Producing music, producing myth? Creativity in Recording Studios

Paul Thompson, Brett Lashua

Abstract


This paper explores research on the power of myth (Barthes 1972) and commonly accepted beliefs, or “doxa” (Bourdieu, 1977), in shaping creative practices inside recording studios. Drawing from two ethnographic case studies of rock and hip-hop artists in recording studios, this paper addresses the (re)production of myths during studio sessions. Through critical incident analyses, we challenge romanticized representations of studios as individualistic spaces and highlight how mythic representations of creativity influence musicians’ technical expectations of recording processes. Additionally, we illustrate the circulation of, and moments of resistance to, myths from cultural domains outside of the studio that pervade practices within studios. In sum, we show that studios—sites involving the intense scrutiny of music-making—offer incisive contexts in which to examine how myth can shape recording processes and studio practices.

Keywords


Creativity; Rock; Hip-hop; Recording; Myth; Recording Studios

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References


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Videography

Begin Again. 2013. Dir. John Carney. Sycamore Pictures.

Music and Lyrics. 2007. Dir. Marc Lawrence. Castle Rock Entertainment.

Ray. 2004. Dir. Taylor Hackford. Universal.

Sympathy for the Devil. 1969. Dir. Jean-Luc Godard. ABKCO.

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Interviews

Lead vocalist 2012. Interview by Paul Thompson, Liverpool, UK, 30 September.

Record producer 2012. Interview by Paul Thompson, Liverpool, UK, 30 September.

Backing vocalist 2012 Interview by Paul Thompson, Liverpool, UK, 27 August.




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