds Beckett University
Paul Thompson is a professional recording engineer who has worked in the music industry for over 10 years. He is currently a Reader in Popular Music at Leeds Beckett University in the School of Film, Music and Performance Arts and his research is centred on record production, audio... Read More →



15:30

In C#: Devising Research-Creation Projects in Record Production [SKYPE]
For many, artistic creation is considered as a complex process involving experimentation, reflexivity, trial and error, a process involving some form of “research” (Borgdorff, 2011). Reciprocally some academics consider their research activities as creative, analogous to an “artistic process” (Esclapez, forthcoming). At the same time, most seem consider these two practices as different, at least on an epistemological level, even though some analogies can be drawn between the two. This is especially true of practices involving the use of technology, such as record production: we rely on machines and techniques to conceive, produce and disseminate our works; we consider our creative process as one involving “research”; we rely on sociological, musicological, statistical studies to better understand the impact of our work.

In this paper, we would like to approach a very specific point of juncture between artistic creation and academic research: Research-Creation. Defined as a fruitful short-circuit where research and creation collide around a common goal and establish a dialogue in causal interaction, research- creation could help us give rise to academic and artistic results that could not have emerged otherwise. In order to exploit this fragile and (usually) evanescent point of juncture, research- creation will be presented as a methodological approach, most often involving a team of theorists and patricians united around a common project. After a detailed definition and characterization of the concept (Stévance & Lacasse 2018), some examples of research-creation in record production will be examined, hoping that this approach will lead to exciting new projects by our (somewhat) scattered community, composed of academics, artists, technicians and other hybrids.

Speakers
avatar for Serge Lacasse

Serge Lacasse

Université Laval
SS

Sophie Stévance

Université Laval



15:30

The performance of ‘Machine Aesthetics’
Throughout history developments in recording technology have directly impacted upon musician’s performance practices, from the emergence of crooning afforded by the development of microphone technology, to the creative use of guitar feedback by Jimi Hendrix, through to Justin Vernon of Bon Iver singing ‘into’ Autotune. The use of machines in music recording and production introduced a series of new aesthetic characteristics and considerations which not only directly influenced popular music conventions in recorded music, but also directly impacted on the way in which musicians perform.

Although many of these aspects of musical performance, such as the examples highlighted previously, are based on a musician’s interaction with a specific item of technology, there are also other, often overlooked examples where musicians circumvent the use of technology altogether, instead incorporating the aesthetics of the technology directly into their performance practice. Examples of this include pianists incorporating the sonic characteristics of tape delay into their performance, drummers mimicking synthetic or heavily processed drum sounds through modifications to their equipment and playing techniques, and singers mimicking the extreme pitch-correction effects of Autotune in their vocal performances.

Using Brummett’s (1999) concept of ‘machine aesthetics’ as an analytical framework, this paper explores the emergence of these practices in an attempt to gain a better understanding their broader function within popular music culture.

References

Brummett, B. (1999). Rhetoric of Machine Aesthetics. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Speakers
avatar for Alex Stevenson

Alex Stevenson

Course Director, Leeds Beckett University



Friday May 17, 2019 15:30 - 16:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

15:30

The Production of Record Art: Theorizing the Album Cover
This study provides the first comprehensive attempt at a conceptual and theoretical framework for the music album cover. Building on previous case studies on the topic I propose an interdisciplinary approach as follows:

From music iconography I take theories of representing and semiotics in and through the album cover; from the field of visual culture I take the focus on “ways of seeing” (Berger 1972) and suggest that cover art also represents a “way of listening,” also building on Mitchell’s (2005) dictum that “there are no visual media” extended via album covers to assert that “there are no (exclusively) sonic media”; and from musicology and popular music studies I take the analysis of recordings and models of space in recordings with visual connotations (e.g. Moylan 2002 and Zagorski-Thomas 2014) and question how album covers’ visual space informs and challenges interpretations of the recording as primary text (Moore 1993).

From this I identify a series of interlocking theoretical (and methodological) avenues in which we may study album cover art: a) historicizing the album cover, accounting for the historically contingent production, dissemination, and reception of the visual and sonic text; b) the materiality of the album cover, including the physical forms of the cover and the political economy of album covers (from providing protection to being collectors’ items); c) the album cover as paratext, considering it as the “threshold” (Genette 1997) between the sonic text and off-text; d) the cover art as audiovisual text, specifically how cover art and recorded sound are intertwined in an audiovisual hermeneutics; e) the album cover in the digital age, thinking about how the above points apply to and/or must be amended to explain the virtual visual life of music as both a break and continuation of the traditional album cover (from Spotify over Instagram and beyond).

Speakers
avatar for Mikkel Vad

Mikkel Vad

University of Minnesota



16:00

16:30

Music reconfigured (Hangout/Skype)
(Sylvain will be presenting remotely via Google Hangout)
For nearly thirty years, the various sectors of culture have been confronted by a radical reconfiguration of the processes of creation, production, distribution and reception of cultural works and products. The music industry is often described as the first sector that has been impacted by the various changes related to technological developments, as well as economic and political ones. This comes from a multitude of factors that shape an evolving context: territorial boundaries have opened;
new artistic forms are developing outside known frames;
public policies integrate culture and creativity in the development of territories; consumption habits are changing, as are the rules governing cultural industries.
This has led to the emergence of new roles and professions and has had a lasting impact on the conditions of practice of music workers.

Our work proposes to mobilize the point of view of artists, creators and cultural workers in order to recognize their role as a participative group while documenting their experiences of these transformations. The presentation will be based on 15 individual interviews and 2 collective ones with music workers and artists from Montréal, Québec. This presentation will be focused on the impact of digital technologies upon the creative process and everyday work.

Speakers
avatar for Sylvain Martet

Sylvain Martet

Université du Québec à Montréal
AB

Anouk Bélanger

Université du Québec à Montréal
ML

Martin Lussier

Université du Québec à Montréal
(Université du Québec à Montréal)



16:30

Digital Warmth:The Retro in Digital
It is not uncommon to hear people speak of ‘warmth’ when describing analog technologies such as vintage mixing consoles, multitrack tape machines, and valve compressors. What is perhaps less common, is hearing this term used in association with digital technology. This paper will explore whether the notion of digital warmth has become part of the discourse associated with a nostalgic attachment for early samplers.

An area that dominates this discussion is the lo-fi aesthetics produced by early hardware samplers such as the Fairlight CMI, Akai Linn MPC 60 or Emu SP12. A question exists as to how much the low bit rate and low-grade conversion quality contribute to the sonic character of these iconic instruments. Interestingly, what used to be regarded as deficiencies are now often seen as characteristic in a positive way, constituting an aesthetics associated with such technologies. Moreover, while the sound of these original hardware units were once described as ‘cold’, it is now often regarded as exuding a quality described as ‘warmth’.

This paper explores the changing values related to the digital past, drawing on qualitative interviews with producers and musicians and an analysis of spectral differences between the original and remake of said technologies. The paper also reports from a listening test of the perceptibility of sonic differences, conducted with an Akai MPC Renaissance, which uses an algorithm to simulate the sound of the original hardware. In doing so, such qualities as ‘digital warmth’, if there exists such a phenomenon, is assessed and evaluated.

Speakers
avatar for Gary Bromham

Gary Bromham

Researcher & Independent Music Professional, Queen Mary University of London
DM

David Moffat

Queen Mary University London
AD

Anne Danielsen

University of Oslo
GF

Gyorgy Fazekas

Queen Mary University



Friday May 17, 2019 16:30 - 17:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

16:30

Performance music or Production Music?
What if music could be characterized as performance music or production music for the purpose of ARP pedagogy? With this characterization, could a classification system help clarify the “blurred lines that exist between the collaborative activities of creation, staging and performance” (Zagorski-Thomas, 2014, p.76)? What are the less obvious and deeper differences and commonalities found between performance and production music? How might observing these traits help decision-making during music recording, and serve to keep creativity buoyant through-out the process? Who are the collaborative constituents in each typology, what are their activities and what is the workflow? With an eye to the future, what if computational creativity becomes an agent in composition, performance and production?
I routinely begin my teachings of the Art of Record Production by asking students if they are making performance music or production music, but my own analysis has been surface level only. This paper seeks a deeper consideration of common questions about click track use, staging, headphone mix and performance, DAW playlists versus linear tracking and what the agency of a producer in relation to the artist might be.

Performance music can be broadly defined as an art or popular music event recorded with a minimum of technological intervention or virtual staging. Holly Cole’s 1990 recording Girl Talk is an example.1 By contrast, production music can be broadly defined as music created using technological means such as performance overdubbing, hyper-real microphone placement, midi & synthesizers, editing and processing, click tracks or prepared loops resulting in exaggerated sound and virtual soundscape.
Performance music or production music discusses traits and values of performance and production music to encourage workflow efficiency and hybridization of both typologies.


Discography

Cole, H, Girl Talk, CD, Vinyl, Alert Records, 1990.

Bibliography

Burgess, J. The Art of Music Production, Omnibus Press, 3rd edition, 2010 Godlovitch, S. Musical Performance, A Philosophical Study, Routledge, 1998
Moore, A, Rock, The Primary Text, Developing a Musicology of Rock, Routledge, 2001

Lamb, C., Brown, D, Clarke, C, Evaluating Computational Creativity: AM-Interdisciplinary Tutorial, University of Waterloo. 2017

Schechner, R. Performance Theory, Routledge, 1988

Small, C. Musiking, Westleyan University Press, Middletown, CT, 1998

Zagorsky-Thomas, S., 2014, The Musicology of Record Production. Cambridge University Press.


1 Cole, Holly, Girl Talk: Recorded live to two-track in the Stephen Leacock Theatre using a single Calrec Ambisonic Microphone, by Peter Moore.

Speakers
avatar for Paul A Novotny

Paul A Novotny

Industry Professional & Doctoral Student, York University, Toronto, Ont. Canada
I am a bass artist, composer, audio producer and teacher. I am the bassist on the platinum selling video game CUPHEAD. As a jazz bassist I have performed with Cedar Walton Geoff Keezer, Kenny Wheeler and others.As a screen composer I have written music for feature films and TV—in... Read More →



17:00

Domestic intimate space in recorded music
When recorded sounds are described as intimate, it is often a proximate-sounding, non- reverberated, soft-sung voice that is referred to. In popular music research (see, e.g., Moore, 2012; Zagorski-Thomas, 2014), intimacy has largely been understood in terms of Hall’s (1990) idea of intimate distance, that is, the closest of four categories of distance at which people communicate. If we look outside of music research, however, familiar places like the home and specific parts of the home are often regarded as spaces of intimacy. In this paper I propose an alternative to the traditional idea of intimate sound by exploring the notion of intimate domestic space and the ways in which such space can be represented in recorded music.

A possible way to approach the idea of intimate domestic space in recordings is to look at the extent to which a recorded space realistically resembles an actual intimate space. Several records from at least the last two decades have shown a move towards an aesthetics of recorded spatiality previously associated with the technological limitations of home recordings, by incorporating home-like reverberation simulating small rooms. A similar tendency is also seen in recording technology, with reverb plugin presets being called things like “Bedroom” or “Warm Living Room”. This paper explores the ways in which home-like sound spaces can provide a sense of intimacy in a recording, by arguing for a connection between realism, vulnerability and intimacy, while also acknowledging the important role of technology in the conveyance of such spatialities.

References
Hall, E. T. (1990). The Hidden Dimension: Man’s Use of Space om Public and Private. New York, NY: Anchor Books.
Moore, A. F. (2012). Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song.
Farnham: Ashgate.
Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2014). The Musicology of Record Production. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Speakers
avatar for Emil Kraugerud

Emil Kraugerud

PhD fellow, University of Oslo



17:00

Controller Cultures: Technologies of Play in Hip-Hop and Electronic Dance Music
Throughout the history of hip-hop, the vinyl record has remained a foundational symbol and compositional tool in beat production and DJing. The practice of “digging in the crates” has provided a useful starting point for musicians seeking new material, and understanding the basics of turntablism is often seen as a necessary prerequisite for the novice DJ and producer. However, the 2000s marked a shift in the technical practices of hip-hop, as musicians increasingly moved away from the record as a practical tool, instead embracing grid-based “controllers” of various sorts. In this context, musicians increasingly talk about the ways in which they have been influenced by the video games they grew up with, rather than their parents’ record collections.
How have structures of play and kinesthetic embodiment in video games influenced composition and performance in hip-hop and electronic dance music?

Through case studies of the technical design and use of controllers such as Ableton’s Push and the “Monome” grid, this paper outlines shifts in hip-hop and electronic dance music composition and performance that have resulted in the twilight of the vinyl record. Combining play theory and studies in human-computer interaction with ethnographic research on producers and instrument designers from the Los Angeles hip-hop and dance music scene, I detail the ways in which the ludic structures of video game controllers have encouraged alternative forms of instrumentality. While scholars have provided useful frameworks for understanding turntablism in hip-hop culture, a connection has yet to be made between the music and the broader multimedia formats with which it is increasingly intertwined.

Speakers
avatar for Mike D'Errico

Mike D'Errico

Assistant Professor of Music, Albright College
Dr. Mike D’Errico initiated the Electronic Digital Instrument program at Albright College, allowing students to take applied music lessons in DJing, beatmaking, synthesis, and other forms of digital music production. As a DJ and producer of hip-hop and electronic dance music, Dr... Read More →



Friday May 17, 2019 17:00 - 17:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

17:00

When is the music speaking to us? A proposed model for analyzing choices in studio practice
A musical choice in a production context is the induced change from one state to a new state of the recording. What is driving the musical choices in the creative studio setting? How, and on what premises are these choices taken? Are these choices really driven only by aesthetic considerations? The democratization of music technology renders endless possibilities for musicians, songwriters and producers. Still, record production today, as it always has, is centered around a series of choices within a creative process. Thus, reflecting upon such choices is essential to grow as artist, songwriter or industry professional.

Bennet (2013) argues that although there is no template method for songwriting, there might be commonalties at the decision-making processes at macro level. Howlett (2012) argues that the producer role is a creative one and is centered around choices. McIntyre (2007) confronts the romantic view of creativity, using Csikszentmihalyi’s system theory.

Through my experience as a songwriter, vocalist, producer and mixer, I have implemented an interdisciplinary approach and deduced a theoretic framework to understand key aspects of what drives the choices in the studio setting.

The paper illustrates how any musical choice can be understood as a three-part process: the creation of options to choose from, the selection between these options and the evaluation of the selection. The paper will focus on how the creative organism is critically listening to its own art in order to assess its potential for listener interaction.

Speakers
avatar for Andreas Waaler Røshol

Andreas Waaler Røshol

PhD research fellow, University of Agder



17:30

Rebecoming Analogue: Sampling as Virtual Collaboration
This paper focuses on music technology and production techniques that predate the Internet but which, nonetheless, have contemporary relevance. The role of digital sampling in the development of hip hop, and other subsequent genres based around the use of 'breakbeats', is widely acknowledged and has been explored from various scholarly perspectives. This paper argues that the creative interplay between the contemporary producer who samples and the instrumentalist whose performance is sampled can be read as a process of virtual collaboration in the creation of groove, albeit one which may feel somewhat imbalanced in comparison with traditional models.

To date, groovology has typically addressed the musical interaction between two or more performers playing concurrently and co-presently, dealing primarily with rhythmic aspects of this relationship. My research builds on these ideas by extending the concept in such a way that a single musician can be said to groove when playing solo, by interacting with various contextually-nuanced senses of time, a process which I call 'solo groove'. Recent research has also explored the potential for rhythmic control which music technology offers the contemporary producer, highlighting a burgeoning aspect of production wherein computer-based manipulation of microtiming contributes significantly to the listener’s perception of groove.

By considering solo groove and the use of sampled breakbeats in examples from hip hop, jungle and other breakbeat-based music, this paper argues for a contemporary, virtual manifestation of Small’s ‘musicking’ concept (1998), wherein collaboration and musical sharing become possible for performers and producers working across temporal, geographical and stylistic boundaries. Fundamental to the role of the breakbeat, here, is Shaviro’s notion of a musical environment in which the digital ‘rebecomes analogue’ (2003: 45), a characterization of sampling that is integral to a contemporary understanding of groove and collaborative music-making.

Speakers
avatar for Rowan Oliver

Rowan Oliver

Lecturer in Music, University of Hull



17:30

Feedin' my controller: Re-imagining the 'phonographic' in boom-bap rap
Over the past two decades, the growing literature on hip-hop musicology has paid ample tribute to Akai’s range of Music Production Controllers (MPCs), acknowledging their pivotal influence on the development of rap production practices. The technology’s combined sampling, tactile drum-programming and MIDI-sequencing functionality has been embraced by practitioners since the release of the standalone MPC60 (1988), through to its more recent computer-dependent incarnations manifested in a multitude of hardware controllers and DAWs. The timeline coincides with particular sonic priorities in hip-hop that can be grouped under the boom-bap aesthetic—an onomatopoeic celebration of the prominence of individual drum sounds syncopated against ‘chopped’ phonographic segments from the past. Three decades later, the legal landscape bears witness to a growing body of hip-hop producers creating copyright-free, interim content to facilitate a sample- based approach referential to this retro aesthetic. But what if MPC technology has impacted upon the stylization of hip-hop, conditioning both workflow and the aesthetic expectations of what can legitimately serve as raw sonic material?
Artists/producers such as Frank Dukes, De La Soul, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Statik Selektah painstakingly delve into multiple production phases to ensure the construction of original content-for-sampling, ‘feeding’ a modus operandi shaped by the mechanistic affordances of the past. The author examines his ongoing creative practice under an auto-ethnographic lens to uncover the variables and considerations that define this subset of contemporary hip-hop practice. The paper demonstrates how the interactivity between original composition and MPC workflow is consistent with a metamodern ‘structure of feeling’—oscillating between and beyond analogue nostalgia and digital futurism—mirrored in modern- day politics and also other artforms. The aim is to highlight how the pursuit of ‘phonographic’ context, re-imagined as an interim phase facilitating and infused into the meta-process, brings to the forefront a number of unexamined aesthetic issues that demand further analysis.

Speakers
ME

Michail Exarchos

Course Leader BA (Hons) Music Mixing and Mastering, London College of Music, University of West London
Hip-hop, record production, sampling and vintage sonics



Friday May 17, 2019 17:30 - 18:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

17:30

Producers and Computational Technology: Decisions, Recommendations and Production Intelligence
Music producers produce, partly, by enabling and making suggestions to musicians and sound engineers; by bringing their attention to artistic and technical problems and expressive potential; and by easing difficulties in creative work. Increasingly, the computational technologies available to musicians and engineers are able to perform related— not identical— functions; for example, recommending technical corrections that improve sound quality or conform to genre-specific norms, or algorithmically adjusting performances. Thereby, technology, especially “smart” technology, provides means to address some needs that producers have traditionally met. But to these ends, producers and technology use dissimilar cognitive or computational resources, information and problem- solving strategies. (How) can the producer’s intelligence be compared with “smart” production technology?

Each perceives/detects/gathers information, integrates/processes and shares it, but differently. Computational tools perform only specialized tasks utilizing a bounded set of variables. Producers, meanwhile, are adaptable, incorporative and assimilate multifaceted perspectives. How then do their recommendations and decisions/results differ— in nature and to those who rely on them? What purposes do each serve in production?

In production, both producers and technology are called upon for epistemic reasons, tapping alternate viewpoints, and their creative agency. To producers, cognitive work is distributed or delegated in accordance with their specialization. Comparably, musicians and engineers use technology for “offloading mental computation” (Maglio and Wenger, 2000) whereby creators may access altogether “new operations” (Kirsh, 2009, p. 442) for manipulating sound, enhanced control or processing that humans cannot perform unaided. Magnusson proposes that musicians intentionally employ digital instruments as “cognitive extensions”. (Magnusson, 2009, p. 169)

Building on the cognition, decision making, computational co-creation, intelligent mixing and human-computer interface literature, this paper considers the above mentioned comparisons between producer and machine intelligence, between computationally- generated recommendations and real-world decision making. Additionally, it surveys how research currently measures technology against producer performance, and identifies unanswered questions.

Speakers
avatar for Nyssim Lefford

Nyssim Lefford

Luleå University of Technology



18:00

Drinks/Free Time in Boston
Suggest start at Dillon's bar, Boylston Street, Boston - https://www.dillonsboston.com


Friday May 17, 2019 18:00 - 21:00
www.dillonsboston.com 955 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02115-3106
 
Saturday, May 18
 

09:00

Coffee and registration
Register here to collect your swag bag, wi-fi login and schedule information.


Saturday May 18, 2019 09:00 - 10:00
The Red Room 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

10:00

Music Mind Map – a creative tool for music production
Over the last decades, the game industry has become an increasingly important arena for music production. Earlier studies shows that interactive games requires music with a non-linear musical form[1] and to make it follow the intensity and the events in the game[2] it has to be adaptive. Through teaching adaptive music production I’ve discovered a potential for new tools to fill the gap between traditional Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) and middleware used for audio integration in games[3].

The aim of this study is to understand how music producers respond to a specific idea for such a tool - Music Mind Map[4] – an interactive mind map representing the structure of a composition. A prototype was built using the web based iMusic[5] technology and was tested by twelve music producers who reported their feedback through an online form.

The result indicates that most participants found the music mind map interesting and useful for organizing, getting a better overview and testing the different parts of a composition. My hypothesis was that they would primarily find it best suited for game music but the answers I got indicates that they find it useful for traditional compositions as well. Suggestions for improvements generally focused on a better graphical interface with more complex connections and more nodes visible at the same time.

My conclusion is that it would be valuable with further studies on how new technical solutions like the music mind map could help music producers being even more creative and productive.

References:
1. K. Collins. 2008. “Game Sound : An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design”. Cambridge: MIT Press
2. A.-P. Andersson and B. Cappellen, “Same but different: Composing for interactivity”. Audio Mostly Conference, 2008, (p80–85).
3. N Böttcher. 2013. “Current problems and future possibilities of procedural audio in computer games”.
Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds 2013. (p215-234)
4. H. Lindetorp 2018. ” MusicMindMap”. http://momdev.se/hans_lindetorp/musicmindmap
5. H. Lindetorp. 2018. “iMusic”. https://github.com/hanslindetorp/imusic

Speakers
avatar for Hans Lindetorp

Hans Lindetorp

Royal College of Music
My research focuses on music production for interactive media, like games, VR or interactive installations. My aim is to contribute with knowledge to the design field of new music technology for music production and integration. My special interest is the challenge to use recordings... Read More →



Saturday May 18, 2019 10:00 - 10:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

10:00

Forged by design? - The control of a genre expected sonic signifier on collaborative creation practices within modern heavy metal
The sonic signature of a recorded music artifact bears the collaborative artistic imprint of the producer and the imprint of the performer's engagement with the technology. Genre specific technology, recording practices, sonic staging, with artifice, construction, representation, and mediation, is inherently driven by the societal field of the specific musical and sonic characteristics of specific styles. This paper compares the two specific genres of modern heavy metal and dub reggae electronica production, through the framework of creative practice theory and the lens of practitioner based enquiry, and contextual spectral analysis, to identify the practice-led outcomes of collaboratively recorded and self-produced cases studies.

Contemporary heavy metal music production has defining features of the genre’s high commercial standard of production as heaviness and sonic weight combined with definition and intelligibility of the instrumentation involved (Mynet, 2012). Individualist and isolated recording techniques are diligently employed consistently in this genre to create this high level of production.
Group inclusion within reggae culture and music includes ideals of group performance and community. Concepts of live-ness and collaborative interactivity are indicative of the preferred technique of live multi-tracking of the band in the same room.

Acoustic space manipulation and the concept of staging is inherent to both genre but is presented in different ways to produce expected sonic signifiers such as the use of tape echo in dub reggae electronica.
Along with specific mixing techniques, these convectional practices are defined by the individual or collective creative choices, societal field and domain expectations of sonic signifiers and signatures. These definitions are disseminated as practice led comparisons for the key practices of recording, mixing and mastering of these audio artifacts.
The use of discrete spectral analysis of the recorded artifacts provides additional quantitative incite into the sonic similarities to accepted cumulative frequency- response and power level statistics equalization curves of the two case study genres.

Speakers
avatar for Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath

Programme Manager In Audio Production, Southern Institute of Technology & Griffith University



10:00

Leadership and Motivational Styles of Master Producers
This paper presentation will examine 3-5 notable producers including George Martin, Rick Rubin and Phil Ramone and their creative leadership styles. Well-known motivational and managerial theories such as those developed by McGregor, to Ouchi, Maslow, Hermann and Haermann and Yukl will be used to analyze famous studio interactions and techniques of these celebrated studio visionaries. For example, using Haermann’s theories, Spector could be considered to be an autocratic leader, Martin a referent leader and Rubin a transformational leader. Biographical information, interviews and studio stories will be used to show the relationship between the creator’s personality and leadership style. Furthermore, we will examine if these traits are innate or if students can begin to master these qualities in a classroom experience using leadership modeling.

Speakers
avatar for Dave Tough

Dave Tough

Belmont University



10:30

Nonlinear Mixing
‘Nonlinear mixing’ is the term used in this research to describe the outcomes of using a recursive mutual sidechained compression system in audio mixing. Hitherto, sidechain compression has been unidirectional, meaning the system will have one element controlling the dynamic range of one or more instruments. The implementation and behaviours of a system that enables feedback paths to exist within compressor configurations across multiple channels, has apparently received very little attention.

Such systems cannot be implemented in typical DAW systems, since feedback is forbidden in signal routing (an exception to this is Cockos Reaper, which is discussed in this paper). Therefore, this paper presents an eight-channel nonlinear mixing system created in Max/MSP. It implements a high performance compressor design algorithm, created within a 'gen~' object. All the channels in the system are interconnected via a sidechain, meaning there is no one main channel from which everything is sidechained to. This enables the channels to interact in complex ways, creating a mercurial environment. The level of audio in every channel can affect the level of every other channel. It is, however, regulated by conventional parameters found in compressors, namely threshold, ratio, attack time and release time. Independent control of each of these parameters is offered for each channel.

This paper touches on the history of creative compression use in studio practice. Furthermore, the creative possibilities made available using an eight-channel system are explored.

Speakers
avatar for Hairul Hafizi bin Hasnan

Hairul Hafizi bin Hasnan

PhD Student, University of York



Saturday May 18, 2019 10:30 - 11:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

10:30

Innovation and Tradition in Metal Music Production
Technological development has changed the way record producers need to work with Metal music; employing a far more fragmented and, sometimes, anxious approach to producing Heavy Metal Records. Technology permeates the recording process in unique ways, both influencing the recording itself, and the performance styles that Metal artists have developed since the late 1960s. The view of literature that focuses on the socio-cultural influence of Metal would suggest that production has evolved as a direct result of subculture; and that aesthetic choices made by record producers are influenced by both socio-cultural anticipations and an abstract production methodology. This paper analyses the experience of seven renowned Metal producers to determine the role of technology and how it has influenced the narrative of contemporary Metal music production.

Whilst the technology that defines the sound of the genre remains, more innovative technological processing, and approaches to producing the instrumental elements of the genre, takes place. It is this observed movement away from traditional, performance focused, recording, towards a more fragmented, technologically architectural approach that presents phenomenological problems for record producers and researchers alike; how to balance tradition and innovation in the production of HM music. The difficulties and intricacies of producing HM music are explored and re-evaluated in the context of the participant interviews. 

Speakers
avatar for Niall Thomas

Niall Thomas

Senior Lecturer in Music Production, University of Winchester



10:30

Searching for Sophia in Music Production Education
In this paper we primarily focus on the media coverage of Denniz PoP in the 1980´s and 90´s. The empirical source material includes: Musikermagasinet [1985-2000], Musikindustrin [1998-2002], Schlager [1980-1985], Showtime [1981-1990], SKAP-Nytt [1990-2000], Slitz
[1986-1996] and STIM-Magasinet [1980-2000]. The results of the analysis indicate that the Swedish music business press had an indifferent attitude towards the music production of Denniz PoP [Dag Volle, 1963–1998] during his productive years. Despite his international success, the coverage of Denniz PoP was noticeably lacking in Swedish music media during his lifetime. However, that started to change after he died in 1998. The results also indicate that the ´Swedish Music Wonder´ was accomplished through dedication and hard work on a long-term basis in a delimited network of music entrepreneurs who worked in the shadow of media exposure. They started up various projects, headhunted young, creative and talented musicians and DJ´s, brought the most skilled ones in, trained them in a kind of informal master and apprentice-practice, and then started up new projects all over again. Formal music education does not appear to have been a vital criterion in the music business of the day. Instead, skillfulness in teambuilding and networking was important success factors.
Finally, the analysis indicates that some of the most vital creators of the ´Swedish Music Wonder´ are almost totally absent in the Swedish music business press from the period examined. That includes the music entrepreneur and businessman Tom Talomaa (b. 1954), who – apart from owning important music clubs and restaurants – was, and still is, an exclusive business partner with first Denniz PoP, and then Max Martin, co-owning the highly successful music production companies Cheiron and Maratone. In this project: Searching for Sophia [Wisdom] in Music Production Education, a team of researchers study formal and informal learning processes in music production.

Speakers
avatar for David Thyrén

David Thyrén

Senior Lecturer in Musicology, Royal College of Music in Stockholm
David is a senior lecturer in musicology whose primary field of research is in music production education.
avatar for J-O Gullö

J-O Gullö

Professor, Royal College of Music
PH

Per-Henrik Holgersson

Royal College of Music
BW

Bo Westman

Royal College of Music in Stockholm



11:00

Conduits of Creation: The Role of the Synthesizer in Brian Eno’s Discreet Music
Today, technology develops autonomously; we embrace its progression, its efficiency, as it propels our culture at breakneck speed toward a future that’s hard to see clearly. Technology has infiltrated commerce, education, government and art of record production through many key contributions. One seminal technological contribution to music making was the synthesizer. It remains a conduit for creation for many musicians and producers, acting as a vehicle of sound exploration. In many cases, the synthesizer facilitated the musician or producer to take a more functionary role within the art of record production by simply becoming a controller, allowing the synthesizer to become the primary compositional voice.

This paper explores the ‘what if’ principle through Brian Eno’s 1975 album Discreet Music. Here, creation, collaboration and connectivity are skillfully distributed between man and machine. Discreet Music masterfully employs an EMS Synthi AKS synthesizer that once set into operation by Eno, creates soundscapes with little or no intervention on the performers part apart from occasionally alternating the timbre of the synthesizer. It examines the roles of collaboration, invention, innovation within technology that helped Eno bypass traditional record production mechanisms. Furthermore, the paper highlights Eno’s contribution to notions of control within electronic music production, his influence within generative music making and questions current creative utopias that allow toward the control over every imaginable parameter within electronic music making through MIDI and automation.

Speakers
avatar for Neil O'Connor

Neil O'Connor

Digital Media Arts Research Centre, University of Limerick
Composer and Producer Neil O Connor has been involved in experimental & electro-acoustic music for the past 21 years and has performed extensively in Ireland, Europe, Australia, Asia and the US. His work was been shown/performed at MOMA, New York, IRCAM Paris, Institute of Contemporary... Read More →



Saturday May 18, 2019 11:00 - 11:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

11:00

Gendered Cotextuality in Heavy Metal Songs/Videos: The Role of the Female Guest Artist
Although a male-dominated genre, heavy metal has opened up space for “female-fronted metal,” a domain that is treated as a genre itself, even though the artists work in a range of subgenres (e.g., gothic metal, power metal, progressive metal, symphonic metal, melodic death metal). The acclaimed vocalists of this domain are frequently invited to collaborate as guest artists with melodically-driven metal bands. Floor Jansen (After Forever; ReVamp; Nightwish), Simone Simons (Epica), Anneke von Giersbergen (The Gathering), Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist; Arch Enemy) and Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) are five exemplary vocalists who are celebrated for their powerful vocals and creative contributions. This paper examines the following music video collaborations: White- Gluz and Ryd in Kamelot’s power metal track, ‘Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)’ (Silverthorn, 2012); Jansen in Evergrey’s progressive metal track, ‘In Orbit” (The Storm Within, 2016); Simons and Jansen in Ayreon’s progressive metal rock opera track, ‘All That Was’ (The Source, 2017); and von Giersbergen in Amorphis’ progressive metal track, ‘Amongst Stars’ (Queen of Time, 2018).

I analyze these song/video collaborations to reveal how the female artists inject their own style into the sonic-visual world of the band, posing a number of questions: What degree of performative empowerment is attributed to the guest vocalist? How does her sonic and visual style impact upon and contribute to song expression and meaning? What strategies and ideologies are at play in the representation of gendered and sexualized subjectivities? For this analysis, I will mobilize the concept of “cotextuality” (Burns, Dubuc & Lafrance 2010) to consider the coexistence and interaction of the discursive attributes of the female artist’s text within the host text of the band. The analytic approach responds to scholarly writings on gender and sexuality in metal performance (e.g, Walser 1993; Weinstein 2000; Heesch & Scott 2016; Berkers & Schaap 2018).

Speakers
avatar for Lori Burns

Lori Burns

Professor, University of Ottawa



11:00

Izotope Demo - New Technology in Live Performance
New Technology in Live Performance, featuring tools by Izotope and others.
Presenter: Rachel Alix


11:30

The Controller as an Agent of Unpredictability: Electronic Music, 60’s Counterculture, and the Early Live Sound Industry
Controllers can be grouped into two broad categories: (1) some, like midi-controllers function as “cognitive extensions,” providing “control” by delivering predictable information. Conversely, (2) electronic music controllers were initially designed to create new sounds and produce music using non-traditional materials and processes. When Moog and Deutsch designed the synthesizer’s controller, for example, they hesitated to use the keyboard because they thought that eliminating connections to known musical systems and outcomes would stimulate new ideas. That the controller could have radical musical, social, and communicatory potentials was even more explicit in Buchla’s non-keyboard controller, as was its design as part of a modular system that could “interface” with other technology, spaces, and real-time events. The controller’s history therefore, suggests we look beyond the paradigm of the creation of the studio “object,” and consider music production as an unbounded field, equally conditioned by performance-related strategies, practices, and debates, particularly those regarding the amount of randomness to insert into a process or event. Significantly, this field includes tech-savvy participants who are increasingly diversified among genres, industries, and technocultures, and continue to collectively develop both expressive and experimental technology. In order to illustrate a foundational example of such cross-fertilization, I explore the use of feedback to induce spontaneity into rock performance in the context of collaborative, participatory areas of avant-garde art, music, and social activity in late-60’s counterculture. I argue that while early rock musicians often embraced the experimental potentials of loud music, they also faced existential struggles to control instruments, sound systems, and acoustic environments. Some, desiring control, developed creative solutions bridging Live and Studio practice. I propose we evaluate audio devices and systems as both “controllers” and “interfaces,” so as to better understand the specific musical and social functions of the of control or unpredictability they are designed to facilitate.

Speakers
NC

Nicholas Clark Reeder

Towson University



Saturday May 18, 2019 11:30 - 12:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

11:30

11:30

Textural Stratification, The Rise of Multitrack, and Yes’ Classic Recordings
It is common for musicologists and analysts to conceive of a musical texture as “coordinated,” meaning that all parts in a texture can be seen to have direct bearing on one another at any given moment the analyst might choose. But much rock music since the mid-1960s also employs a different, more layered texture, which I have termed “stratified texture” (Covach 2018). In a stratified texture, parts are seen primarily as layers, and the points at which they coordinate is variable within, as well as between sections.

There are many factors that led to the rise in stratified textures in rock, but this paper will focus primarily on two: 1) the interaction/collaboration of musicians, both with one another and with the producer, to “negotiate” the textures in a given track; and 2) the importance of multitrack recording in making such textures possible to create in the absence of a notated score.

The British progressive-rock band Yes regularly employs stratified textures, often in dialogue with traditional coordinated textures. This paper will focus on two of the group’s classic recordings, Fragile (1971) and Close to Edge (1972). These albums were recorded at London’s Advision Studios with Eddy Offord sharing production credits with the band. This paper will explore not only the textures in several of the tracks from this album, but also the ways in which Offord’s mixes interact with these textures, at times highlighting the stratified qualities of the music (Covach forthcoming). Offord’s mixes will be compared with the recent remixes by Steven Wilson. The paper will also employ my idea of “positional listening” to compare what he terms the “ideal listening position” with various other listening positions available within the texture, exploring how these textures and mixes may encourage or facilitate alternate positionings.
  
John Covach. forthcoming. “The Performer’s Experience: Positional Listening,” in G. Borio and G. Gioriani, eds. Investigating Music Performance: Towards a Conjunction of Ethnographic and Historiographic Perspectives (Ashgate).
  
John Covach. 2018. "Analyzing Texture in Rock Music: Stratification, Coordination, Position, and Perspective," in Pop weiter denken: Neue Anstöße aus Jazz Studies, Philosophie, Musiktheorie und Geschichte, Beiträge zur Popularmusikforschung 44, ed. Ralf von Appen and André Doehring (Transcript Verlag), 53-72.


Speakers
avatar for John Covach

John Covach

Professor of Theory, Eastman School of Music and The University of Rochester



12:00

Tour of Berklee studios and electronic music lab
Limited Capacity seats available

An opportunity for a guided tour of Berklee's studio facilities. Meet at Cafe 939 (the Red Room).


Saturday May 18, 2019 12:00 - 12:45
The Red Room 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

12:00

Keynote - In Conversation with Ann Mincieli
Interviewer: Katia Isakoff


Speakers
avatar for Ann Mincieli

Ann Mincieli

Producer, Jungle City Studios
Ann Mincieli, longtime engineer and studio coordinator for Alicia Keys, has channelled her talents into making Jungle a technical prowess featuring the very best in vintage and modern technology. With over twenty years of experience in the music business, Ann Mincieli has travelled... Read More →
avatar for Katia Isakoff

Katia Isakoff

ARP Executive, Women Produce Music
Katia Isakoff is a composer producer and multi-instrumentalist whose performances and productions first appeared in the Add N To (X) album Loud Like Nature (Mute Records). She has since collaborated on numerous albums and projects (see katiaisakoff.com) including John Foxx and Steve... Read More →



13:00

14:00

Drop-ins and multiple takes: ASARP members’ updates
Limited Capacity seats available

This ‘quick-fire round’ is an opportunity for delegates to share projects and publications with the community - just jump up on stage with your elevator pitch summary and URL for more (see Joe to project/share your URL).
Additionally, if you have a book or flyer, you can leave any promo materials on the ARP table in 921 on Friday. See a staff member in the lobby on 921 to set this up.

Speakers
avatar for Joe Bennett

Joe Bennett

VP of Academic Affairs, Berklee
Joe Bennett is vice president for academic affairs—strategic initiatives at Berklee. In this role, he leads and coordinates strategic projects relating to curriculum research, technologies including virtual and augmented reality, campus integration, and new program development... Read More →
avatar for Katia Isakoff

Katia Isakoff

ARP Executive, Women Produce Music
Katia Isakoff is a composer producer and multi-instrumentalist whose performances and productions first appeared in the Add N To (X) album Loud Like Nature (Mute Records). She has since collaborated on numerous albums and projects (see katiaisakoff.com) including John Foxx and Steve... Read More →
avatar for Shara Rambarran

Shara Rambarran

ARP Executive
http://www.artofrecordproduction.com/http://arpjournal.com


14:00

Tour of Berklee studios and electronic music lab
Limited Capacity full

Guided tour of Berklee's studios and electronic music labs.


Saturday May 18, 2019 14:00 - 14:45
The Red Room 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

14:15

Women Produce Music: THEN and NOW
Opening presentation: 
Breaching the Boundaries of the Boys’ Club: Women Making Noise in Sixties Rock Culture.
Susan Schmidt-Horning, St. John’s University
In 1964, American movie theaters screened The T.A.M.I. Show, a full-length live concert of rock, soul, pop, and vocal groups popular in the 1960s. Featuring artists from Chuck Berry to The Beach Boys and Rolling Stones, all the bands were male, all the musicians in the house band were male, and the only women performers were singers or dancers. The audience, on the other hand, was composed largely of girls clutching their faces, tears and make-up streaming down their cheeks as they screamed for their favorite boys in the bands. This imagery became emblematic of rock concerts in the 1960s, whether on television or in the movies. Young men played electric guitars, drums, and electronic keyboards, while girls sang, or danced, or dated the guys, or screamed. In fact, between 1962 and 1970, there were dozens of all-girl rock bands throughout not only the United States, but also in the England, Europe, the Nordic countries, Serbia, India, and Indonesia. Girls were not just responding to musical culture in the 1950s and ‘60s, as Susan Douglas argued in Where the Girls Are, they were making it, and doing so by playing electric guitars, amplifiers, drum sets, electronic organs—all technologies then considered masculine.
This presentation explores the hidden history of all-girl rock bands during the 1960s. These were the descendants of a long line of all-female bands that were seen as “novelty acts” from the 1920s to the 1940s. They were talented and accomplished, yet they failed to achieve the kind of acceptance, respect, and recognition that their male counterparts did. These girls defied parental expectations and rejected gender norms by embracing what historically had been considered (with a very few exceptions) the domain of boys and men. They proliferated before there was a fully developed rock music media or an overtly masculinized rock music culture. This story reframes the notion that guys were the only ones picking up electric guitars and forming “garage bands” after they saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964. Girls were doing that as well, at least one even enlisting her dad’s help to build a home recording studio, and their stories promise to reconfigure our understanding of women’s and young girls’ embrace of technology and power in electrified music making on a global scale.

Theresa Leonard 
Classical Production / Audio Education / AES

Theresa Leonard has served as Audio Engineering Society (AES) president and also as education chair and received an AES Fellowship in New York City for her professional achievements and dedication to the Society. An equally respected educator, she has held positions with Bang & Olufsen in Denmark (2008), at New York University Steinhardt School (2015) and with the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) summer workshop (2004). She has been invited as guest speaker and consulted with a variety of post-secondary institutions including The Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University, The Schulich School of Music at McGill University, Ball State University, University of Massachusetts Lowell, The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Dance de Paris and The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland. She is currently consulting on the growth of music production within the Victoria Conservatory of Music (Canada) and is actively involved in the recording and producing of artists as part of a new area of study at VCM.

Darla Hanley
Jazz / Composing / Education / EQL

In partnership with Berklee College of Music and Electric Lady Studios, Spotify announced its EQL Studio Residency, which is aimed at opening the door for emerging female producers and engineers while shining a light on the great work already being done by women in the music industry. The program offers residencies in three cities: New York, Nashville, and London. During these paid, six-month residencies, one participant in each city will work in studios and gain access to invaluable networking and mentoring opportunities to further her career.

"This exciting collaboration recognizes the many contributions women make in the music industry," says Darla Hanley, dean of the Professional Education Division at Berklee. "We are happy to support and mentor the recipients of the EQL Studio Residency and look forward to sharing our expertise and many decades of combined experience across all corners of the industry with them.”

Katia Isakoff
Electronic Composer Producer / Collaboration / WPM

In March 2019, WPM launched !N_K o L //\\ B an innovative composer producer series bringing together pioneering, established and emerging composer producers to collaborate in various studios and pop-up locations whilst utilising the studio as an instrument for the experimentation of sound, and as a compositional tool. Work on the pilot series, which is supported by the PRS Foundation Open Fund and Moog Music Inc., commences in May 2019. For the first in this series, Katia is joined by Moog Music Innovation Award recipient and electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani, award winning engineer Marta Salogni and emerging artist Anil Aykan of Fragile Self.
Read more in this month's Pro Sound News Europe feature: https://www.psneurope.com/live/inside-in-kolab
Watch: https://youtu.be/vkll7b7mRys

Speakers
avatar for Katia Isakoff

Katia Isakoff

ARP Executive, Women Produce Music
Katia Isakoff is a composer producer and multi-instrumentalist whose performances and productions first appeared in the Add N To (X) album Loud Like Nature (Mute Records). She has since collaborated on numerous albums and projects (see katiaisakoff.com) including John Foxx and Steve... Read More →
avatar for Theresa Leonard

Theresa Leonard

Independent
Theresa Leonard is an internationally recognized music producer and audio educator. She holds a Master of Music degree in sound recording from McGill University and bachelor degrees in both music and education. In her more than 30- year career, she has served as Executive Producer... Read More →
avatar for Darla Hanley

Darla Hanley

Berklee College of Music
Author and composer, for Warner Brothers/Alfred Publishing, and author, Jossey-Bass, Music Educators National Conference/National Association for Music Education, JazzTimes.com, Massachusetts Music Educators Association. Former chair, executive, and member of the advisory boards... Read More →
avatar for Susan Schmidt-Horning

Susan Schmidt-Horning

Associate Professor, St. John's University
Susan Schmidt-Horning's first book, Chasing Sound: Technology, Culture, and the Art of Studio Recording from Edison to the LP (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), explores the interplay of technology, music, sound engineering, and creativity from the birth of the music recording... Read More →



15:30

Tour of Berklee studios and electronic music lab
Limited Capacity filling up

Guided tour of Berklee's studios and electronic music labs.


Saturday May 18, 2019 15:30 - 16:15
The Red Room 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

15:30

16:30

17:00

Development and Evaluation of Internet of Things Technologies for Music Production and Creative Collaboration
The emerging Internet of Things (IoT) facilitates a major paradigm shift through the development of ubiquitous interconnected devices, where electronic devices across the world can be connected over wired and wireless computing networks to accept, collect, and exchange data; enabling, for example, smart homes and the sharing of environmental data from remote locations. To date, IoT has not been substantially developed or evaluated with respect to creative applications, and even less so with respect to music and music production applications.

Given that early and traditional music production techniques were largely applied with use of analogue audio hardware, the IoT paradigm presents a unique opportunity to maintain past (and perhaps lost or disappearing) music production processes. With IoT connected hardware, for example, it is possible to enable remote digital connectivity to rare, expensive and bespoke audio systems, as well as unique spaces for use as reverb and echo chambers. Furthermore, the IoT paradigm allows the possibility of a ‘virtually-extended music studio’, where a producer may work remotely on a project whilst still accessing processors and devices that are located in their personal studio. IoT for music production could therefore revolutionize the equipment hire market, enable new forms of creative collaboration, and redefine the technical boundaries for software plugins and audio equipment design.

This research investigates novel IoT-based approaches to physical and analogue music composition and production, exploring how hardware audio systems can be controlled in a hybrid manner, bringing the ‘best of both worlds’ in terms of analogue and digital benefits, and presenting new opportunities for music production, by virtually extending these devices into personal workspaces. The research is practice based, including the development of an IoT- enabled music processing system, which has been utilized to gather qualitative and quantitative feedback from music production professionals and focus groups of creative practitioners.

Speakers
avatar for Rob Toulson

Rob Toulson

Professor of Commercial Music, University of Westminster
I'm a researcher in all areas of music, music technology and music production. My background is acoustics and electronic engineering, but I moved into studio engineering and music production, and I'm an artist, songwriter and musician too. I've been coding audio algorithms for many... Read More →
avatar for Marques Hardin

Marques Hardin

Anglia Ruskin University



17:00

Immersed in Pop: Rethinking Directionality in Popular Music for a Post-Stereo World
Object-based audio technology promises to provide truly immersive experiences that are independent of playback system and immune to future changes in technology. But are producers of immersive audio content really using direction and space in the most effective and interesting ways? How can we maximize the creative potential of 3D while maintaining the stability we have developed within the stereo paradigm? This paper looks at aesthetic and artistic uses of directionality in popular music productions and argues for a new conceptual framework for space and direction for immersive music productions in popular genre. Established frameworks for analyzing and interpreting spatiality in stereo and surround sound, such as Moylan’s perceived performance environment model and Moore’s soundbox, provide a starting point. Immersive and 3D audio formats are rapidly changing the possibilities for music producers, and with the rise of VR and AR technologies, it won’t be long before listeners expect access to all sorts of immersive music experiences. The research in this paper will provide an artistically interesting and technically sound framework for conceptualizing the use of space and direction in the immersive audio paradigm while maintaining many of the aesthetic characteristics that producers and listeners expect to hear when listening to popular genre music. Directional concepts that we take for granted (front, left, etc.) will be challenged and the role of directional room acoustics will also be explored.

Speakers
avatar for Zachary Bresler

Zachary Bresler

PhD Fellow, University of Agder
I am a researcher in the Popular Music Department at the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway. I am motivated by an interest in the musicology of music production, aesthetics in surround and immersive audio, and production of popular music for immersive audio formats.



Saturday May 18, 2019 17:00 - 17:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

17:00

Lost Recordings, "Recording" and Modernity as Marketing in the Jazz Age [SKYPE] (moderator - Steve D’Agostino)
As the radio spread throughout American households and fundamentally transformed the intimacy of popular music, the ‘star system’ remained in its infancy. Show biz credits began to feature “recording” as a mechanism for promotion, a new concept that suggested a level of professionalism and devotion to art impossible for artists one generation prior.

Small-time musicians like Hartford native Ben Irving (nee Irving Hurwitz) led multiple bands through successful residencies over the course of the 1920’s. Several ads recovered from Hartford Courant archives and his personal archives indicated that Irving made several recordings over the course of his life and Depression-interrupted career. Unfortunately, years of internet searches and shellac digging have yet to turn up any proof that the Ben Irving Orchestra ever did record any sides.

However, Irving’s story is reflective of many limitations within the study of recording history. Though trustworthy sources indicate he was multitalented and had a strong work ethic, Irving’s story was not unique, even within the regional Jazz scene. Groups like Irving’s have vanished from history, and entire scenes in smaller cities like Hartford went relatively undocumented.

This paper will recount my research into Irving’s early musical career as well as his apocryphal recordings. The cultural and commercial value of being recorded may have transcended any intrinsic value of recordings themselves, which goes a long way to telegraph our society’s media preoccupation and obsession. Following the relationship between music and technoculture, this research may also draw parallels between the use of “recording” as cache in the 1920’s and the shuffling of platforms in contemporary popular music.

Speakers
avatar for Tyler William Sonnichsen

Tyler William Sonnichsen

The University of Tennessee



17:30

Cue-mix, collaboration and the collective performance
The process of recording a band or ensemble in the studio relies on many kinds of collaborative efforts across a wide range of professionals such as musicians, recording engineers, producers, record label staff and managers. Engineers and producers collaborate directly with the musicians, but part of their job description is also to facilitate a fruitful collaboration between the musicians themselves, enabling them to perform at their peak, both individually and as a collective. This paper takes a closer look at how cue-mix or foldback affects musical interplay and the collective performance, with a particular focus on jazz and other musics heavily reliant on interplay and improvisation - i.e., "in-the-moment" musical collaboration. This is investigated through 8 semi-structured interviews with professional producers, recording engineers and musicians with a combined experience of more than 200 years of making records. Selected findings from the interviews are discussed in light of research and writings on interplay and improvisation, including the seminal works of Monson, Berliner and Bailey. As these are preliminary findings from an ongoing PhD research project, no hard conclusions are drawn. There are however several interesting commonalities found in the interviews, which point to some possible recommendations.

Speakers
avatar for Claus Sohn Andersen

Claus Sohn Andersen

PhD Research Fellow, Kristiania University College, Norwegian University of Science and Technology



17:30

The Mother Of Invention: Creative Commitment As A Reaction To Financial And Technological Uncertainty
DSP power has increased at a staggering rate over the last twenty years, with many mixers now publically stating that all but the most colourful forms of audio signal processing can be convincingly imitated in the digital domain. In conjunction with this technological advance, the financial squeeze within the recording industry has resulted in many engineer/producers preferring to mix solely ‘in the box’. As a surface understanding of the power of the modern DAW permeated non-technical communities, requests for multiple mix recalls, remix stems and arrangement changes have become commonplace at the behest of artists, management and labels alike. Hardware based ‘real time’ mixing processes have become prohibitively expensive and suspicion around audio degradation following multiple stages of ‘hardware insert’ AD/DA conversion has muddied the waters on a technical level.

My own practice is aesthetically very broad, but whether working with art pop (Dutch Uncles) contemporary jazz (GoGo Penguin / Gaz Hughes) or millennial retro pop (Francis Lung) an unexpected by-product of this situation has seen me increasing the amount of parallel hardware processing which I print whilst in the initial tracking stages of a project. In pre-emption of the mixing process (and as a direct reaction to limited time or funds) many of my most recent sessions have employed increased channels of parallel compression, distortion and saturation along with multiple layers of simulated and natural reverberation which I might previously have only – slowly and expensively - added in a hardware mix environment. Although initially born of adversity, this commitment has had a positive effect on many artist’s performances; we have collaboratively established a production aesthetic early in the record making process, allowing musicians to perform confidently within a sonic environment close to that of the final mix.

Speakers
BW

Brendan Williams

University of Salford



17:30

THE MUSIC ROOM: Considerations and negotiations in the staging of a 3D immersive music experience
In this paper discusses a project which involved the negotiation of a sound world in a non-standard recording format. It aims to represent Cuban rumba in its home setting: the tenement yards of Matanzas, Cuba, capturing not just the music but the visual, musical and verbal interactions integral to the performance.

The idea grew out of discussions between UK and Cuban academics and practitioners and involved collaboration at many levels: cross-discipline, cross-cultural and inter- personal. In debating how best to impart knowledge about musical performance we considered developing the concept of a 3D immersive experience as a shared activity. We wanted to do away with the isolating experience of donning a VR headset and explore a simpler, more communal immersive experience, seeing the tremendous potential of this as an educational tool as well as being an enjoyable musical experience.

We designed a project whereby a musical activity was staged around four sides of a space. This was filmed by four static cameras positioned in the centre, facing out towards the four sides. All instruments and voices were individually recorded to multi-track.

For playback we created a space where several viewers could walk into a ‘room’ surrounded by four large screens with back projected videos. Each screen was coupled with a pair of speakers playing back a stereo mix of the instruments on the screen. This created challenges in the mix process that were approached using theoretical models of staging (see Moylan 1992, Lacasse 2001 and Zagorski-Thomas 2014). I discuss decisions we made in the recording and mixing of the four stereo stems in order to create an audio representation of the performance capturing the ambience of the location while maintaining clarity and separation between the instruments. How successful where we in manipulating reality to create a ‘sonic cartoon’ of the performance?

Speakers
SM

Sara McGuinness

University of West London



Saturday May 18, 2019 17:30 - 18:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

18:00

Transnational Flow: Experiments in Long Distance Non-Synchronous Networked Collaboration
This paper presents the culmination of a three-part inquiry into the phenomenon of Transnational Flow (TNF). TNF is an amalgamation of Csikszentmihalyi’s (1995) flow theory, Sawyer’s (2007) group flow theory, and Karl Weick’s (1995) sensemaking theory that encompasses the unique logistical challenges associated with transnational collaboration. We examine the creative and logistical affordances related to writing and recording a song when group members live in Australia and North America. Our previous song recordings placed specific environmental boundaries to test the validity of our theory and to inform our creative approach (see Pratt, Hoose, Gordon, 2018). In this third paper, we consider what changes occur when we add a new member to act as a remote producer. To achieve the outcome of a finished song we employ Dropbox, Reaper, and Skype. We network our expertise and studio facilities using the distributed creativity theory of Sawyer and DeZutter (2009). Such an assemblage of creative facilities transforms our home studios into a more complex negotiated recording environment with four specialised engineers. In this paper, we aim to challenge our previous assumptions on international collaboration by adding a new perspective to our group and test the socially dynamic boundaries of TNF.

Speakers
avatar for Daniel Pratt

Daniel Pratt

Queensland University of Technology
Dan is a working recording engineer, lecturer, theorist, and performer. His interests include developing models for transnational recording sessions and understanding linked networks of recording studios. He is also an avid equipment builder and runs a small high school record label... Read More →
avatar for Wellington Gordon

Wellington Gordon

Assistant Professor, Virginia State University
bassist, audio engineer and educator
SH

Shane Hoose

Eastern Kentucky University
LG

Lachlan Goold

JMC Academy



18:00

3D Audio for Music: An investigation into 3D sound staging and creative production for binaural reproduction
The musicological research project investigates and explores the development, practical application and aesthetic suitability of binaurally decoded 3D spatialisation for music production. Underpinning the research context are the current developments in spatial audio for the AV industries, the changes in consumer listening behaviour and the quest for an aesthetic, affordable and convenient 3D audio reproduction, whilst accounting for and avoiding the pitfalls previously associated with surround sound for music.

The project’s practical line of enquiry focuses on investigating spatial sound staging for music production using perceptually-motivated 3D production technique and an understanding of ecological perception theory. Research as practice is key in the development of 3D staging and production technique and the cross-application of headphone based 3D music between both the studio and live environments.

The study’s primary objective investigates auditory perceptual phenomena, periphonic and kinetic staging, timbre, conceptual blending and sonic cartoons. Drawing upon questions such as ‘How could we utilise 3D audio to benefit composition and music production?’ ‘How could we utilise our understanding of human perception to better 3D music production?’ ‘Does 3D audio need to respect the front and does the centre stage have to be in the front?’ to ultimately define a new approach to music production and creative sound staging.

The underlying secondary objective analyses the practical and aesthetic adaptations required for mixing 3D music for headphones, as opposed to using a multichannel speaker system. An important and fundamental objective posing questions such as; ‘How should we mix 3D music for current user listening trends?’ “How will variation of encoder, headphone and listener affect the perceived musicality and 3D translation?”

The translation and creative production aesthetic are subjectively assessed in stereo and 3D binaural playback during a series of randomised listening tests using a consistent sample of expert and non-expert consumer volunteers.

Access Jo's playlist to hear examples that relate to the presentation. REQUIRES HEADPHONES.
https://soundcloud.com/dalis-deathmask/sets/the-art-of-periphonic-record-production/s-4aJrK

Speakers
avatar for Jo Lord

Jo Lord

Doctoral Student / Lecturer, University of West London
My research involved 3D Audio for Record Production. Periphonic Staging. Sonic Cartoons & Metaphor. You can talk to me about this or audio (spatial or not) generally. I come from a live sound background so you are welcome to open discussion on this also.I love pole dance too. Im... Read More →



Saturday May 18, 2019 18:00 - 18:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

18:00

The economic and environmental cost of recorded music
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.

Speakers
avatar for Matt Brennan

Matt Brennan

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



19:00

Evening performance and dinner
Join us in the 160 Mass. Ave. café (2nd floor) for an evening of food, wine and music.



 
Sunday, May 19
 

09:30

Coffee
Register here to collect your swag bag, wi-fi login and schedule information.


10:00

Collapsing the Walls of the Recording Space - Creative Production Techniques to Enable Site-Responsive Composition
I am a producer of mainly song-based music, who has worked for the past two decades outside of the mainstream studio system. I have undertaken a large number of recording projects in unconventional recording spaces including churches, community halls, and houses in rural areas, which has resulted in many well reviewed and commercially successful releases.

The artists would typically come from the city and stay in the country while the recordings were made. These building were lacking professional acoustic treatment and isolation therefore allowing a noticeable amount of external sound inside. While these sounds were not always welcome, I began to notice that this bleed had the potential to give extra contextual information about the lyrics, the music, or the sounds themselves within the finished track. For many artists, these sounds had the ability to function as a sort of “place stamp” - a lovely reminder of the time and space in which the recording was made, and also for the listeners whose headphone listens would take them deeper into the experience. This idea that they actually belong to the composition aligns with John Cage’s concept of the inclusivity of environmental sound and also connects to compositional practice in musique concrete, field recording and sound art.

I investigated these connections in a research project which aimed to include techniques and theories from these fields to create and frame a work in a remote desert church in Australia. My hope to was to bring these sounds into the recording space as an intentional part of the composition.

The Pella Desert Church album is the result of a project that I undertook this year whereby I placed microphones inside and outside the site of a 100 year old German Lutheran stone church on the periphery of the desert in rural Victoria, Australia . I created an inflow of sound by feeding the outside microphones into transducers (speakers) inside the church where they were mounted to the floor and church pews. Inside the church I played a 130 year old pipe organ in direct engagement with this reamped outside sound resonating within the church and used a broad range of microphones to document it. I wasn’t certain of what sound the outside mics would bring in but over the five day session I was amazed by what occurred and the recordings are a tangible and readable document of site and song.

Speakers
avatar for Tony Dupé

Tony Dupé

Lecturer Songwriting and Music Production, Melbourne Polytechnic
I've made many records for others and myself and continue to do so whilst helping students find their way and trying to encourage community. I would love to see and hear a wider cross section of backgrounds and gender in music production.As an artist I am interested in exploring composition... Read More →



10:00

The audio technology and its influence on the rise of Colombian tropical music in the 60s and 70s…
The music recorded between the decades of 1960 and 1970 in the city of Medellín by the main Colombian record companies transcended musical history and remained in the cultural memory of this and other Latin American countries. This was a time of great proliferation of the music business in Colombia, mainly of the traditional genres from the Colombian Caribbean coast played by youth groups influenced by foreign music such as the twist and the rock and roll.
The combination between artists, traditional music and the recording technology of that time was the fundamental nucleus of a particular sound that transcended the Colombian imaginary; thus, the study of the development of audio technology and its use in record productions are transcendental to obtain a musicological analysis in these styles of recordings (Zagorsky-Thomas: 2014). Hence the importance to determining the scope of the creative role played by (and still played) the sound engineer, the record technician or the musical producer in relation to the performers and arrangers in the aesthetic sound result.

A reflective study is proposed to show the incidence of each one of these factors, which allowed consolidating a sound and a particular aesthetic in the rise of the music industry in Medellín in the 1960s and 1970s.
The aforementioned rises the following question: would it be possible to reverse the preconceived relationship between musical creation and the use of technological tools for musical creation?
Moreover, could it be stated that the popular music in Colombia made in this period of time was, without a doubt, influenced by technology and the technical advances in the evolution of its sound aesthetics?

Speakers
avatar for Carlos Andres Caballero Parra

Carlos Andres Caballero Parra

Associate Professor, Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano
Carlos Caballero is a musician, record producer and professor, BM in Classical Guitar, postgraduate in Audio Postproduction and MA in E-Learning. He is currently a PhD candidate in Arts at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) focused on Colombian tropical music record production... Read More →



10:00

What if we didn’t need metrics and empirical data
This paper will present a methodology to observe and theorise the embodied knowledge and skills that contribute to the ideology and decision making processes of commercial songwriting. The methodology is based on a phenomenological ontology, derived from the work of Merleau-Ponty (1945), from which to observe the lived experience in a flexible and contingent manner respectful of the ontology of the songwriting practice being observed and is grounded in the established epistemologies of creativity (Csikszentmihalyi, 2002; Boden, 2003; McIntyre, 2008; Bennett, 2010;
2012; 2013; 2013; 2014; McIntyre et al., 2016), and popular musicology (Tagg, 1982; Middleton,
1990; Frith, 1996; Middleton, 1999; Toynbee, 2000; Green, 2002; Moore, 2012). This methodology is developed from that deployed by Bennett (2014) to observe and theorise the externalised processes and actions of songwriting teams (limited to duos) but differs as it shifts its focus from what songwriting is to how we, as artists, create songs.

Previous research into songwriting and composition has sought to producer empirical data using Verbal Protocol Analysis (VPA) (Collins, 2007; Bennett, 2014; 2016) or more traditional ethnographic approaches of observation, researcher/participant diaries and interviews (Green, 2002; Finnegan, 2007; West, 2016; Zembylas and Niederauer, 2018). The present research unburdens itself of empirical positivism by seeking to observe the unpalable thought process we often refer to as the ‘gut-reaction’ which cannot be empirically captured. Instead, this research producers “user/reader generalizable data” (DiPardo in Smagorinsky, 1994) and theories that are validated by the verisimilitude of the analysis and avoiding unnecessary abstractionism (Ellis et al., 2010). Through a practice of reflection, critical thinking and reflexivity this research method moves beyond criticisms of self-indulgent naval-gazing (Finlay, 2008; Ellis et al., 2010) to allow practitioners the opportunity to investigate the uniqueness of their own praxis and the lens through which to analyse their findings.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Whiting

Chris Whiting

Newcastle University



Sunday May 19, 2019 10:00 - 10:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

10:30

Analysis of piano accent and its application in Teaching
Introduction:
Accent is an important issue in piano performance, which is loudness, realized in increasing volume (also referred to as dynamic accent) (Thiemel 2001; Cook 2013) or an increase in dynamic level on a given time point as an accent mark (Bocanegra 2001). Accent
is prominence, realized as pitch inflection of a melodic note (pitch accent) (Thiemel 2001), harmonic change (Cheryl 2001) or the approach by leaps in lines (Berry 1976); also realized as a change to a faster tempo and/or more intense timbre (Berry 1976). Accent is emphasis, realized as a stimulus which is a mark for consciousness in some way (Cooper & Meyer 1960; Cook 2013) an event that capture a listener’s attention (Drake & Palmer 1993). This can be realized as the point of initiation (Lester 1986) or new
motive or texture (Cheryl 2001) of a musical event.However, phrase accent in piano music has received little scholarly attention, although it is necessary to performing teaching.

Main Contribution:
Using random selected 287 two-phrase recordings, this study analyzed phrases' accent which might be partially or wholly caused by loudness, pitch, harmony and boundary.Accent experiment is in progress, it is found that the time of accent appears to be tendentious and needs further investigation.

Conclusion:
The highest and loudest sound is the accent in nearly half phrases. No obvious difference between first and second phrase was found. Nearly quarter phrases have no distinct accent.

Implications:
Performers might prefer to select the highest and loudest sound as phrase accent.

Acknowledgements:
This study is funded by Project of Basic Scientific Research in Central Universities, Southwest University (Grant no. SWU1809348 )

Speakers
WY

Wang Yuxiling

Southwest University
avatar for Xuefeng Zhou

Xuefeng Zhou

Professor, Southwest University
Xuefeng Zhou is Professor at Southwest University since 2012. She has previously held research positions at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the University of Sheffield, the Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.She taught courses of musical analysis... Read More →



10:30

Inside Out and Outside In: how should we be discussing collaborative creativity in record production?
How do the ways in which we conceptualise creativity affect the process of analysis? The theorisation of knowledge, connectivity, power and judgment can be divided into two broad approaches – representing these phenomena as internal psychological processes or as external social or cultural entities. Approaches such as Csikszentmihalyi’s system approach to creativity or Bourdieu’s notion of different forms of capital, treat knowledge, connectivity, power and judgment as reified social phenomena which people own or interact with. Approaches such as Latour’s Actor Network Theory or Clark’s Joint Activity Theory treat these phenomena as individual and internal psychological processes. Both of these approaches have advantages and disadvantages and they both encourage us along different trajectories of thought about the nature of creativity and understanding.

Looking at examples of record production analysis by Richard Burgess, Isabel Campelo, Marian Jago, Nyssim Lefford, Phillip McIntyre, Sophie Stévance & Serge Lacasse, Paul Thompson, Albin Zack and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, the paper will discuss some of the implications of considering creativity from either micro or macro perspectives. How does the reification of social phenomena have implications for discussing different individuals’ or groups’ access to them? On the other hand, surely the attempt to understand social phenomena in terms of individual psychologies leads to endless reduction?

This paper starts from the position that theoretical models in the humanities and social sciences are metaphorical rather than descriptive in nature. For example, Bourdieu is not suggesting that a physical entity called cultural capital exists but that it is a metaphor that allows us to understand the world better; that power relationships can be understood ‘as if’ there is a phenomenon called cultural capital. How do these different metaphorical ‘as ifs’ encourage us to conceptualise the processes of creativity in record production and what do they suggest in terms of affordances for interpretation?

Speakers
avatar for Simon Zagorski-Thomas

Simon Zagorski-Thomas

London College of Music, University of West London



Sunday May 19, 2019 10:30 - 11:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

10:30

The Recording Studio as an Internationalization Tool for Afro-Colombian Music: The Role of Bogota's Independent Record Labels
Since the beginning of the 2000s, the city of Bogotá welcomes a singular phenomenon, very much alive today and almost unthinkable only a few decades ago: the commercial and critical success of musicians of Afro-Colombian origins carrying "traditions" coming directly from the most disadvantaged regions of the country. Within this panorama, Afro- Colombian music is experiencing a renaissance through the recording, for commercial purposes, of "traditional" musical genres designed for a colombian and international urban audience.

Drawing from Eliot Bates question about how is tradition produced in twenty-first century digital recording studios, this presentation will address some of the challenges faced by independent music labels that are promoting “traditional” Afro-Colombian music to wider international audiences. Based on different case studies of recent practices of recording Afro-Colombian music in Bogotá ー with producers such as Diego Gómez (Llorona Records), Urián Sarmiento (Sonidos Enraizados), Juan-Sebastián Bastos (Tambora Records) and Julián Gallo (Juga Music) ー we will enlight how the creative use of studio technology helps independent record labels crafting and promoting musical projects that are either labeled as “traditional” or “fusion”, and what these two categories can reveal about the creative and commercial processes at stake in this contemporary phenomenon.

Speakers
avatar for Ons Barnat

Ons Barnat

Postdoctoral Researcher, Universidad de Los Andes



11:00

Network Timed Ensembles: Musical Performance and Composition in the Interconnections of Apps and Devices
This paper will analyse the musical affordances of mobile technologies and apps using ‘Music Interaction’ studies (Holland et al. 2013) as a critical framework. This paper presents qualitative and analytical enquiry featuring two primary case studies collected during 2015-2017. The first case study details the perspectives of key personnel within music software company Ableton AG during the release of Ableton Link, a networked audio software protocol which allows musicians to play in-time with each other across compatible apps. This case study reveals the design choices, user testing protocols, and user feedback cycles which contribute to audio software development. The second case study documents experiences of university students performing in a mobile device ensemble. These students primarily considered themselves repertoire performers, but were asked to sustain a collaborative music creation project that culminated in an original performance involving unfamiliar networked musical apps and devices. The students reconfigured their musical identities to encompass composition, improvisation and production skills. The experience of student musicians is compared to the user testing and design protocols of software developers to identify the ways apps and mobile devices are recasting aspects of ensemble music performance including time, gesture, co-ordination and the related musical concepts such as notation and arrangement.

Reference:
Holland, S., Wilkie, K., Mulholland, P., & Seago, A. (2013). Music and Human-Computer Interaction (Springer Series on Cultural Computing). London: Springer London.

Speakers
avatar for Eve Klein

Eve Klein

Senior Lecturer, Music Technology & Popular Music, University of Queensland
Dr Eve Klein is a lecturer in music technology at the University of Queensland, Australia. She is also an operatic mezzo soprano, a composer, and an Ableton Live Certified Trainer. Eve's research is concentrated on music technology, recording cultures and contemporary music. Her current... Read More →



11:00

Defining Creativity in Record Production: What the Authoritative, Well-Reasoned, Empirically Grounded Research into Creativity
When many popular music researchers and record producers use the word ‘creativity’ in the context of their own research or in the recording studio, there appears to be a tendency for them to use this term, particularly in the West, as an unproblematic given. It is often conflated down to ‘artistic’ activity and often unthinkingly complies with Romanticist or Inspirationist cultural assumptions (Boden 2004, p. 14). As Keith Sawyer, the author of Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation (2006) has explained, ‘a scientific explanation of creativity requires us to look critically at our own cultural assumptions about how creativity works, and scientific studies of creativity fail to support our most cherished beliefs about creativity’ (2006, p. 33). If we, as researchers and practitioners, are to get at the truth of the matter, and then use that information to apply to our own activities as record producers, we need to rely less on cultural assumptions, historically generated discourses, myths and entrenched belief systems and look more closely at what the authoritative, well-reasoned, empirically grounded research into creativity is actually telling us about this phenomenon. As Beth Hennessey and Teresa Amabile state, most researchers looking specifically at the phenomenon of creativity now ‘agree that creativity involves the development of a novel product, idea, or problem solution that is of value to the individual and/or the larger social group’ (2010, p. 572). This paper sets out these ideas in relation to record production and argues for a rethink of the way creativity is commonly understood in this field.

Hennessey, B. & Amabile, T. (2010) ‘Creativity’, Annual Review of Psychology, 61, pp. 569–598. Boden, M. (2004) The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge).
Sawyer, K. (2006) Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Speakers
PM

Phillip McIntyre

University of Newcastle



Sunday May 19, 2019 11:00 - 11:30
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

11:00

Spaces and Agents of the Record Production Process in Spain: analysis of the Vinader sound in Julio Iglesias’ first recordings…
This research, which is part of a larger project awarded with a Research Grant of the Latin Grammy Foundation, aims to highlight the impact of Spanish music production since the early 1960s. It is an interdisciplinary research project in which the main objective is to identify and analyse the links between the personalized use of the different technological tools employed in the "collective creative" spaces (Hennion, 1983) -represented by the recording studios- and the "sound" that has ended by identifying compositional practices, genres and musical scenes throughout three decades of the history of popular music in Spain (between 1960 and 1990). One of the case studies presented is the analysis of the sound of the first recordings made by the singer Julio Iglesias, as a consequence of the technical work developed by the audio engineer Juan Vinader and his application of the reverb when working at Audiofilm and Sonoland studios in Madrid (Spain), a sound that will be decisive for the singer’s international projection both in Latin America and in the United States. The aesthetic application of the reverb in the record productions connects with the concept of "staging" by William Moylan (1992) and Serge Lacasse (2000), which was later taken up by Zagorski-Thomas (2014). The interest of Vinader's work with the producer Ramón Arcusa, using AKG or EMT devices based on plates, lies in his ability to create what Hepworth-Sawyer and Golding (2011) call the "watermark" of the producer and how it connects with later productions of the singer, already in the Pro Tools era, when other engineers such as Charles Dye, Scott Kieklak or Humberto Gatica will emulate these same aesthetics as an indivisible part of the grain (Barthes, 2005) which characterizes Julio Iglesias’ voice in his record productions.

Speakers
avatar for Marco Antonio Juan de Dios Cuartas

Marco Antonio Juan de Dios Cuartas

Professor, Complutense University of Madrid



11:30

Learning to be a ‘Tracker’: A pedagogical case study of learning collaborative music production
Record production no longer needs a large recording facility for the duration of a recording project and record producers now routinely collaborate with musicians, artists and songwriters via remote and online means. The ‘tracker’ production process is a growing trend in music production where topline songwriters work with music programmers and music producers. In this case, production, songwriting and recording often happen concurrently and the creative process is flexible and typically influenced by the unique approaches of the various individuals involved. The tracker’s role involves the synthesis of ideas, musical negotiation and expertise in using digital technologies to keep the recording project on track. The tracker process underlines how the traditional model of record production has been modified and updated in light of the development, availability and affordability of digital audio technologies and diminishing budgets for recording projects.
Record production no longer needs a large recording facility for the duration of a recording project and record producers now routinely collaborate with musicians, artists and songwriters via remote and online means. The ‘tracker’ production process is a growing trend in music production where topline songwriters work with music programmers and music producers. In this case, production, songwriting and recording often happen concurrently and the creative process is flexible and typically influenced by the unique approaches of the various individuals involved. The tracker’s role involves the synthesis of ideas, musical negotiation and expertise in using digital technologies to keep the recording project on track. The tracker process underlines how the traditional model of record production has been modified and updated in light of the development, availability and affordability of digital audio technologies and diminishing budgets for recording projects.

In providing ‘real world’ learning activities, HE institutions delivering audio education face a number of logistic, musical and social challenges when facilitating a ‘tracker’ assessment; particularly where much of the communication and collaboration is undertaken online. The following paper reports on the experiences of a cohort of Bachelor of Popular Music students who undertook a tracker process assessment at an HE institution. Students’ perceptions of ‘engagement’ and ‘learning’ were captured via a creative synthesis and online survey. A thematic analysis of the findings indicates that this form of teaching and learning can help to more adequately prepare graduates for the realities of a career in contemporary music production. In this landscape much of their work may be highly collaborative, rely both on specialist and non-specialist knowledge and involve the extensive use of digital communications between the collaborators.

Speakers
BA

Brendan Anthony

Griffith University
avatar for Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Reader in Popular Music, Leeds Beckett University
Paul Thompson is a professional recording engineer who has worked in the music industry for over 10 years. He is currently a Reader in Popular Music at Leeds Beckett University in the School of Film, Music and Performance Arts and his research is centred on record production, audio... Read More →
avatar for Tuomas Auvinen

Tuomas Auvinen

University of Turku



11:30

Placing The Sound: Intertextuality in the recording of Dutch Uncles’ Big Balloon
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. 

Speakers
JB

Jamie Birkett

University Of Salford



Sunday May 19, 2019 11:30 - 12:00
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

11:30

“Whose line is it anyway?”: Artists, producer, and collaborative creativity in classical recording
This paper presents in detail the interaction on a live classical recording session between singer, pianist and record producer, investigating the collaborative approach to performance and interpretation. The recording session took place in February 2017 in London, and featured Ian Bostridge (tenor) and Sir Antonio Pappano (piano). The author was the producer for the recording session. The song under investigation is “Loveliest of Trees”, the first in Butterworth’s Cycle “A Shropshire Lad”, and was recorded at the outset of three days of recording sessions. Both singer and pianist came with their own views on the interpretation, and early in the process of recording the interplay of ideas, and the establishment of hierarchies, is evident. Following a regular playback, the producer also becomes involved in shaping the interpretation, with suggestions, encouragement, and ultimately control over how the recording of the song is completed. The final stage is in post-production, where once again opinions are sought, decisions made, and an agreed master version is completed, reflecting the large number of decisions from the three members of the collaborative team. The whole is presented by the sound balance achieved by the recording engineer. Live recording material from the sessions, including discussions, illustrate the collaborative process as the song takes shape, and investigation of the editing material displays the further decision-making processes.

Speakers
avatar for Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns

Royal College of Music



12:00

13:00

Methodology Panel - Introduction by Albin Zak
Technology and Studio Practices in Record Production Research: Object, Subject, Variable and Data Collection Tool

Record production research brings together an array of disciplines, research questions, researchers and methodological approaches. Our varied and distinct perspectives, at some level, share (at least) one axiom: there would be no record production without technology. Recording technology, signal processors, instruments — tools for capturing, creating, manipulating, storing and reproducing sound; knobs, faders, touch pads and screens, control surfaces, mice, track balls, and other interfaces; every piece of hardware and software has constraints and affordances that warrant study.


For nearly a century, record production was for the most part practiced in a recording studio. Producing practices were deeply entwined with the studio’s socio-technical affordances. However, for an entire generation of musicians and engineers, ‘the recording studio’ (and the technologies and practices that it once embodied) is anyplace we decide to put down our laptops. Our well-established ideal of studio production is remediated by computational and networking technologies. Accordingly, we must consider if/how the traditional studio roles of the ‘producer’ and the ‘recording engineer’ are perhaps also remediated concepts — concepts that need to be reassessed and rethought; and new roles, such as that of the software engineer, and ‘software’ itself, need serious consideration. As researchers, we are confronted by a new set of problems in defining the objects of our inquiry and how to effectively develop new methodologies to study them; and in this context, the idea of remediation itself may be a problem as it gets in the way of understanding what is fundamental to common practice in fully digitized music production. In addition to surveying how the field is currently addressing these issues, the panel will consider how various methodological approaches enable exploration, and also, the challenges of studying technology, its use, its effects and it affects.




Speakers
avatar for Albin Zak

Albin Zak

University at Albany
avatar for Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen

Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen

Associate Professor, University of Oslo
Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen is Associate Professor in Popular Music Studies in the Department of Musicology and RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has published articles and book chapters on music production, digital... Read More →
avatar for Nyssim Lefford

Nyssim Lefford

Luleå University of Technology
avatar for Paul Théberge

Paul Théberge

Professor, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
avatar for Alan Williams

Alan Williams

Chair, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Ethnomusicologist focusing on recording studio practice, recording mythology, with a sideline interest in surround sound and the audiophile community.



14:15

"Revolution 9": The Creation of John Lennon's Guernica
I propose to direct colleagues through the creation of the Beatles' most experimental track, "Revolution 9," John Lennon's response to violent worldwide upheavals in the Spring of 1968. The eight-minute concrète work was a collaboration of Lennon, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, and fellow Beatle George Harrison; producer George Martin and engineers Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald, Peter Bown, Richard Lush, and Nick Webb; and unwitting HMV artists including Dame Myra Hess, King's College Choir and the English Chamber Orchestra, who contributed through master recordings pulled from EMI's tape library. Engineers throughout EMI Studios fed loops from numerous tape machines (involving at least 45 sources) to the Studio Two control room, the board of which was played as if a Mellotron-like controller to complete a four-track master. The result is a piece of great beauty masked by a surface ugliness—violent and abstract, seemingly inchoate, argued against by the composer's bandmates and rejected by nearly all fans. To help students enter this world, I always start by sharing thoughts on Picasso's Guernica.

"Revolution 9" includes the first music recorded for the White Album, based on the improv- ised six-minute tail—a jam replete with guitar feedback—excised from what became the backing track of "Revolution 1." To enhance our study, we have numerous early working tapes: three different pre-loop versions with various pre-brass overdubs of the instrumental backing; different stereo mixes (plus oops reductions of each) and an early mono acetate, which show provisional attempts at mixing the loops onto three vacant tracks alongside the bounced-down "Revolution 1" bed; and monitor tapes from the Studio Two control room with 67 minutes documenting the mixing sessions, over which Yoko Ono speaks. Highlights include sounds not heard in released masters, a demonstration of the STEED flanging system, backwards and varispeed tapes, and raw loops.

Speakers
avatar for Walter Everett

Walter Everett

University of Michigan
Walter Everett, Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, is the author of the two-volume book, The Beatles as Musicians (Oxford Univ Press), The Foundations of Rock (Oxford), and What Goes On: The Beatles, Their Music and Their Time, co-authored with Tim Riley (Oxford, forthcoming... Read More →



14:15

Autosonic Self-quotation:exploring the benefits of sampling while retaining authorial agency
Technological tools have always informed the creative processes used in the production of recorded popular music, and the digital sampler is one such tool that introduced new forms of creative methodologies. However, the use of sampling in recorded popular music often attracts a great deal of criticism, in particular charges of thievery and inauthenticity. Some would argue that using another’s work as the foundation on which to build new musical works suggests a lack of musical creativity and originality. From a more positive viewpoint, the use of sampling affords musicians the opportunity to comment on and recontextualise the cultural and historical associations embedded within a musical work or gesture. Furthermore, the ‘lucky accidents’ that can arise when forcefully juxtaposing unrelated gestures can result in novel musical ideas that may previously have not been considered. Rather than weighing in on the debate, this paper discusses a compositional methodology that utilises the creative possibilities inherent in sampling, while also avoiding its critical accusations. Building on Lacasse’s notion of autosonic quotation, this paper introduces the term ‘autosonic self- quotation’ – the practice of sampling oneself. As a composer, drawing from one’s own library of unrelated musical gestures allows for a musical bricolage, resulting in contrasting styles, timbres, and recording and performance techniques within a single track. The use of autosonic self-quotation as a creative methodology can aid the composer in creating the eclectic, stylistic multiplicity often associated with sampling while still retaining authorial agency, therefore building on the methodology introduced by sampling while avoiding value- laden judgements of copyright violation and creativity. This paper discusses a number of works that have utilised this approach, including that of the presenters, and examines the musical conversations that can occur across time and place when a composer’s contrasting experiences meet.

Speakers
avatar for Jeff Wragg

Jeff Wragg

Southern Institute of Technology



Sunday May 19, 2019 14:15 - 14:45
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

14:15

Sectional Surrealism: A practice-base investigation into choir recording techniques for the independent film composer
Choir recording practices and choir sound libraries have established themselves in the workflow of a modern film composer, but has audio technology now advanced to a point where one person can perform and engineer an entire choir? The authentic sounding choir has posed a problem whereby the virtual choir used in most mock-up stages of film composing is often required to be replaced entirely with real choristers at significant production expense. Through a practice-based study in search of aesthetic realism, this paper investigates producing a multi-voiced and multi- gendered choir in a solo practitioner’s workflow utilising modern audio technology, production and performance techniques. Accompanied by an auto ethnographic commentary on the independent producer-composer’s culture that drives the usage of technology to its limits for the gain of a new creative artefact. Further examining whether this practice may aid composers and engineers to record a choir where they would have otherwise forfeit the idea due to inhibiting factors such as budget and time. From boundaries evident in the recordings, the effectiveness of the result as well as how technology drives the creative process and vice versa is explored. In addition, the study highlights suitable technology for the recording of realistic choirs and discusses whether some of the findings reveal concepts for future choir plug-in technology and its usage.

Speakers
avatar for Claire Benedict

Claire Benedict

Doctoral Student / Tutor, Otago University & Southern Institute of Technology
Interests include, vocal recording, studio production, studio acoustics, composing music and post production for visual media.



14:45

"You want it to sound like I don't know how to record?": negotiating conceptions of "lo-fi" authenticity in collaborative work
In this paper we reflect on our experiences working together on the recent recording of an indie rock album, and the difficult negotiations resulting from our divergent interpretations of what constitutes “lo-fi” recording. We consider how our respective positions – one as scholar and “DIY” musician, the other as professional producer – might correlate to specific academic notions of authenticity and expressivity. Our contestations over “lo-fi” took place over WhatsApp, and this text-message exchange provides the source material for our critical reflection here: a doubly collaborative process (both musical and scholarly) investigating exchanges enabled by connective technologies.

“Lo-fi” as a sonic palette has close historical affinities with the “access aesthetic” of punk – simple and cheap recording methods serving as impetus for wider participation. In these implicit calls for the democratization of the recording process, the notion of expertise in musical recording might be called into question; this can be considered the central tension in our negotiation. We summarize our divergent approaches as ones of “subtraction” or “addition”. For Ellis, as a musician with a “DIY” background, lo-fi constituted the “stripping back” of unnecessary modifications in order to reveal the already present (e.g. background noise). For Patrick, producer interference was necessary to create the sonic signature of lo-fi, through the careful application of distortion, compression, and EQ. In this latter understanding, lo-fi is one tool amongst many in the producer’s arsenal, to be added and removed at will. This led us to consider ethical issues involved in the professional replication of amateurism: if one has the requisite skills to make “hi-fi” music, is it deceptive to do otherwise? In exploring such questions we suggest that existing scholarly emphasis on genre boundaries in constructions of authenticity might neglect how “producerly” and “musicianly” notions of musical truth often work to differing ends within genre boundaries.

Speakers
EJ

Ellis Jones

University of Oslo
PH

Patrick Hyland

Producer, Independent



14:45

An Observation of Sentence Timbre
Timbre “is a multidimensional perceptual attribute with multiple underlying acoustic dimensions of both temporal and spectral types”, and has “the processing of three major timbre dimensions” by “attack time, spectral centroid, and spectrum fine structure” (Caclina et al., 2007). From a psychoacoustics view, listeners used shared perceptual dimensions along which the sounds were rated (Lemaitre et al., 2007). Previous study found disaccord between sound and sentence of timbre perception (Zhou et al., 2018).

Does any regularity of timbre perception exists in sentence?

Using twelve paired recordings, made by nine piano postgraduates, of the first sentence of BWV812 Menuet1 of Bach (deleting accompany and grace notes), seventy participants’ (half is major in music) preference were examined. Then both the favored and disliked features of aforesaid samples were analyzed according to three ways: (1) AVEDEV of IOIs and deviation calculation of onsets; (2) regularities of standard dev distribution of quarter notes partials; (3) professional listening.

The results revealed some regularities which benefit design and production of music.

Speakers
avatar for Tian Hao

Tian Hao

Southwest University
avatar for Xuefeng Zhou

Xuefeng Zhou

Professor, Southwest University
Xuefeng Zhou is Professor at Southwest University since 2012. She has previously held research positions at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the University of Sheffield, the Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.She taught courses of musical analysis... Read More →



14:45

Sampling creativity: Copyright and the commons
Creativity involves, to greater or lesser degrees, the act of ‘copying’ – whether in the form of musical imitation or technical processes. These are circumscribed, rewarded and understood differently within industrial practices and their surrounding legal and political contexts – most obviously through copyright.
This paper discusses the politics of popular music production, particularly the use of sampling, and the ways in which its ethical dimensions have been legally differentiated from other types of musical copying. It argues that comparable ethical codes exist within and across musical methods wherein sampling is part of the spectrum of activities.

The commonplace nature of digital technology within popular music production and the resultant closer relationship between sampling and other musical techniques raises issues for how the resultant ‘sampling aesthetic’ is dealt with in its legal and industrial contexts. This has ramifications beyond purely musical concerns. Copyright is an important driver of the creative economy with consequences, not just for the distribution of rewards and resources in the creative industries, but as a site within which political concerns – collective and individual interests and identities – are articulated and negotiated. Notions of ‘originality’, ‘creativity’ and ‘copying’ are politically constituted and played out within sampling and other musical practices.

This paper is based on research conducted for the project ‘Digitisation and the Politics of Copying in Popular Music Culture’, as part of Research Council UK’s Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy (CREATe). Drawing together interview evidence from musicians and their industry partners (such as managers) it argues for a more variegated and nuanced understanding of copying practices and explores the political aspects of copyright, along with how it operates to variously support and undermine specific interests and types of creative endeavour.

Speakers
avatar for Adam Behr

Adam Behr

United Kingdom, Newcastle University



Sunday May 19, 2019 14:45 - 15:15
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

15:15

Vocal Chops and its Aesthetics
“Chop your vocals to bits, then go mad!” This is the introduction phrase to a Human Beatbox tutorial guide to the vocal chops technique. Vocal chops are fragments of vocal samples cut into smaller and larger clips, and played around with both rhythmically and pitch-wise to create hooks and effects. This technique has become extremely popular in the electronic dance music and mainstream popular music scenes during the last few years, and can be seen as the most recent incarnation of producers and listeners’ enduring fascination with android vocals. Examples of vocal chops can be found in Major Lazer & DJ Snake’s “Lean on Me” (2015), Seeb’s remix of Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” (2016), Martin Garrix & David Guetta’s “So Far Away” (2017), TRXD feat. Harper’s “Jealous” (2018), and several other hits.

In this paper, we propose a definition of vocal chops that addresses both the roots and novelty of this technique. In our examination of the aesthetics of vocal chops, we interviewed the producers of Seeb and TRXD – two production duos who make extensive use of this technique in most of their songs. We were interested in both their technical approach to achieve this effect but also in their aesthetic motivation for using this technique. In this paper, we will draw on these interviews as well as analyze two of their songs, of which they provided us multitracks. Further, we will discuss these findings in relation to the theoretical frameworks of ecological perception (Gibson 1979, Smalley 2007) and predictive processing (Clark 2016).

Speakers
avatar for Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen

Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen

Associate Professor, University of Oslo
Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen is Associate Professor in Popular Music Studies in the Department of Musicology and RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has published articles and book chapters on music production, digital... Read More →
avatar for Jon Marius Aareskjold

Jon Marius Aareskjold

Associate professor in Music Technology, University of Agder
Music ProductionImmersive audioBeer, boats and skiing



15:15

Grids, Waveforms, and “Blocks” of Sound: On the Increased Segmentation of Musical Content in Digital Music Production
Grid-based controllers and control surfaces designed to creatively interact with musical content organized and stored in separate segments of sound has become ubiquitous. One of the reasons for the grid layout’s popularity and dominance in the digital instrument industry today is its ability to convey visual “building blocks” of sound and music, thus providing an ideal means of musical visualization and interaction (Bjørn, 2017). Equally interesting, however, is the ways in which this prevalence of ”gridness” in the interface-design of controllers and control surfaces today reveal how natural it has become for us to think about sound and music as visual building blocks in the first place.

This paper will discuss some of the ways in which musical tools has implemented and familiarized the use of digital sampling, MIDI sequencing, and waveform editing, and how this in turn has influenced how we conceptualize musical information today––as discrete “blocks” of musical content represented on screens or across a grid of rubber pads, ready to be triggered, stretched, juxtaposed and aligned in a non-destructive malleable environment inside the machine. Drawing on perspectives from STS focusing on the “co-construction” and “mutual shaping” of users and technology (Oudshoorn & Pinch, 2003), this paper will explore how we can understand the increased segmentation of sound in the age of digital reproduction as a continuous negotiation between 1) underlying technological advancements, 2) the material affordances of key interface designs, 3) the aesthetic practice and shifting ideals of users.

Bjørn, K. 2017. Push. Turn. Move. Interface Design In Electronic Music. Copenhagen, Denmark:Bjooks.
Oudshoorn, N. & Pinch, T. 2003 [2005]. eds. How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Speakers
avatar for Bjørnar Sandvik

Bjørnar Sandvik

Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Oslo



15:15

New Music, New Wave, New Age: Genre Discourse in Laurie Anderson’s Big Science
Laurie Anderson’s 1982 Big Science, produced by Roma Baran, is the site of a unique stylistic convergence indicative both of the early eighties’ cultural moment and of the ways that genres’ superficial similarities can both obscure and reveal deep-level differences. This paper will specifically address circa-1980 pop harmony and the musical language of postminimalism.

Anderson herself studied and played with Philip Glass, and fact that the famous pulsing “ha” of “O Superman” is a repeated C will escape no musician who has ever performed Terry Riley’s landmark In C. The stylistic meeting points on display here emblemize the Downtown music ethos of the era, in which art music, avant-garde practices, punk, and disco all coexisted.

Specifics of style (structure) and genre (social negotiations of style) thus operate differently here than in other musics. The album’s sound owes not only to new music, but to new wave (compare, for example Big Science to the Talking Heads’ Remain In Light) and to the emergent new age classification (Anderson’s saxophonist Peter Gordon was a vital early figure). So amid new music, new wave, and new age, Big Science prompts a discussion of the discourse of the “new,” circa 1980—arguably the last moment in history when such perceptions of “newness” were possible (Fukuyama’s famous “End of History” thesis was published in 1989).

Remarkably, Warner Brothers, in signing Anderson to a six-album deal, genuinely thought that performance art (or at least a pop reduction of it) could emerge as a bestselling medium, or even give rise to new pop genres. Knowing in retrospect that this was not the result, the paper will conclude by asking under what circumstances was this perception even possible.

Speakers
avatar for S. Alexander Reed

S. Alexander Reed

Ithaca College
S. Alexander Reed is the author of Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music (2013) and co-author of a 33 1⁄3 book on They Might Be Giants’ Flood (2014). He has taught at New York University, the University of Florida, William & Mary, and Ithaca College. With his bands... Read More →



Sunday May 19, 2019 15:15 - 15:45
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

15:45