Participatory music culture: the challenges for identity, creativity and recognition #crassh3c (Mark Thorley)


Crowdfunding (image source)

Mark Thorley (Conventry University): Participatory music culture: the challenges for identity, creativity and recognition
The advent of recording technology served to break down the link between musician and audience (Eisenberg 2005), and the music participant became the music consumer. Emerging digital technologies are now reversing this trend and music participation is all the more possible. Though the environment for recorded music continues to experience significant threat, the environment for music participation now thrives in ways not previously imaginable.
Much of this new participation is enabled technologically, and its likely impact has received attention. For example, the concept of the ‘Prosumer’ was originally established by Toffler (1980) and participation culture has been examined by Jenkins (2006). Additionally, the potential of networks is considered by Benkler (2006), and the concept of peer-production by Tapscott and Williams (2006). As the opportunities for the music creative expand, and the role of the music consumer shifts to participant, key questions emerge as to how this change challenges established roles.
Drawing on concepts outlined in a chapter in ‘Music and Virtuality’ published by Oxford University Press, this paper focuses on key impacts on the Producer and Fan. For example, in adopting Crowdfunding, how does the shift challenge the music producer? For the fan, what does engaging with the funding of projects do for their identity and recognition within the process?

Crowd funding and its potential to create an alternative culture of production #arp13

THORLEY, MARK (Coventry University)

Crowd funding and its potential to create an alternative culture of production

[abstract] The field of cultural production has often included reference to those who stand between the producer and their audience. Whether referred to as gatekeepers by Paul Hirsch (1972), or cultural intermediaries by Pierre Bourdieu (1984), their role in deciding what the audience gets to experience has been discussed at length. Frequently, there is reference to the filtering function which they perform, which, in recorded music terms, dictates what gets recorded, how it is recorded and produced, what gets released, what gets promoted, and what gets dropped. Even in the music press, cultural intermediaries in the form of A&R personnel and record company executives receive criticism for their decision making whether for dropping recording artists before they are allowed to develop, or signing artists with grossly inflated advances only to see them walk through the door soon after.