Pictured (l-r) in front of the U.S.
Capitol Building are Jeff Lorber,
Bennett Kaufman, Maureen Droney,
Phil Soussan, Ed Cherney and
Washington DC (April 7, 2009)--The Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy recently educated U.S. legislators on the record-making process and lobbied for the Performance Rights Act, currently before Congress.
In February, as part of Congressional briefings arranged by the Recording Academy, former Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash and record producer Mike Clink (Guns N' Roses, Metallica) provided congressional representatives with a look "Behind the Scenes - Inside the Studio." This demonstration of the working relationship between the artist and the producer, as well as the creative and technical aspects of modern record production, illustrated in graphic fashion the importance of the recording process to the entire music industry.
The event, which took place at the Record Plant in Hollywood, was as real as it gets: Slash, who won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2004 for his work with Velvet Revolver, along with keyboardist Teddy Andreadis, drummer Kenny Aronoff and bassist Chris Chaney, recorded the closing track for a new motion picture as the legislators looked on, experiencing first-hand the collaboration between musician and producer.
"Members of Congress and legislative staff have a good sense of the artists' and songwriters' roles in creating a record, but the producer's role is sometimes not as well understood," commented Maureen Droney, senior executive director of The Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing, which co-produced the event with The Academy's Advocacy office. "The studio demonstration at The Record Plant served as another step in the continual process of shining a bright light on the important work of studio professionals to the policy makers in Washington so that future laws might more accurately reflect the credit due to these talented individuals."
In March, the P&E Wing was present for Performance Rights Act lobbying day in Washington, D.C., organized by the MusicFirst Coalition and The Recording Academy. Members of the Wing, including Ed Cherney, Alia Fahlborg, Bennett Kaufman, Glenn Lorbecki, Jeff Lorber, Sylvia Massy, Phil Nicolo and Phil Soussan, were there to help explain and voice their support for the Performance Rights Act. This proposed legislation with broad bipartisan support in Congress would amend Federal copyright law to grant performers of sound recordings equal rights to compensation from terrestrial (over-the-air) radio broadcasters, a right enjoyed by recording artists and musicians in the rest of the world.
"To be able to speak directly with our elected representatives and express the importance and fairness of the terrestrial radio Performance Rights Act with 100 of our fellow musicians, engineers and producers was a great reminder that we really can have an effect on our future," stated Cherney, Grammy-winning producer/engineer and a founding member of the P&E Wing and the Music Producers Guild of America.
Lorbecki, producer/engineer/studio owner and co-chair of the P&E Wing, commented, "The members of Congress seemed sincerely impressed that we took the time to educate them about the record making process from the perspective of producers and engineers. It proves to me that we still do have a voice in this democracy, and that the average person can absolutely make a difference."
The Recording Academy
Producers & Engineers Wing