On Tuesday, July 26, the Recording Academy and its Producers & Engineers Wing brought music producers together with Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill for a day that included meetings, a panel discussion and musical demonstrations. The event addressed important industry issues while also providing insight into the essential role of producers and engineers in the music recording process. The day's activities were part of the Academy's D.C.-based Grammys on the Hill initiative.
From left: Producer Scott Hendricks, P&E Wing Sr. Executive Director Maureen Droney, producer Matt Serletic, producer David Kahne, Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.; with Grammys on the Hill award), producer Adam Anders, Recording Academy Vice President Advocacy & Government Relations Daryl Friedman, producer Ray Benson, and producer Johnny K.
Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy/Wireimage.com ©2011. Photographed by Kris Connor.
Discussions focused on intellectual property, performance rights, the economic and cultural importance of music, and the changing landscape of the recording industry.
The delegation of producers included Adam Anders (Glee), Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel, Willie Nelson, Suzy Boguss), Scott Hendricks (Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson), Johnny K. (3 Doors Down, Disturbed, Staind), David Kahne (Bangles, Paul McCartney, Regina Spektor) and Matt Serletic (Santana/Rob Thomas, Matchbox Twenty, Collective Soul). They met with a cross-section of Congressional leadership including Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet. The group also met with Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.).
"We are thrilled with the outcome of the first-ever 'On The Record' event on Capitol Hill geared specifically to producers and engineers," says Maureen Droney, Senior Executive Director of The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing. "This is a huge milestone for us, to be able to meet with key Congressional influencers and educate them about the important role of the people who work behind the scenes to create music, as well as to discuss issues, such as the protection of intellectual property, that affect all music creators. This reinforces and continues our mission to improve the lives and livelihoods of music makers."
The noontime panel was held before a standing-room-only crowd that included Rep. Conyers, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Rep. Coble. Moderated by Recording Academy's Vice President of Advocacy & Government Relations, Daryl Friedman, the panelists delved into the art, craft and process of recording, from discovering and developing talent, to finding songs and matching them with artists, the impact of digital technologies, and the skills required for getting great performances and helping artists to connect with their audience. They also shared examples of their work that showed the evolution of several hit songs from demo to finished product.