3- The SCI★FI★HI★FI and the Cost of Music [3 short films at 20 mins] Matt Brennan, Glasgow University
This presentation will take the form of a short film screening (or in fact, three short videos lasting for 20 minutes in total). The videos document an experiment in popular music research-creation. The first video is a 10-minute documentary film called “The Cost of Music”: Created by Matt Brennan and Graeme O’Hara, the film was conceived as a vehicle for public engagement with current research on the economic and environmental cost of recorded music on the one hand, and research-creation (based on Brennan’s experience of releasing an album of original music in the form of an interactive musical sculpture called theSCI★FI★HI★FI) on the other. A film synopsis in italics follows: “Disillusioned by prevailing attitudes about the disposability of new music and the decline of the album, a musician and researcher sets out to record his own songs and release them in an unusual format: not so much a ‘concept album’ as a musical sculpture that explores the concept of albums as historical artefacts. In doing so, he uncovers how the cost of listening to records has changed over the past century: while the economic cost of listening to one’s choice of recorded music has never been lower, the environmental cost has never been higher.” The second and third videos are short public engagement films providing additional detail on (a) how the price consumers have been willing to pay for music has changed over time and (b) how the environmental materials used to reproduce recorded music have changed of time.