Wednesday 20th May 2020 – 6pm UK Time (GMT +1hr)

Brendan Williams (Salford University)

This practiced-based autoethnographic presentation examines the ongoing relationship between producers Williams/Reiser and the band GoGo Penguin, centring on production techniques employed in their latest release ‘GoGo Penguin [untitled]’ (Blue Note Records 2020)Over the course of seven years this collaboration has spanned four albums and an EP, each release ultimately embodying the results of Williams/Reiser’s pre-production discussions (and those with the band) around how and why they might choose to develop the aesthetic language of each recorded output. In a long-established relationship why might both past creative failures and successes be seemingly ‘abandoned’ with each new release? Developing from Williams’ previous ARP conference contributions, this presentation investigates how these initial aesthetically focussed conversations develop into unique manifestos of sorts, guiding the production process both philosophically and through the establishment of album specific performance / recording environments.

GoGo Penguin specifically develops research around the integration of binaural capture techniques into stereo mixes. The presentation charts developments around the teams’ interests in binaural reverberation chambers and meaning associated with ‘historic’ reverberation treatments (viewed through the prism of Blesser/Salter (2006) and R.Murray Shaffer) through to this latest record, where three Neumann KU100 ‘dummy heads’ were used simultaneously in the tracking process, both for a greater sense of spatial immersion and more immediately creative ‘compositionally sensitive’ purposes. Beyond investigating the stereo version of the record Williams/Reiser will demonstrate a binaural mix environment which has been created for a proposed ‘headphone only’ version of the record. 

The presentation will specifically discuss currently available tracks – Kora, Atomised and F Major Pixie, the album will be released on 5th June 2020.


Williams, B (2019) The Mother of Invention: Creative commitment as a reaction to financial and technological uncertainty – Art Of Record Production conference presentation, Boston 2019 (

Williams, B (2018) Mechanical, Algorithmic, Binaural: Aesthetic considerations surrounding reverberation and spatialisation techniques explored in GoGo Penguin’s A Humdrum Star – Art of Record Production conference presentation, Huddersfield 2018 (

Blesser, B and Salter, L-R (2006) Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? MIT Press

Schafer, R. Murray (1994) The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World. Destiny Books