Laptops, Pro Tools, and File Transfer Protocols: On the Intensification and Extensification of Recording Work in the Digital Age
This chapter provides a brief review of music in the digital age to explain the rise of importance of live performances for the success of small- and independent-label contemporary musicians and how they link to efforts by urban placemakers. It describes the connectivity of musicians in general and under the umbrella genre called 'folk' or 'Americana' specifically through the lens of one of its major events: the Newport Folk Festival. The chapter provides an image of touring as an 'opportunity structure' for interactions and reputations different from more conventional approaches to cultural production because it shows not just the importance of cities as postindustrial cultural centers but how their music scenes interconnect for musicians. It focuses on the qualitative study of three festivals, Austin, Texas's South by Southwest, Nashville, Tennessee's Country Music Association Music Fest, and Newport, Rhode Island's Newport Folk Festival. The chapter matches some of the insights gleaned from interviews and participant observation with social network analysis.