Grant Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit): ‘This book should be mandatory reading for every label, booking agent, manager and tour manager in the business of music and touring so we can all better understand what’s really involved in living the life of a professional musician and the role we all have in making that life as liveable as possible’
Tim Shiel (Double J/Triple J Radio, Australia): ‘The most important book I’ve ever read about music’
Songlines magazine: ‘An eye-opening must read’ ****
Shaun Ryder (Happy Mondays): ‘Holding on to your mental health in this pressured environment is so important and at times so very difficult, I know that all too well. This book lays bare what it is like to live for your music and how it can feel to be a musician today’
The Wire magazine: ‘Poses uncomfortable questions…[and] sheds light on complex issues with compelling thoroughness’
Emma Warren (Music journalist and author): ‘Musicians often pay a high price for sharing their art with us. Underneath the glow of success can often lie loneliness and exhaustion, not to mention the basic struggles of paying the rent or buying food. Sally-Anne Gross and George Musgrave raise important questions – and we need to listen to what the musicians have to tell us about their working conditions and their mental health’
Crispin Hunt (Multi-Platinum Songwriter/Record Producer & Chair of the Ivor’s Academy): ‘In this important book, Sally Anne Gross and George Musgrave investigate the relationship between the well-being music brings to society and the well-being of those who create. It's a much needed reality-check, deglamorising the romantic image of the tortured artist’
Adam Ficek (Psychotherapist [Music and Mind]/BabyShambles): ‘A critical and timely book’
Joe Muggs (DJ, Promoter, Journalist [Guardian, Telegraph, FACT, Mixmag, The Wire]): ‘The best guide to what being a musician, and what "the music industry" actually are that I can remember reading’
Andreea Magdalina (Founder of shesaid.so): ‘This book is extremely important....The pandemic is forcing our industry to reinvent itself, once again, and this book is a call to ensure these new systems are fairer for everyone and that they foster a healthier lifestyle’
It is often assumed that creative people are prone to psychological instability, and that this explains apparent associations between cultural production and mental health problems. In their detailed study of recording and performing artists in the British music industry, Sally Anne Gross and George Musgrave turn this view on its head.
By listening to how musicians understand and experience their working lives, this book proposes that whilst making music is therapeutic, making a career from music can be traumatic. The authors show how careers based on an all-consuming passion have become more insecure and devalued. Artistic merit and intimate, often painful, self-disclosures are the subject of unremitting scrutiny and data metrics. Personal relationships and social support networks are increasingly bound up with calculative transactions.
Drawing on original empirical research and a wide-ranging survey of scholarship from across the social sciences, their findings will be provocative for future research on mental health, wellbeing and working conditions in the music industries and across the creative economy. Going beyond self-help strategies, they challenge the industry to make transformative structural change. Until then, the book provides an invaluable guide for anyone currently making their career in music, as well as those tasked with training and educating the next generation.Book Details
David Harvey’s The Condition of Postmodernity rationalised capitalism’s transformation during an extraordinary year: 1989. It gave theoretical expression to a material and cultural reality that was just then getting properly started – globalisation and postmodernity – whilst highlighting the geo-spatial limits to accumulation imposed by our planet.
However this landmark publication, author Robert Hassan argues, did not address the arrival of digital technology, the quantum leap represented by the move from an analogue world to a digital economy and the rapid creation of a global networked society. Considering first the contexts of 1989 and Harvey’s work, then the idea of humans as analogue beings he argues this arising new human condition of digitality leads to alienation not only from technology but also the environment. This condition he suggests, is not an ideology of time and space but a reality stressing that Harvey’s time-space compression takes on new features including those of ‘outward’ and ‘inward’ globalisation and the commodification of all spheres of existence.
Lastly the author considers culture’s role drawing on Rahel Jaeggi’s theories to make the case for a post-modern Marxism attuned to the most significant issue of our age. Stimulating and theoretically wide-ranging The Condition of Digitality recognises post-modernity’s radical new form as a reality and the urgent need to assert more democratic control over digitality.Book Details
This new book analyses the strategies, usages and wider implications of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platforms in the culture and communication industries that are reshaping economic, organizational and social logics. Platforms are the object of considerable hype with a growing global presence. Relying on individual contributions coordinated by social media to finance cultural production (and carry out promotional tasks) is a significant shift, especially when supported by morphing public policies, supposedly enhancing cultural diversity and accessibility.
The aim of this book is to propose a critical analysis of these phenomena by questioning what follows from decisions to outsource modes of creation and funding to consumers. Drawing on research carried out within the ‘Collab’ programme backed by the French National Research Agency, the book considers how platforms are used to organize cultural labour and/or to control usages, following a logic of suggestion rather than overt injunction. Four key areas are considered: the history of crowdfunding as a system; whose interests crowdfunding may serve; the implications for digital labour and lastly crowdfunding’s interface with globalization and contemporary capitalism. The book concludes with an assessment of claims that crowdfunding can democratize culture.Book Details
Are financial crises embedded in IT? Can gender studies offer insights into financial reporting? Feminist theories and Science and Technology Studies (STS) can enrich a critique of financial crises in capitalism as the author argues their critical, political economic approaches to communication can help in understanding because they historicize technology and economy and how these are materially embedded. Current literature has neglected finance and capital’s gendered aspect – even – the ideology of a ‘crisis’. This book develops four themes: women as resources in financial markets and as producers of values; gender ideology and unequal distribution; machine production and distribution of financial information and the varied actuality of markets. Working with case histories of tulipmania, microcredit, Wall Street reporting and the role of ‘screens’, Bubbles and Machines argues that rather than calling financial crises human-made or inevitable they should be recognized as technological.Book Details
This volume explores activism, research and critique in the age of digital subjects and objects and Big Data capitalism after a digital turn said to have radically transformed our political futures. Optimists assert that the ‘digital’ promises: new forms of community and ways of knowing and sensing, innovation, participatory culture, networked activism, and distributed democracy. Pessimists argue that digital technologies have extended domination via new forms of control, networked authoritarianism and exploitation, dehumanization and the surveillance society. Leading international scholars present varied interdisciplinary assessments of such claims – in theory and via dialogue – and of the digital’s impact on society and the potentials, pitfalls, limits and ideologies, of digital activism. They reflect on whether computational social science, digital humanities and ubiquitous datafication lead to digital positivism that threatens critical research or lead to new horizons in theory and society.Book Details