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Making mirrors, making albums and making documentaries: the music of Gotye and negotiating Bourdieu's field of cultural production

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 March 2021

Pat O'Grady
Affiliation:
Macquarie University, Media, Music Communication and Cultural Studies, Media, Music Communication and Cultural Studies, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Corresponding
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Abstract

Recent popular music and film studies have revealed the political functions of documentaries about musicians. These studies suggest that such documentaries make powerful interventions into the field of music production as they construct the value of their subjects and their work. Owing to the expense and complexity of broadcast equipment, production companies have tended to favour documentaries about artists and work considered to be popular and historically significant. Over the past 15 years, however, new technologies have allowed musicians to make documentaries themselves, which they can release at the same time as their song or album. Using the example of Gotye and his album Making Mirrors, this article argues that these developments have led to powerful and distinct interventions into debates and themes within home music production for independent musicians. It also argues that the use of this technology on social media platforms challenges the relationships between text and process.

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Article
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Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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