Home Recording: Authority of “Pros” and the Sovereignty of the Big Studios #arp13


Garageband (click pic for link to Alice’s 2012 article)

CARVALHO, ALICE TOMAZ DE (Université de Montréal)
The Discourse of Home Recording: Authority of “Pros” and the Sovereignty of the Big Studios

[abstract] This paper presentation proposes a critical analysis of the discourse of home recording. It questions home recording’s will to truth by investigating what makes its statements possible, or what is the system of rules that authorize certain things to be said within the discourse. Driven by enunciations regarding home recording’s “accessibility” and “democratization”, it analyzes the power/knowledge relations that have been produced and legitimized within the discourse, as well as what they enable and constrain, allow and exclude. Music magazines and Internet discussion forums form the corpus of this work. The methods used in this research are inspired by Michel Foucault’s theory and method of discourse and by the approach known as critical interpretation (Johnson et al., 2004). This papers’ analysis shows that the government in home recording seems to be exerted by two main subjects: recording professionals and home recording “pros”, who are overall characterized as well-off men. Moreover, the rules of home recording seem to be a replication and an adaptation to the home environment of the organizing principles of professional studios. This work suggests that “democratization” as enunciated and produced within and by the discourse of home recording articulates the discursive notion of a “contemporary accessibility” in terms of technology and knowledge to the exclusions – such as that of women and people of limited means – that make this discourse possible. These exclusions are legitimized through what is considered the “truth” within the discourse, as well as the norms and regulations established within it, which in turn follow the logic of the professional studio. 

[JB note – I did not personally get to see Alice’s presentation, so here is a link to a previous JARP paper that covered much of the preparatory work for this 2013 paper]

The Discourse of Home Recording: Authority of “Pros” and the Sovereignty of the Big Studios; Journal on the Art of Record Production, issue 7. November 2012.

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