2010 ARP Conference

Information         Call For Papers         Abstracts 


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

The theme of the conference is centred around the idea of change and continuity - the idea that music and music production can look backwards or it can look forwards. The way our 'art' changes through technology and the use of technology is an example of where people make choices between, for instance, old technology and new technology - between old sounds and new sounds, while continually exploring the space in between these two theoretical poles. In addition, we see innovation all around us but we might also reflect on what is new. There are also tensions in our field between technology, artistry, craftsmanship, aesthetics, and commerce. We hope that the strands will allow the conference to consider change and continuity in the art of record production.

We invite submissions for papers on the following themes and any other related topics:

1. Alternative realities: (re)presenting sound

The recorded performance is often not the performance heard in the studio, which brings into question aspects of reality and the construction of what might be conceptualised as alternative realities. The creation of virtual spaces, the use of virtual instruments and the construction of virtual performances raise a number of issues for those concerned with the study of recordings and the production process. This stream welcomes papers that explore the relationship between the actual and the virtual, which may include theoretical issues such as authenticity, agency and creativity, transparency and realism but may also involve practical concerns such as loudness, technical ‘perfection’ and the homogenising effect of ubiquitous software platforms and plug-ins.

2. Song writing and the studio: crafting an art

Song writing has a long tradition, and the advent of recording technology began a process which brings not only the song but the sound of the artist within reach of international audiences. However, song writing is an umbrella term encompassing a wide range of technological practices ranging from singer songwriters recording at home to large scale commercial productions involving a team of experienced professionals. This stream welcomes papers on all aspects of the relationship between song writing and production including demo production, writing in the studio, the influence of software design, song writing and performance, self production, deals and splits.

3. Music production and education - a site of resistance?

Music Technology has now become firmly embedded in educational institutions both in the UK and abroad. With many institutions having over 20 years experience in developing courses in music technology it may be time to reflect on our achievements and our challenges. For many, the initial introduction of courses in record production and music technology was met with resistance in institutions with many courses springing not from music departments but from schools of technology. From a different perspective, traditional genres of engagement with music technology such as rock and dance have an ideological perspective characterised by resistance to authority, and the embodiment of the ‘underground’. Papers in this stream may also consider issues such as the way that creating a curriculum contributes to creating a canon, ethnicity, sexuality and gender in music technology programmes, learning strategies and methodologies and the various tensions and relationships that exist between education, academic research and industry.

4. Electronic technology and the production of music

Alongside the history of research and development in electronic technology for audio production runs a parallel history of subversion and ‘creative abuse’. Many of the techniques used in commercial and popular music production started life in university departments or in the world of art music. And there is also the history of DJ technology in the studio. This stream welcomes papers that explore the range of creative methods used in electronic and electroacoustic music. This may also include the use of older technology, internet performance, virtual scenes, democratisation and audio fidelity, the inside / outside the box debate, the commodification of production technology and the modular DIY construction of DSP and plug-ins.

Workshops, Presentations and Performances

The conference panel would like to invite delegates to submit ideas for presentations exploring aspects of music production, performances and practical demonstrations on any topic relating to the Art of Record Production.

We welcome work from any relevant academic perspective, including but not limited to popular music studies, ethnomusicology, the study of performance practice, communication studies, historical musicology, the history of technology, ergonomics, acoustics and psychoacoustics, music theory, music cognition, music and music technology education, and the philosophies of music, mediation and technology. Please include a note on methodology where appropriate, and an indication of the theme your work is intending to address.