Bending Form: Dynamic Content Within a Framework and the Recordings of the Beatles in the Mid-Sixties
This written exegesis, alongside three recorded albums, Pictures of Everyday, Baby Astronaut, and The Dunedin Electric Co., works to reconcile the analytic with implementation through a practice-as-research approach. The composition and production methodologies of The Beatles’ Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) albums are appropriated as stimuli for my own original works with the intent of implementing a 1960s production aesthetic onto my own productions. This project represents an attempt to advance both my own song writing and producing skills and to inspire others to vary their approach to recording, to try and find their own unique aesthetic by studying the recording methodologies of a particular time period. The introductory chapter presents a brief overview of the project before background literature is discussed in chapter two. Cultural, geographical and technological influences behind both The Beatles’ recordings and my own are investigated in chapter three as are the problems that a project such as this may encounter. Approaches to analysing phonographic works and the effects of a phonographic tradition are examined in chapter four. Chapter five explains how The Beatles albums informed my practices and looks at the pioneering techniques of Artificial Double Tracking and the use of varispeed and my application of these. The ways in which The Beatles recordings dynamised the standard quadratic form they inherited are discussed both from a composition and production standpoint in chapter six along with discussing characteristics of psychedelic rock. Further creative processes involved in the recording of my albums are detailed in chapter seven. Approaches and insights of the practicebased researcher lead to a direct and intimate knowledge and understanding of the discipline under investigation. By presenting myself with a model to work toward I have found that it is indeed possible to come up with an aesthetic that is on one hand reminiscent of the Beatles’ mid-sixties sound and on the other, original in its own right.
Advisor: Downes, Graeme Alexander; Burns, Rob
Degree Name: Doctor of Musical Arts
Degree Discipline: Music, Theatre & Performing Arts
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Beatles; DMA; Recording; Studio; Production
Research Type: Thesis