Mixing the Mixed: Representation, Agency and Staging in Commercial Audio Recordings of Works for Instruments with Tape.

Hall, Simon (2018) Mixing the Mixed: Representation, Agency and Staging in Commercial Audio Recordings of Works for Instruments with Tape. In: Celebrating Electroacoustic Music in Great Britain - 40th anniversary, 26-27 January 2019, University of Greenwich. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

With a history dating back sixty years to Stockhausen’s Kontakte (1958-1960) there is now a significant canon of works composed for instrumental resource with accompaniment and integration of electroacoustic sounds, either on tape, by triggering of prerecorded samples, or by some variation of live electronics. Since the creation of the first works within the genre, audio recordings of performances of this repertoire for broadcast and for commercial domestic consumption have been undertaken.

Whilst there is an obvious crossover between the skills and intentions of the composer and the record producer of this genre of music, one should note that the intentions and needs of the two parties can often necessitate compromise to create a successful result. Mediation between a composer’s intentions, and the practicalities of audio media going “into the wild”, become important with respect to dynamic range compression and limiting, and the application of artificial acoustic, at both mix and mastering stages, as do balance considerations of soloist-accompaniment relationships.

This paper looks at the relationship between composer and producer, as well as considering how one should treat the performer that is not physically present in a way that goes a stage beyond Eisenberg’s (2005) assertion that for the “listener, the performer is not there”. The performer, like the tape part, also effectively become “acousmatic” to a final consumer. This raises questions as to how does the listener, or indeed should the listener, differentiate the layers of sound from soloist and accompaniment in a personal playback situation, and can this ambiguity become an additional creative layer to a project.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date: 7 November 2018
Subjects: W300 Music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Depositing User: Simon Hall
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2019 10:49
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8495

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