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The Good Old Days? Negotiating Quality, Mythology and Technostalgia in Contemporary Music Production

Posted: February 25th, 2014 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Journal on the Art of Record Production ISSN: 1754-9892


 Issue #9

The Journal on the Art of Record Production invites articles, provocations and practitioner interviews for Issue #9: The Good Old Days? Negotiating Quality, Mythology and Technostalgia in Contemporary Music Production. In a recent Audio Pro International provocation, columnist, engineer and mixer Ian Dowling rejects the notion of ‘The Good Old Days’ and rails against what he sees as a stifling of innovation caused by a slavish re-modelling of the past in today’s recording and production processes. Conversely, Dave Grohl celebrates analogue technology for its effect on the creative process in Sound City. Mixer Chris Lord-Alge freely blends old technology with new, as do many practitioners. Scholars such as David Morton (2000) and Timothy Taylor (2001) have discussed issues of ‘technostalgia’ in relation to music technology; Alan Williams has described the ‘canonization of process’ (2010) whereby past technologies and methodologies are celebrated (as in Sound City and the Classic Albums documentary series). What questions arise from considering the relationship between contemporary music production and its past, whether celebrated or denigrated?

Nostalgia, sentimentality, memory, historicity and canonization relating to people, technologies and places are brought into relief. The [re]model[ling] of vintage technologies and workflows promise that past ‘best practice’ is accessible to new generations of practitioners. Why are such approaches necessary or desirable? What is the draw of [re]appropriating technologies and practices of a previous era? In the present digital world, vintage and contemporary technologies conflate, their relative values and qualities brought into contact. Negotiating the tension between historical past and contemporary context is a locus of significance for those involved in music production; a viable means of sonic differentiation. How the past is remembered, captured or represented may also play a part in shaping new practices.

Research is welcome from sociological, cultural theoretical, scientific, musicological, philosophical and anthropological perspectives. Themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • ‘Cloud’ production
  • Historicizing sound recording
  • ‘In the box’ mixing
  • Myths, mythology and the magical
  • Nostalgia, sentimentality and memory
  • Recordists and canonization
  • Recordists and/or workplaces on film
  • Ritual versus innovation
  • Skeuomorphism
  • Sound recording quality
  • ‘Technostalgia’
  • ‘Vintage’ equipment and technological iconicity

Please submit full articles of between 7,000 and 9,000 words in length. Articles are peer reviewed by an international team of scholars (peer reviewer list available at www.arpjournal.com). Proposals for provocations and non-peer reviewed practitioner interviews are also welcomed. Authors must include the name under which they would like to be published, current affiliation and preferred email contact. Prospective authors are asked to familiarize themselves with JARP instructions for contributors, available from: www.arpjournal.com/contribute

Articles to: [email protected]

Interview and provocation proposals to: [email protected]

Deadline for submissions: 29.8.2014

Publication: 31.10.2014

The Journal on the Art of Record Production is an international, interdisciplinary, academic journal publishing high quality, peer-reviewed research annually.

Editors-in-Chief: Dr Richard James Burgess and Katia Isakoff

Editors: Dr Samantha Bennett, Australian National University; Professor Paul Draper, Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University;

Dr Mark Slater, University of Hull.

Copy Editors: Justin Morey, Leeds Metropolitan University; Mark Thorley, Coventry University.

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