Media Identity & Curation Part 1

My Gravatar.20160220.P2.png
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here for the previous blog.

A creative practitioner

As a creative practitioner I am conscious of the dynamic nature of creative endeavours. I am aware of the relationship between my self and my practice: my self informs my practice, and in turn, my practice informs my self and my identity.  This process enables the constant revealing of new facets of myself, and in turn, new distinctions regarding my practice.
In this blog I reflect on my use of social media in support of my practice:  the sites I choose, the images I select to represent my identity in those particular forums, and the practice I engage through each site such as blogging and curating of text, video and audio resources related to my broad practice. I embrace and proactively engage in the dynamic process of being a creative practitioner.

My Practice

As a contemporary music practitioner, my roles and activities are diverse. I practice music and creative writing on a daily basis for my creative projects, undertaking a higher degree research study, lecturing in a higher education undergraduate degree, mentoring a number of aspiring musicians, and actively engaging in a number of forms of research practice across multi-disciplines.
Note: I also write, perform and produce under pseudonyms. I consider each pseudonym an alternative identity.  I am conscious these specific practice identities also inform my music practice as defined in this blog, and will no doubt reveal themselves for interrogation, analysis and reflection during my  higher degree research study. But for the purpose of this blog, I will disregard the media I use to represent those identities. 

My Media Needs

What I require from my media is: to have multiple mediums that allow me to curate my interests and artefacts generated by my diverse practice, have a coherent image and brand that connects these multiple mediums, with means to engage and communicate with my potential audience.  Representative of my diverse practice, I use a wide range of social media sites including: about.me, gravatar.com, wordpress.com, tumblr.com, twitter.com, linked-in.com, myspace.com, facebook.com, pinterest.com, you-tube.com, soundcloud.com, lastfm.com, slideshare.com, googlescholar.com, academia.com and google.com to name a few. Each of these social media sites facilitate a specific aspect of my contemporary music practice.

David L Page logo.20141231.v2_resize4

My Media Identity

I use the above image as my contemporary music practice signature image, and as my profile image on my about.me site [about.me/David L Page]. As you may immediately notice in this image, I use the backdrop image of water. Water represents three things to me: firstly, the functional side of water-related activities such as swimming for health, fitness and feeling good; secondly, my life partner and I share a love for water-based activities, and since our initial meeting this love has always governed our lifestyle. [The original photo image was taken by  my life partner in our swimming pool] ; and thirdly, as expressed in my blog last month “Life is About the Moment”, water represents to me the fluidity of life:
“Life is about the moment ….. all things fluid……. experiencing the moment… listening, observing, interacting, laughing, loving, enJOYing, soaking the moment in, digesting it, considering it, reflecting …. expressing ones’ being, streaming ones’ consciousness. While in the moment, everything appears suspended – almost in slow motion – and yet is still very much part of life and moving somewhere…” (Page 2014).

~Pool_HP.v2.Web.jpg

I use this image as my banner image on my WordPress account [wordPress.com/David L Page] and my You-Tube Channel [You-tube.com/David L Page]. Blogging and curating resources such as text, video and audio resources related to my broad practice enables me to engage proactively and express the diversity of my music practice. As an educator and mentor I have the opportunity to model practice –  functional, conceptual and philosophical – across a diverse range of practice that collectively makes up my creative practice, and in particular, my music practice. I believe that such an opportunity encapsulates the idea of fluidity as I described above, and therefore it is fitting for me to have the image of water as the central theme of my branding, and present on my sites.  My likely audience is aspiring creative practitioners, novice reflective practitioners and researchers. Perhaps I trust that the extensive use of media will also allow the ocean of knowledge to flow to a far greater audience, far broader than to those who I currently interact with on a physical basis in my current world.
The other images within the above signature image include what I consider key different perspectives of my self. Whilst all taken at the same photo shoot, each one reveals a different dimension of my self as creative music practitioner.
The first image reveals me in a quiet reflective state. At the time of the photo, I was within my own thoughts, and not aware I was about to be photographed. To offset the melancholy of the moment, a state that is quite often interpreted by non-creative practitioners as my serious side, I chose to use a very colourful backdrop in my attempt to directly connect such melancholic moment to my creative practitioner self. I am hoping this image reinforces my acceptance of the necessity and value of such introspection and reflection as a music practitioner engaging in original and authentic creative practice. I use this image as my profile image on my Google Scholar account [Google scholar/David L Page] and my You-Tube Channel [You-tube.com/David L Page].

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020.jpg

The image in the centre reveals me in what I would hope is my everyday public face: happy, smiling, and approachable; relaxed, but professional. I chose this image as it places me with a guitar. Guitars in general are an integral part of how I see my self. Playing guitar represents a tool to express my self, a tool to lose my self in the moment, a tool that I learnt to reveal my creative being to my self, and then in and to the public. Guitar also represents a form of therapy to me, as I believe the action of my guitar-based music practice has allowed me to achieve and maintain a healthy balance in life – physically land spiritually. For this I am most grateful for the opportunity of my guitar-based music practice.
Guitar Room.20141004.P2.v3
More specifically, this particular guitar is one of my favourite guitars, my Gretsch 6120. This particular instrument represents several things in my life. I am left-handed, and given the scarcity of left-handed guitars relative to right-handed guitars, I have had to travel the world to find a selection of guitars that resonated with my self. I found this Gretsch 6120 in Houston Texas, at one of the few exclusive left-handed guitar shops, and after playing approximately sixty different left-handed guitar over three days, this guitar spoke to me.
I chose to include this particular guitar for two reasons: a) this particular Gretsch is a hollow body guitar, originally used by country-based artists such as Chet Atkins. In my mind, this image pays homage to those country artists who were respectful and gentlemanly, going about their business of music practice without unnecessary fanfare or the need for glamour. Chet Atkins and Les Paul directly influenced the art of session playing, recording and production techniques that remain to this day as significant. Their music practice and dedication to their craft and art of music practice directly influenced my love for music in general, and continues to influence my music practice;
and b) playing rock n’ soul style music live through guitar amplifiers is an experience that I have not yet found in any other form of practice or activity in life. Playing this type of guitar, a wide body hollow body guitar with large amounts of air inside the guitar, electrified through a guitar amplifier at loud volumes requires specific skill and control to avoid the guitar, amplifier, and the PA system from creating levels of extreme feedback that are unusable in terms of the the musical and sonic integrity of the music and the composition, or dangerous for the venues PA system or listener’s health (damage to their ears).  To realise the warmth of tone with high volume, achieving acceptable levels of signal distortion and degeneration, without going over the edge of total sonic destruction is a well practiced skill. It requires balanced amounts of reckless abandon and greatly intentioned control in order to achieve signal that is both musically and sonically complementary to the composition and the performance. Such practice represents to me: fun; creativity; rebellion; a heightened sense of energy, life and positivity; skill and expertise; and mostly joy when I am in that state of music practice. I use this image as my profile image on my Twitter account [Twitter/David L Page].
~DLP Gretsch Profile.20141006.v2.jpg
The third image is my professional image. This image represents to me my professional image. Having spent a large part of my career in business development, management and Corporate Governance , I chose the more formal backdrop that could be found on a building found in the financial district of a city. However to contrast this backdrop given my current field of practice is within  the Creative Industries, a profile shot that was professional but relaxed, and expressing gratitude and happiness was selected. At the time of this particular photo being taken I was actually thinking about how grateful I was for the abundance of opportunities and successes I have had in my life. I use this image as my profile image on my Linked-In account [Linked-In/David L Page]
~DLP Pro Image 1.20141020.jpg
As a creative practitioner I immerse myself proactively in all practice-related endeavours. I use social media in support of my practice.The sites I choose, the images I select to represent my identity in those particular forums, and the practice I engage through each site such as blogging and curating of text, video and audio resources related to my broad practice are all very deliberate actions, and must work together to reinforce the coherent image and brand that connects these multiple mediums. In this aspect of my music practice, new facets of myself and in turn, new distinctions regarding my practice are revealed. In this way the dynamic relationship between my self and my practice is demonstrated –  my self informing my practice, and in turn, my practice informing my self and my identity.
This blog series is planned to continue with Media Identity & Curation Part 2  (Page 2014b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Chet Atkins Official Website. 2014 http://www.misterguitar.us Accessed 16th October, 2014
Les Paul Biography. 2009. http://www.biography.com/people/les-paul-9435046  Accessed 16th October, 2014
Page, David L. 2014 David L Page’s About.me site Accessed 16th October, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. David L Page’s Google Scholar site  Accessed 16th October, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. Life is About the Moment 20/09/2014 Tumblr and WordPress.com blog. Accessed 16th October, 2014
David L Page’s Linked-In site: David L Page’s Linked-In site    Accessed 16th October, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. Media  Identity & Curation Part 2  18/10/2014  WordPress.com blog. Accessed 13th November, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. David L Page’s Pinterest.com site  Accessed 16th October, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. David L Page’s Twitter site  Accessed 16th October, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. Music Practitioner Part 2 Accessed 16th October, 2014
Page, David L. 2014 David L Page’s WordPress site  Accessed 16th October, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. David L Page’s You-Tube Channel  Accessed 16th October, 2014
– ©David L Page 18/10/2014
– updated ©David L Page 15/11/2014
– updated ©David L Page 15/05/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.
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Music Practitioner Part 2 – What Brought Me Here #5

The Real Thing stamp - Image                                       (Australia Post stamp 1998)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here for the previous blog.

A significant influence

A song that had a significant influence on my music practice in my formative years was “The Real Thing” written by Johnny Young, performed by Russell Morris, produced by Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum (Max TV 2014).
The Real Thing
The song was originally released in 1969 – an era of exponential technological development, including space travel, exploration (the first man walking on the moon), global conflict (the Vietnam war), global uprising (protests against the US involvement in this war), the social and cultural movement of peace, love and the resultant drug taking (largely marijuana and LSD), and music including folk, jazz, R&B, pop, rock, progressive rock and psychedelic rock genres (to name a few).
Russell Morris was an acoustic pop performer with some popular music chart success, playing either 6 string or 12 string guitars. Whilst he did play as a solo performer, a band often supported Morris (Wikipedia 2014). This song uses the basis of acoustic music (acoustic guitars, bass, drums) with layers of keys, processing applied and sampled sounds (such as news recordings, laughter, choral bomb sirens and it concludes with a bomb blast) over the top. Despite this song had clear acoustic influence, performed by someone who was usually an acoustic artist I recall the main aspects that caught my attention with this song was:
  • This song was clearly of psychedelic character, with numerous technical processes applied
  • The most obvious technical characteristic are the full use of the stereo field, with liberal use of panning; and
  • the extreme use of time-domain processing, from the opening section of the song, applied to both the music and the vocal line……including large amounts of reverb, delay, and flanging to name a few. Additionally, because of the large amount of processing, the main sonic quality was quite distorted in places, particular in the later half of the song
  • The use of these, especially the extent and the amount of processing helped create and place the listener in an out of world or drug-induced type state.
  • The duration of the song is more than double the length of the usual pop song of the day at 6 mins 22 seconds in length. [However, there was also a 3 min 46 second version played on radio]
  • the simplistic nature of the lyric, being only a few lines repeated throughout the whole song. I recall how a song could take you on a journey, telling a story, with limited lyrics, and yet still had an emotional impact of me
  • whilst the song represented a vehicle that transported me to another world sonically & aurally, I recall the intrigue of how this song incorporated a political statement, with the music video referenced against a backdrop of Vietnam war film footage. This introduced to me the multiple intentions and messages a song could express, appealing to a range of listeners with different values and beliefs of what the cultural production actually meant to them.
It has been reported that the likes of US Producer Phil Spector, and his wall of sound style of productions influenced Ian Meldrum (Wall of Sound 2014). I am unsure if Meldrum specifically set out to reproduce recording and production techniques that Spector used to achieve the wall of sound style; or whether Meldrum had the intent to create a song with a similar type of sonic complexity and variety of recording, overdubbing and processing techniques that took the listener on a sonic experience and voyage. Irrespective of Meldrum’s intent, I was certainly taken on, and continue to be taken on a sonic experience and voyage each time I listen to this song. As I return to this song after several decades of not listening to it in depth, and analyzing it as an example for my undergraduate degree students, I am again entertained and impressed by the multiple textual layers that Meldrum’s production team achieved via the recording, overdubbing and processing techniques applied. I further realize the dynamics of the song vary throughout, with instrumentation, sampling, amplitude, frequency, stereo field and processing constantly changing, quite often within a particular section of a song. This variety and complexity for me, makes this song a sonic experience and voyage each time I visit it.
It is this compositional intent and production approach that I will incorporate into my pending original music practice project.
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Music Practitioner Part 3. It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Australia Post 1998 stamp image courtesy of Australia Post.com. Accessed 4th October, 2014.
Max TV. 2014. The story of the real thing  http://www.maxtv.com.au/news/the-story-of-the-real-thing.aspx  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
Page, David L. 2014a. Life is About the Moment  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
Page, David L. 2014b. Music Practitioner Part 3  Accessed 18th October, 2014.
Wikipedia. 2014. The real thing (Russell Morris)   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_Thing_(Russell_Morris_song)  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
The Real Thing article courtesy of: The Real Thing Accessed 4th October, 2014.
The Real Thing video clip courtesy of: The Real Thing  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
The Wall of Sound article courtesy of:  The Wall of Sound  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
– ©David L Page 05/10/2014
– updated ©David L Page 18/10/2014
– updated ©David L Page 15/05/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.