ARP 2009 – Producing Recorded Performances: Capture or Design?

Call For Papers – Deadline Extended to 30th April 2009

The Fifth Annual Art of Record Production Conference
will be hosted by the Division of Music and Sound,
The Atrium, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff, S. Wales
on November 13th – 15th 2009.
[Steven Epstein, Nate Kunkel, Bob Ludwig, Paul Miller at 2008 ARP Conference]

The conference organizers invite submissions for papers on the following themes and any other related topics:

1. Performance and Record Production
The evolving process of record production has altered performance practice in a variety of ways and across the whole range of musical styles. In turn these new developments have themselves driven the development of new musical styles. This stream will examine these issues and also how changes in the creative decision making process have affected the traditional roles of performer, composer, arranger and producer. Leiber and Stoller are often quoted as having said “we don’t write songs, we write records” and this recording based approach to creativity has many implications for the role of performers. How do performers and producers negotiate this creative balancing act? Indeed, how do all the participants in the production process communicate and interact? The stream invites submissions dealing with all aspects of performance in the recording studio.

2. Capturing Environments, Designing Space
For many recording professionals the idea of ‘capturing’ the character of a specific space is central to their practice. For others the artificial construction of perceived ambience is equally crucial. The ‘sonic environment’ of recorded music can strongly affect the perceived meaning for a listener but the sound the performer hears during the recording process is also an important factor. This stream seeks to examine both how the artificial design of space has been incorporated into the production and compositional process as well as how techniques that are specific to the recording of classical, jazz, acoustic, folk and traditional music forms utilise the sound of recorded space. Phrases such as hyper realism and “electronic fakery” illustrate the increased public awareness of the creative impact of technological mediation. We would therefore also like to encourage studies and discussions of related issues such as the aesthetics and psychoacoustics of place and proximity, the perception of technological mediation, authenticity and transparency.

3. Independent Production and Distribution
There is a long history of independent and entrepreneurial producers stretching from pioneers such as Sam Phillips and Joe Meek to contemporary artists such as Linda Perry and Steve Albini. There are also a variety of business models and working practices through which independent record producers and independent forms of distribution can be connected. Record production on the small scale impacts on the final sound in a variety of ways but particular business models and audience preferences in niche markets can also influence creative decisions in the production process. How might the model of ‘pay per listen’ as opposed to the ‘traditional’ product / ownership forms of income stream affect the production of recorded music? There are also perceptions amongst both audiences and artists about the relationship of independence and creativity and independence and credibility. This stream invites submissions relating to any of the above points and also those dealing with emerging business models related to independent and / or small scale production and the way they fit into the wider market place.

4. Five Years On: The Musicology of Record Production
Five years after the ‘Towards a Musicology of Record Production’ stream at the first ARP conference, how has this field of study moved on? At that conference Professor Allan Moore argued “that the major context for production decisions is the other musical decisions which go into the making of a track” and that, as such, a musicology of record production only makes sense as a component in the wider study of music. A growing number of academics are seeking ways in which the study of recording practice can be integrated into the study of music. What difference does it make when that study is in the western art tradition of musicology, ethnomusicology or popular music studies? What are the methodologies and approaches being utilised in this area and how do they fit together? What should a musicology of record production study and why?

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.

Papers or demonstrations that require recording / studio / 5.1 playback facilities are also encouraged but selection will be subject to a feasibility study by the hosts at Glamorgan.

Proposals for individual papers and poster presentations should not exceed 500 words and should be in Word Document, Rich Text File or Text file formats (doc, docx, rtf or txt files). Submissions by email to
Simon Zagorski-Thomas

Papers will be accepted in either English or Welsh.

The deadline for proposals is the 30th of April 2009.

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