The geographies of Swedish musicians’ work practices How, when and where Swedish musicians perform work and creativity in the contemporary popular music industry

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet

Sammanfattning: Over the recent years, technological changes in the music industry have altered the geography of music production and non-creative music work. Progress in information and communication technology has lead to decreasing revenues from record sales, which in turn has affected traditional income models for musicians, in particular income from record sales. Therefore, contemporary musicians need to spend longer periods on tour, thus being spatially fragmented in a multitude of geographies while performing artistic work practices. In light of such changes, new music geographies have started to gain the attention for performing artistic work, in particular temporary geographies at popular music festivals as well as digital online communities.This dissertation explores these spaces of music work and creativity, and the roles played by such spaces for Swedish musicians’ working lives.By using a triangulation of methods, this dissertation addresses three important features of the contemporary music profession. First, I explore the geographies of networks and network relations, and the role of networks for coping with contemporary working conditions. Second, I pay attention to the spaces of non-creative work, particularly in festival backstage areas. Third, I focus on how, when and where musicians perform creative work, and the relation between traditional studio locations and new opportunities for creative work while being on tour. Based on interviews, observations and netnographies, I argue that contemporary musicians perform much non-creative work in temporary festival backstage areas and in online communities while creative work preferably is located to traditional studio environments. I also argue that while female musicians and new-established musicians at large, due to increasing competition, have started to explore online communities, established musicians benefit from networking in face-to-face gatherings in order to gain job opportunities. Thus, there is a distinction between different groups of musicians based on career stage and gender.