Performance recordivity : studio music in a live context

Knowles, Julian D. & Hewitt, Donna (2012) Performance recordivity : studio music in a live context. In Burgess, Richard James & Isakoff, Katia (Eds.) 7th Art of Record Production Conference, 2 - 4 December 2011, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.

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A broad range of positions is articulated in the academic literature around the relationship between recordings and live performance. Auslander (2008) argues that “live performance ceased long ago to be the primary experience of popular music, with the result that most live performances of popular music now seek to replicate the music on the recording”. Elliott (1995) suggests that “hit songs are often conceived and produced as unambiguous and meticulously recorded performances that their originators often duplicate exactly in live performances”. Wurtzler (1992) argues that “as socially and historically produced, the categories of the live and the recorded are defined in a mutually exclusive relationship, in that the notion of the live is premised on the absence of recording and the defining fact of the recorded is the absence of the live”. Yet many artists perform in ways that fundamentally challenge such positions. Whilst it is common practice for musicians across many musical genres to compose and construct their musical works in the studio such that the recording is, in Auslander’s words, the ‘original performance’, the live version is not simply an attempt to replicate the recorded version. Indeed in some cases, such replication is impossible. There are well known historical examples. Queen, for example, never performed the a cappella sections of Bohemian Rhapsody because it they were too complex to perform live. A 1966 recording of the Beach Boys studio creation Good Vibrations shows them struggling through the song prior to its release. This paper argues that as technology develops, the lines between the recording studio and live performance change and become more blurred. New models for performance emerge. In a 2010 live performance given by Grammy Award winning artist Imogen Heap in New York, the artist undertakes a live, improvised construction of a piece as a performative act. She invites the audience to choose the key for the track and proceeds to layer up the various parts in front of the audience as a live performance act. Her recording process is thus revealed on stage in real time and she performs a process that what would have once been confined to the recording studio. So how do artists bring studio production processes into the live context? What aspects of studio production are now performable and what consistent models can be identified amongst the various approaches now seen? This paper will present an overview of approaches to performative realisations of studio produced tracks and will illuminate some emerging relationships between recorded music and performance across a range of contexts.

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ID Code: 48489
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Submitted to "Proceedings of the 7th Art of Record Production Conference 2011"
Keywords: Performance, Live performance, studio music, recording practices, technology, production techniques, live looping, live recording, live arranging, authenticity, liveness
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Music Composition (190406)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Music Performance (190407)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Music & Sound
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2012 22:11
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2012 19:31

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