1- "It Might Be Over Soon:” Samples, Looping, and the Post-Genre Music of Bon Iver's 22, A Million - Sean Steele, York University
10:30 AM, Friday 24 May 2019 (2 hours)
Lunch 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM (1 hour)
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) - DS-R520
The presentation focuses on the concept of post-genre music and the intermingling of sonic trajectories made possible through technological shifts in the production and consumption of popular music. Drawing theories from genre studies and Theodor Gracyk's work on recorded music, I look at the disconnected patchwork production of Bon Iver's 2016 record 22, A Million to unpack the post-genre designation and the ways it disrupts the commodification bias inherent in the genre categories of popular music as items to be packaged and sold to target audiences. The record features samples from rock, folk, gospel, R&B, and pop that are often digitally manipulated, sometimes beyond recognition. Samples and related looping technology are not details added later but factor into the composition of the finished songs, such that a blending of genres has begun to create new forms of popular music to the extent that genre categories are becoming (or have become) obsolete. Other technological tools—including the OP-1 portable synthesizer/sampler and a digital audio plug-in innovated during production called the Prismizer—alsorepresent foundational elements in the album's overall creation. Instead of using these tools to shape songs written on more conventional instruments like guitar or piano, they were fundamental in creating the basis of many of the songs. Post-genre music results from the wide-spread availability of recorded music on streaming platforms and portable devices. The presentation highlight shifts in the recording, production and consumption of popular music through the concept of post-genre music as heard on Bon Iver's album.