steps in a users primer for reconstructing the recording studio's
around green design and architectural practice
background - so where exactly does eco-architecture, design and
the music business meet?
Perhaps it is naive to dream of an alternative to conspicuous
consumption, but if everything is to be remade sustainable andeco-friendly
this includes the music business, a notorious agent of eco complacency
and profligate energy use. If this is the case any possible eco-music
sphere will need to face up to a remaking of music activity which
constitutes a revolution in the myriad processes of its livilihood.
Still in the
space between the music and the green world there's various strands
representing the beginnings of a dialogue between each. One specific
consequence of the technologisation of the practise of music has
been the considerable increase in energy required. Electricity
is used for the running of studio's recording music, for the equipment
of the performance and concerts, and for the interlinked world
servicing the music industry, from CD factories and the printer's
of record sleeves, to the makers of recording equipment. Energy,
although only one of a series of points the green world is concerned
with, is the primary focus here.
It is contendable
that the energies which generated the green movements of the last
forty years or so are partially entwined with the waves of creative
energy which has brought each generation its musical innovation
and experimentation. Many have seen the musical ferment of the
sixties and since, the 'return of nature' as parallel, cousin
paths, the one mutually supporting the other. Similarly there
is a crossover between the music buying public and the supporters
of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the like. The longevity
of the idea of the outdoor festival, closer to and ideally in
partial celebration of nature, is symbolised by the Glastonbury
Festival, where the two fuse most visibly. Indeed for a while
the one-time futurism of music and hi-fi technology was linked,
in perception at least, to the faltering steps of the seventies
Radical Technology movement which fed and allied itself with the
greens and other related communities. If there is an inextricable
interwining between the green community and the commercial consumption
of a hi-energy music infrastructure the notion that the future
will resolve itself without electrically resourced music technology,
in all the spheres, and all that involves seems unlikely.
of course other possibilities, a 'partial greening' of the music
business. There's the sustainable business-as-usual techno-fix
that the industry, if pushed into a corner about requirements
to be greener, will most likely choose. In all likelihood an essentially
industrial-urban and technical ethos will be maintained.
dabbling moves would be graphic reflections of the degree to which
the mainstream is going to take on board, (or not) the more thoroughgoing
approaches of a green outlook. Within this, is the 'star' system
about anything other than consumption? And if so is the 'star'
system which the music, and all the entertainment businesses need
for their efficient running, ecologically ruiness? The distance
between the green and music business worlds beg such questions,
as do the problems incurred by possible hybrids any form of meeting
the 'energy', so to speak and the will to effect a transformatiom
originate from? The music community could do much if it was interested.
The music business could explore the variety of green initiatives
in Industry to green aspects of the business. This piece is primarly
focussed on the fringes of the music world, the grass roots of
the music scene - where the energies of do-it-ourselves are most
fertile. Indeed do-it-yourself energies could radically remake
the nature of not only this element of the music world, but could
well feed into the mainstream of the business.
The rest of
these connected pieces thus picks up and extends where the 'Indie'
labels intuitively caught the 'small is beautiful' green ethos,
though making of it something rather different to what the balanced
buddhist and ecological economics have envisaged developing. In
the Indie music world there's a spectrum of practise from relatively
thorough-going ecologically conscientious business through to
the status quo of hip capitalism epitimised by Virgin.
to imagine design and technology practise being utilised across
the board in buildings in which the making of music happens. Budgets,
of course, are often limited, so buildings, including studio's
don't get the energy attentions which could make the difference.
research examples below are not conclusive we haven't come across
any studio which is publicising itself as using in part a green
remit. However the high visibility example of Real World offers
the beginnings of a path into the greening of the big time recording
studio, and by implication many other elements of the musicing