Record Production in a Transitional Zone: Three Projects Compared #arpOslo2014

John Egenes, University of Otago

ABSTRACT: Digital technology and the culture it has engendered are causing a rapid transformation of long-held views about the value of content, our notions of authority, and our perceptions of how we as producers fit into the means of production of intellectual property. While record production is still largely viewed as an industry pursuit carried out by professionalized experts, its practical application is now part of the transcultural environments of digital networks and social media.

This paper discusses my role as producer for three albums, and the contrasts within their respective cultural environments. The albums are “Pluck”, a CD of original classical music performed by harpist Helen Webby; “Tyre Tracks & Broken Hearts”, a CD of country music by singer/songwriter Donna Dean; and “The Stone Soup Sessions”, an Americana album. Comparisons of recording methodologies and production philosophies are made, starting with the “conventional” production model of “Pluck”, and exploring the “hybrid” production methods used in “Tyre Tracks” along with the influence of digital culture upon the production of “Stone Soup”.

Co-writing songs

Illustration by Andy Watt

This article originally appeared in Total Guitar magazine issue 229. Reproduced by permission. Words: Joe Bennett. Illustration: Andy Watt. Click the image to download a pdf.

There are very few jobs where you promise to give away half your wages before you get to work, but this is what happens when two or more people decide to write a song together. And they do it with good reason; did you know that almost half the number of chart-topping hits in the USA since 1955 were written by more than one person? But if collaboration is clearly an effective way of writing a song, how is it done? How do two brains work together to produce something truly great?

Collaborative Songwriting – academic paper

This is an academic paper on the subject of collaborative songwriting in the studio. It was presented at the 6th Art of Record Production conference in Dec 2010 and appears in the Journal of the Art of Record Production Conference Proceedings – ISSN 1754-9892. Please feel free to download/cite it as you think fit. The correct citation is;

Bennett, J., 2011. Collaborative songwriting – the ontology of negotiated creativity in popular music studio practice. In Journal of the Art of Record Production 2010. Leeds, UK: Art of Record Production.

In keeping with my view that academics should make their research as freely available as possible, you can download the whole paper here.

BENNETT_J_ARP2010 (pdf)