CV

Education and Credentials

Ph.D., Music (musicology/ethnomusicology), 2008, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK
Royal Holloway Overseas Entrance Scholarship and the Thomas Holloway Studentship

MA, Humanities, 2004, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Distinguished Achievement Award for Academic Excellence

BA, Philosophy & Religion, 1999, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Undergraduate work at Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, and U.C. Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Academic Experience and Classes Taught

San Francisco State University – San Francisco, CA
Humanities Lecturer, 2005 – Present

Music, Ideas & Culture

Arts & American Culture

Biography of a City: San Francisco

Values in American Life

Thought & Image

Los Medanos College – Pittsburg, CA
Instructor, Recording Arts, 1997 – Present

The Recording Arts Workshop

Pro Tools Production & Editing

Recording Studio Technology

Diablo Valley College – Pittsburgh, CA
Humanities Instructor, 2004

Art & Idea

The American Multicultural Experience

Blue Bear School of Music – San Francisco, CA

Formerly a Music Instructor / now on the Board of Trustees
Developed and delivered individualized and group instruction in music theory and performance with special emphasis on rhythm and drums, audio recording, artist management, and music business strategies. Focused on popular music genres and African music.

Artist and Creative Activities

Audio Producer / Recording Engineer / Musician

Provide wide-ranging creative direction in audio production, recording and performance in diverse environments, including engineering and production in all project stages and musical genres. Primary focus as collaborative producer and mix engineer, utilizing Pro Tools system. Expertise with 5.1 surround mixing.

  • Served as primary recording engineer on 7 Grammy nominated CDs, including records for Robert Cray, Elvin Bishop, John Hammond, Jr. and The Gospel Hummingbirds.
  • Acted as primary producer and/or recording engineer on 100+ commercial CDs and DVDs.
  • Previously signed to major publishing company (Almo, now Universal) as songwriter.
  • Former professional musician, playing drums in rock bands, jazz bands and African music ensembles.
  • Direct experience in the music industry with artist management, record, agency and publishing contracts. Managed national touring, radio promotion and pubicity campaigns.

Research Topics

Musicological and ethnomusicological explorations of a variety of genres and of music technology. Research also encompasses cultural studies, performance studies and critical theory in an interdisciplinary context.

Creative work encompassing repurposed compositional projects and ethnographic explorations within African folk music, rock, jazz, hip-hop and Western music.

Examination of pathways by which mass media (including the Internet) have seeded cross-cultural communities with strong musical interests, creating a profound democratization in people’s ability to create and disseminate original music recordings.

Current Research topics

  • From the iPod to Facebook to GarageBand, technologies (including the Internet) have seeded cross-cultural communities with strong musical interests, creating a profound democratization in people’s ability to create and disseminate original music recordings.
  • The implications behind the Hit Song Science service that is supposed to be able to predict what song will be a hit to explore the cultural conditions that surround the cycles of music popularity.
  • Semiotics and interface design in digital audio workstations—tracing recent developments back to the historical and cultural evolution of the recording process.
  • The evolution of tribute bands (will our concert halls become the home for re-creations of Beatles rather than Beethoven classics in 50 years?)

 

The Art of Digital Audio Recording: A practical guide for home and studio by Steve Savage

Bytes & Backbeats: Repurposing Music in the Digital Age by Steve Savage

Publications

Current Books

  • Savage, Steve, The Art of Digital Audio Recording, Oxford University Press, 2011
  • Savage, Steve, Bytes & Backbeats: Repurposing Audio in the Digital Age, The University of Michigan Press, “Tracking Pop Series,” 2011

Articles

  • Savage, Steve, “‘It Could Have Happened’: The Evolution of Music Construction,” invited contribution to a collection of essays, The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music, Fall 2009
  • Savage, Steve, “Strip Silence: Tool for creation or destruction?” Nutida Music, 3/2009.
  • Savage, Steve, “Ignorance is Bliss:  Capturing the Unintentional Performance,” Journal of Popular Music Studies, 3rd Quarter 2006
  • Savage, Steve, “Creating the hyperreal in classical recordings,” CHARM (Center for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music) WestFocus seminar: Creative production for classical music

Presentations

  • “Why Music is Easy: Hit Song Science,”  Joint IASPM/SAM conference, Cincinnati, OH, 2011.
  • “The Scrubber Tool: Analog Antecedents of the DAW,” The Art of Record Production conference, Wales, UK; 2009
  • “Creating the hyperreal in classical recordings,” Creative production for classical music seminar, London, 2006
  • “Lipsmacks, Mouthnoises and Heavy Breathing,” The Art of Record Production conference, London, England; panelist with noted musicologists Simon Frith and Paul Théberge, 2005
  • “The Benefits of Fraud:  Art & Artifice in Popular Music Recordings,” IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music) biennial conference, Rome, Italy, 2005
  • “Ignorance is Bliss:  Why the Best Recordings are Unintentional,” The Pop Conference, The Experience Music Project in Seattle, WA, 2005, 2004

Earlier Books

  • Savage, Steve, The Rhythm Book, ArtistPro Publication.
  • Savage, Steve, The Billboard Book of Rhythm, Billboard Books.
  • Savage, Steve, The Drummer’s Workbook, Consolidated Music Publishers.
  • Savage, Steve, Rhythm: Notation and Analysis, Consolidated Music Publisher.

Professional Associations

American Musicological Society (AMS)

The Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM)

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)

International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)

The Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production (ASARP)

Blue Bear School of Music: Founder; President, Board of Trustees from 1998 – Present

The Recording Academy (The Grammy Organization): Chair, Education Committee; San Francisco Chapter Board of Governors, President, 1998 – 1999; National Trustee, 2000 – 2003

Stanford Jazz Workshop: Advisory Board, former Board President

Spirit Series:  Board Member.

Professional Activities

Blue Bear School of Music, San Francisco, CA: Board President of $1.3 million educational institution with 800+ students and 30+ part-time faculty members composed of professional musicians.

The Recording Academy (The Grammy Organization): San Francisco Chapter Board of Governors, President, 1998 – 1999; National Trustee, 2000 – 2003.

Grammy Career Day / Grammy in the Streets programs: Music education / career counseling for high school students on behalf of The Recording Academy (Organizing Committee Chair, 10 years).

Advisory Board, Archiving Project for the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation. Stanford Music Library and Archive or Recorded Sound.

Sampling of Grammy-nominated projects

  • Elvin Bishop, The Blues Rolls On, Delta Groove
  • Robert Cray, Some Rainy Morning, Polygram
  • Robert Cray, Shame + A Sin, Polygram
  • Robert Cray, I Was Warned, Polygram
  • John Hammond, Found True Love, Virgin
  • John Hammond, Long As I Have You, Virgin
  • The Gospel Hummingbirds, Steppin’ Out, Blind Pig
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