Steve Savage, author of Bytes & Backbeats: Repurposing Music in the Digital Age, chatted with Marilou Polymeropoulou, a D.Phil student at St. Peter’s College, for an installment in the International Association for the Study of Popular Music’s interview series. During the discussion, Savage shared his thoughts on how mainstream music has changed over the years, the effect the Internet has had on the underground, and the origins of repurposing. Of the latter, Savage says:
If I had to try to create a hierarchy of influences, I’d place the musician’s aesthetic and creative impulses at the top. Generally I think innovation in music technology, as well as in music, is driven by creative desire….The recordists have certainly played a role as well, especially as they have become more essential participants in the creative process, as I describe in the book. I also delve into the ways in which the audience/music consumer has become a more active participant in the creative process in the wake of Internet connectivity.
Savage also talks about studio communication, noting two terms that he finds are used particularly frequently, “clam” (“a small error in performance”) and “train wreck” (“a section where two or more musicians are significantly out of sync”), and weighs in on how he imagines technology and popular music will interact in the future.