This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2016a) for the previous blog.
Year 2016: Beginnings Part 1b
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring” [Bowie 2016].
In January 2016 I embarked on my Project 1 Research Pilot Study:
“I began this DCI research study on the 2nd January 2016 not having engaged in a formal academic research project previously. I admit to being somewhat lost as to where to start. Questions that arose in my mind included:
What were the first steps of this Pilot Study to be?
How effectively was I going to perform the dual primary roles of being both the practitioner as subject, and the researcher?
How was this going to translate my practitioner goals into clearly specified finite daily activities that would enable my pilot study to progress along the specified time line requirements of the sponsoring higher education institution?
After all, in my previous music-making life, I used to just pick up an instrument and play it to make music…. Now I was to embark on a pilot study where i need to consider every step of my process?
How was I going to create a creative and music production workflow drawing on the methods I have outlined in my Project Brief Methodology chapter??” (Page 2016b).
Organic creative practitioner
I have already discussed that I was an organic creative practitioner, one who picked up an instrument and allowed a creation to organically evolve. I have over many years learnt to be respectful of creative energy, allowing it to flow when it was ready to. I have learnt at certain times in my life, not being prepared for creative energy at any moment in time, could risk losing that creative idea or the energised momentum around that idea. I have experienced periods in life where I experienced little to no creative energy for many months at a time. One particular period I recall I struggled to be inspired to play an instrument, and perhaps not surprisingly, did not write a song in that three (3) years. I was at that time starved of creative energy: I had lost what I usually refer to as, my creative mojo. Csikszentmihalyi (2000, 49) proposes three (3) states that are likely to impede the creative flow state: anxiety, worry and boredom. For me, as someone who was not clear as to his creative practice process, I can not comment as to what factors existed within me at those times to experience such a loss of creative energy. However, in order to avoid such experiences again, I was very mindful of not allowing any event or situation that could jeopadise my creative flow. How was I going to perform the dual roles of both a creative practitioner and a researcher, avoiding a negative impact on my creative music-making practice workflow?
Inexperienced formal research practitioner
Accepting I had little experience as a formal research practitioner, I chose to continue to explore practice-led research methodologies. Despite the predicted challenges I was to face in a dual-role study of my creative practice, the merits of such a research study were clear to me. In a world with a developing DIY intent, I believe such a research study will broaden discussion in the field of social and cultural studies by providing both data and narrative for dual primary role-based (subject and researcher) formal research studies. I accept that for me to realise this research study, it was critical that I could demonstrate academic virtue, rigour and transparency of researcher as subject to avoid bias. As a researcher, I subscribe to Griffith’s view that irrespective of what research methodologies one utilises – quantitative, qualitative ethnographic or auto-ethnographic – the researcher must illuminate their “relationships, circumstances, perspectives and reactions”, making these clear to the reader (Griffiths 2010, 184). One way of addressing the separation of the self, is to ensure there are a diverse range of reflective devices and mediums in order to capture the data, so that these multi-methods can then be used to distil the true data about my self and processes, in order to crystalize the outcomes and conclusions. It is a goal of mine to showcase the benefits and merits of such a qualitative study, particularly within a creative arts field, and therefore to have demonstrated academic virtue (Bridges 2003 in Griffiths, 2011, 183), be considered to have rigour, and guarded against bias, is a primary goal of mine for this KK59 Doctorate of Creative Industries research study.
Therefore in order to progress my Project 1, I thought it would be ideal at this point to establish a structured approach to my research study with the creative outcomes of a cultural artifact (five track EP). Starting at a place I felt comfortable, I deconstructed the creative and music production process, and established a checklist template that could guide me in the creative construction process. This template lists sixty steps across the five stages of the creative and music production process: the creative, pre-production, production, post-production, and the distribution stages. I designed it as a wall-chart quick check to check off the various steps as I progress along the creative and music production process.
The research pilot study process begins…..
Starting at a place I felt comfortable, I deconstructed the creative and music production process from memory, and established a checklist template that I though would guide me in the creative construction process. This template lists sixty steps across the five stages of the creative and music production process: the creative, pre-production, production, post-production, and the distribution stages. I designed it as a wall-chart quick check to check off the various steps as I progress along the creative and music production process. I then created summary Creative and Music Production Checklist text document that I imagined would provide a place for me to journal detailed comments as I progress along the creative and music production process checklist.
This blog series is planned to continue with Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 1c (Page 2016b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.