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.
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.
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).
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].
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.
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].
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]
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.