Opening panel – Recorded Music In the Internet Age (download presentation) #arpOslo2014

GraphHere are my own slides from today’s presentation in Oslo.

JB slides (pdf)

Citations as follows:

Adorno, Theodore W. “On Popular Music.” Studies in Philosophy and Social Science IX (1941): 17–48.

Degusta, Michael. “The REAL Death Of The Music Industry – Business Insider,” February 18, 2011.

Gordon, Steve. “Why Apple’s Acquisition of Beats Is Bad for Indie Labels, Artists, and the Industry.” Digital Music News, June 6, 2014.

Image: Australian War Memorial

Susan Rogers keynote: music cognition and preferences #arpOslo2014

Susan Rogers, Berklee College of Music

Susan begins with an audio-powered journey through her life in the music industry, including her work as audio engineer for Prince (covering the Purple Rain and Sign ‘O’ the Times eras). It is interspersed with anecdotes and career nodes commentary. This is all thoroughly enjoyable and I sense the crowd would have been happy with this being the entire presentation!

But she moves us on to the theme of the presentation, which is: what are musical emotions about? Emotions are temporary and affect the goals of the perceiver in real time. Music can’t further or block goals – so how does it affect emotion?

Susan’s academic study and research is in cognitive science, and she applies this to musical experience. She talks us through a brief ‘Psych 101’ of stages of response to a stimulus, contrasting dangerous situations with musical surprise. The stages are: cognitive appraisal (“this situation is dangerous” or “those chords are beautiful”), subjective feeling (feel afraid or feel impressed/moved), physiological arousal (heart beats faster/attention is focused), expression (you scream/smile) and action tendency.

Rethinking High-Fidelity #arpOslo2014

YannickYannick Lapointe, Université Laval

ABSTRACT: In the mediating process from musical ideas to fully realized sound, music takes a lot of different forms and is shaped by a wide variety of actors. With recorded music, the somewhat logical or typical process consists in the following: the composers and arrangers write the musical ideas (sometimes), the performers and programmers make these ideas into sounds, the record producers and sound engineers capture and organize the sound into phonograms, and finally the record consumers (usually the listeners) reproduce these phonograms back to sound, or, in cases of remediation, the DJ or remixers use these phonograms to produce new ones. Of all these actors, only one is not commonly regarded as an artist: the record consumer. This begs the question: as the one usually responsible for record reproduction, and given that his role in the recorded music mediation process is not that remote from the one played by the other actors, could the record consumer be considered a fully fledged artist in the same way as his peers?

Although the answer to this question is certainly not the same for every record consumers, this paper will argue that a particular group amongst them, the hi-fi enthusiasts, has indeed elevated record reproduction to an art form. It will explain, by drawing on a comparison between the record production and reproduction processes (and more specifically between the roles of record producers, sound engineers, and hi-fi enthusiasts), how and why high-fidelity can be considered an “art of record reproduction”.

Yannick outlines a typical production chain from creator through to listener. It’s an impressive theoretical model, incorporating traditional musicology, performance practice, and a mediation stage that he calls ‘phonomusicology’ – the production chain of the audio from the producer’s studio role through to the hi-fi reproduction equipment.