|dc.description.abstract||This doctoral exegesis gives an accounting of my work as producer for the three recording projects described herein: Pluck, by harpist Helen Webby, Tyre Tracks & Broken Hearts, by songwriter Donna Dean, and my own album, The Stone Soup Sessions. The latter two include my work as a performer and composer. The exegesis describes the methodologies employed as a producer and also where the roles producer, performer or composer intersect.
The job of record producer has, as have many jobs and roles, seen a shift in its authority structure during our transition from the top-down, centralised model of the twentieth century to a bottom-up, decentralised paradigm that is emerging in the twenty-first. In order to explore some of the changes to the ways in which producers have operated, I produced the three albums using different models, each with a unique approach to record production.
The three projects were viewed against a background of twentieth century record production, a techno-cultural environment that was aimed at the commodification of creative content for mass consumption. All three, in fact, were intended as such within their various markets. The ways in which the roles and jobs of the producer shifted during each of the three projects can be linked to the wider environments within which the recordings were made. These settings start with the studio itself, and widen to include the broadcast/promotional environment of mass media culture, or the distribution/participatory setting of digital ecosystems of the internet. They include what I refer to as “conventional”, “communal”, and “hybrid” methods of record production.
While they are not specific production archetypes, the three projects serve as a starting point for the exploration of the changing face of record production within a networked, digital ecology. It is hoped that this study will help to stimulate new ideas and further research into a new and evolving area, in which there is little specific data or general agreement.||