chapter  6
12 Pages

Materializing the Digital Commodity: Recording Studios in Transnational Project Networks of Digital Musical Production


The production of digital music for national markets is a transnational process, involving a range of diff erent fi rms and organizations, individual actors, technologies, spaces, and places. Accordingly, networks of production and creativity are necessarily very fl uid and fl exible. These networks however do not operate outside the limits of geographical space. Rather, it is cities that make these networks material, sustaining them by fostering and supporting musical creativity. They come together in specifi c urban locales, in particular recording studios but also other places that give room to musical expression, concrete city spaces in which fl uid networks of musical creativity fi nd ‘fi xity’ (see, for example, Hoyler and Mager 2005). However, as Connell and Gibson (2003) argue, music is at once both static and ‘fi xed’, and itinerant and fl eeting. Musical knowledge has always been mobile between cities, in particular through the physical movement of creative labor, including musicians and DJs, producers and music industry executives (Watson et al. 2009). These mobile individuals mediate and translate the cultural fl ows and stylistic infl uences, as well as the skills and capital circulating between cities, maintaining and renewing fl exible creative networks (Törnqvist 2004). Furthermore, mobility within musical creative networks has been enhanced by new Internet technologies that allow for the increased sharing of knowledge and the wider distribution of musical products across geographical space (Leyshon 2001, 2003).