Research Practitioner Part 24

onion-layers

Research Study

Abstract

The aim of this Doctor of Creative Industries Research Project is to investigate both my DIY music practice and my self as a practitioner during the process of creating and producing a cultural artefact (EP).  My research study is designed to be a multi-method qualitative study: a practice-based, ethnographic study that is to include a first-person narrative of my personal journey, critical reflection and reflexive practice, highlighting the co-constituted nature of my music-making practice. As an auto-ethnographic study, I designed the project for me to be performing the dual primary roles of being both the practitioner as subject, and the researcher. Such a multi-tiered examination represents a significant departure from current discussion of music practice, developing praxis of contemporary music practice. In this Project 1 research study exegesis submission I narrate the process to date, highlighting observation around my practitioner self, and my music practice and the emergent distinctions integrated into my developing music praxis.

~DL with Gretsch + C414.20141006.P21

(DLP 2015a)

Preamble

Continuing on from my previous blogs in this series….

In the beginning……

My journey in music-making commenced a number of decades ago. I made music via physical instruments without much thought of the process. I strummed chords on a guitar or piano, hummed or played a melodic phrase, developed lyrics, and over time a song emerged. I felt connected to the process; I felt connected to the music. I recall getting positive feedback when I shared my acoustic instrument-based songs with an audience. I followed this process several hundred times over several decades, and because of the relative ease these songs came to me, I did not feel a need to consider my music-making process.
As technologies developed, I transitioned into music-making using digital virtual technologies. I invested in virtual technologies, trialling a number of virtual music-making applications – digital audio workstations (DAWs). I experimented; I spoke to local pro audio retailers; I experimented some more; I bought instructional books and videos; I studied; I experimented a lot more. Over a number of years however, I found that irrespective of how much time and money I invested into my virtual music-making production practice, I never managed to achieve a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – as I had music-making using physical instruments. My frustration using virtual technologies to make music grew. I enrolled into a practical tertiary course. The course assisted me greatly to develop my theory and practical skills. However, using virtual technologies to make music that I felt connected to, (largely) continued to elude me. There was one instance, a remix project where I felt a connection. That experience gave me hope that my attempts to use virtual technologies to make music I felt connected to, was not going to be in vain. I continued to experiment; I continued to read; I continued to invest; I continue to immerse my self into my virtual music-making production practice. However, I still found I wasn’t achieving a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – using virtual technologies to make music as I had music-making using physical instruments. My frustration was at an all-time high. I had arrived at a juncture in my life where I felt there was now no alternative: my virtual music-making production practice needed an intervention. I needed to put my creative practice using virtual technologies to make music under scrutiny. In 2014 I applied to a formal academic research program – a professional doctorate program. I commenced the program in 2015. My formal research journey began.

My doctoral research study……

Research Study – 1st Observation:
I acknowledged that I approached my music-making practice in terms of the outcome – the finished product. I was not considering the process in which I was music-making, any more than with a cursory glance. My music-making practice was product-driven.

Starting Point_1st Observation.P1.png

(DLP 2017a)
I recognised that I approached my music-making with physical instruments in a different manner to my approach to music-making using virtual technologies (using my laptop to make music for example). In drilling down I determined that much of this was how I viewed both devices.
Physical instruments as I played were derived directly from nature. Pianos and guitars that I played were manufactured from woods from the forest. They are physical instruments that have natural resonant qualities. The woods expand and contract, depending upon temperature and humidity. They are large instruments that I can touch, embrace and/or feel the resonant qualities as they are played.
I viewed virtual technologies very differently. The actual device that housed the music-making application software (DAW) was a computer (a laptop for example). I saw a laptop as a device that houses many many application software that enabled me to record data and/or make transactions. I used computer technologies for administrative purposes (applications such as iNote, word, excel, etc); organisation purposes (applications such as iCal, reminders, etc); and everyday personal and business management (services such as the internet-based social media sites, banking sites, utility sites to pay bills, etc). I viewed the music-making application software (DAW) as somewhat removed from me. It was housed in a aluminium and plastic case, that I could see, but not touch. The virtual keyboards were   engaged by pressing a computer keyboard letter;  or perhaps a key on a plastic physical keyboard controller. Neither devices are derived directly from nature. They are manufactured. A computer and a keyboard controller are physical devices which also have natural resonant qualities. They only minimally expand and contract in extreme conditions, with such occurrences perhaps likely to render these devices inoperable. There is also a slight delay between the time you touch the key and having the sound emitted out of the computer monitors. They are not what I consider to be large resonant devices that can be embraced and/or feel the resonant qualities as they are played, such as I experience with a piano or guitar.
Research Study – 2nd Observation:
As I attempted to scope out the parameters of my research study,  I was led to look at the industry of my practice, the field of music production, and the particular discipline of virtual technologies to make music. This process revealed gaps in my knowledge, and enabled me to form linkages across several strands within the field of contemporary music production.
I then looked in greater detail at the history of my practice, understanding for perhaps the first time the implications of how I approached my music-making practice – as product rather than process.  I also started to consider me as a practitioner, as the music-maker. Who was I? How did I arrive to be this person?
My eyes were starting to open.
Starting Point_1st Observation.P2a
(DLP 2017b)
Research Study Phase 1 – 3rd.1 Observation:
As I progressed my research study, investigating my music-making practice, I started to highlight certain elements which I considered key to my practice. As a flow on from my music-making practice, I acknowledged that the self was an element that had to be included. What motivated me to practice?
Phase 1_3rd Observation.P3b
(DLP 2017c)
My music praxis (v4) had six (6) elements listed: self, motive, music style, location, technology and workflow.
dlp-music-praxis-v4-large-with-lines-20151203-p1
(DLP 2015b)
My research study was to be an investigation to determine what – if any – relationship existed between these elements. I engaged in conscious, deliberate and systematic reflective and reflexive practice of my creative practice, and as part of this process I felt obligated to consider everything that I observed.
As I progressively immersed myself into my quite isolated research study, I began to focus in on what I was doing at any point in time, as both the practitioner subject and the observer/researcher. To juggle both responsibilities was not beyond challenge and limitations. How was I to do both – be the creative practitioner, and simultaneously observe my practice?
Research Study Phase 1 – 5th Observation:
One of the first elements I noted to be part of my developing music praxis (v5) – beyond the initial six (6) elements I had observed at the time of my Project Brief submission – was listening. I noticed listening was central to agency within my practice. Listening directed my choices and decision-making within my practice in terms of music style – in my ability to critically and analytically listen to reference tracks; in terms of my selecting appropriate notes and/or sonic event samples during the creative, pre-production or production stages; in terms of hearing needed or possible options of contra-melodies, rhythms, harmonies or instrumentation during the creative, pre-production or production stages; in terms of determining the degree of adjustment of sound sources or processing that needed to occur during the production or post-production stages.

Phase 1_5th Observation.P5c

(DLP 2017d)
I started to observe that a central aspect of this listening was also in terms of my practice overall, such as deciding when I needed to have a break. Yes, listening to an inner voice, reminding me I was in need a break from creative practice. I started to notice by paying more attention to my self – to listening to my self – there was a great deal of head chatter occurring while I was engaged in practice.
DLP DCI Praxis v5i.20160531.P1
(DLP 2016a)
I had always known of my head chatter, but had accepted it by my mid-twenties as the outpouring of my inner fears as I approached a new experience. By my early-thirties I had learnt to manipulate this head-chatter, to work for me rather than against me. I used my head chatter to consciously motivate and focus my self. I have continued to develop this practice throughout my life, assisting me in preparing for any form of performance, be it: public speaking, education practice (as educator), learning practice (as learner in formal instrument or personal development), and my music practice (on stage performing). However, I had never considered, nor explored my head chatter beyond this; particularly within the context of my creative practice.
As I listened more, I recognised that this head chatter – inner speech – did not just consist of just one voice, but were in fact multiple voices; multiple voices with multiple perspectives. As I focussed in on my listening – consciously, deliberately and systematically – I realised these voices were not necessarily independent. There was often a dialogue occurring between them. As I honed my focus and developed my inner listening, I noticed that the dialogue within my head was occurring across three perspectives of time – one of now; one of past; and one of future. In effect, three voices representative of each point in time. As Wiley (2010, P17) refers to it: the I of the present; the me of the past; and the you of the future. An epiphany. A light bulb moment, an ‘aha’ moment for me. The head chatter – as I had always referred to it – that had accompanied me in so many events and stage of my life, was indeed the inner speech of my dialogic self.
As my immersion in reflective and reflexive practice of my research study deepened, I honed in on the incessant daily dialogue of my dialogical self and began to distinguish between the inner speech – the three inner voices, the triadic voices of the I, the me, and the you – for each of my three selves operating at any point in time within the site of my practice: the self, the practitioner self and the observer/researcher self. I would take time to listen to the dialogue at any point in time during my creative practice, as they considered and debated: what I was seeing or observing, what I was hearing, what I was feeling, what I was imagining, what I was recalling, what I was smelling, or even what I was tasting; in order to better understand my music praxis. I devised ways to take notes during my practice of these daily triadic conversations, in order to return to them, reflect on them, and decode them. My music praxis developed as a result of this process, to not only acknowledge significantly more stages and elements of my music-making process; but, perhaps most significantly, the non-linear form of my music praxis (v8i).

DLP DCI Praxis v8i.20161231.P1.png

(DLP 2016b)
I realised my music praxis was in fact very circular, with reflective and reflexive practice occurring constantly at any point in time. ­
My practice has now developed to the point where I can engage in multiple forms of listening whilst immersed and engaged in any stage of practice. I can now distinguish between the triadic voices of my three selves: the self, the practitioner self and the observer/researcher self in the present, the past, and the future within a very short amount of time, or sometimes, almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously. Just as my critical and analytical listening has developed over many decades of practice, my ability to listen and decipher the dialogue occurring within my dialogical selves at any point in time has also developed.
I liken this developed complex skill to other forms of practice where multiple tasks are required in sequence over a very short amount of time, often times almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously. The practice of driving a car and the practice of performing are similar type complex skills that need to be learnt; and are often awkward or impossible when one first attempts them with no prior experience. The act of driving a car – accelerating, braking, looking to the side for another car, indicating, moving lanes, whilst watching cars to the side, in front and behind is an example of such a complex task. Another example of a complex task would be leading a band, singing into a microphone, engaging an audience, playing guitar, and selecting guitar floor pedals, over a very short amount of time, often times almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously. I recall when I was younger, that I would never be able to learn how to do both complex tasks. Now I reflect on how many times a year I engage in both practices without any preparation, and perform them to a very high level of practice: almost unconsciously.
Learning about, and getting to know my dialogical self has assisted my music practice exponentially. As part of the process, I have developed a greater understanding of my self which in turn informed my practitioner self. This in turn allowed me to develop my music praxis to a greater depth and level of detail than I was able to previously. I now have far greater agency of my praxis (v9k), and its twenty-one (21) interdependent elements, at each of the various eight (8) stages of my creative practice.
DLP DCI Praxis v9i.20170420.P1
(DLP 2017e)
As a result, I have far greater agency of my praxis (v9k) while music-making. I am now exponentially more focussed and more deliberate in my practice, most noticeably in my music-making within virtual technologies. I have found my self now responding within my music-making micro workflow in a similar vein to that of my performing – improvising – on my long-term physical instrument of choice, the electric guitar. I observe that I now engage – almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously – in the voices of the I, the me, and the you – at any point in time, within my site/s of practice. A split second in-practice, on-practice and for-practice dialogue – in performance, in assessment of what the practitioner self just heard or performed, in consideration of what options the practitioner self now has before them, their decision as to what they want to express, and the performing of the next music-making action. Yes, a fluid practice performance that demonstrates the harmonious integration of the elements of self, listening, reflective and reflexive practice. In essence: I listen, I practice, I reflect, I analyse, I consider, I choose, I prepare to act, I act – almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously.
This research study Project 1 has been a personal journey of creative and research practice, highlighting the co-constituted nature of my music-making practice. I now engage in the process of music-making in pursuit of authentic expression of self, irrespective of the medium. My authentic music-making practice – in contrast to my practice prior to engaging in this doctoral research – now transgresses the mediums of: physical instruments and virtual technologies. I now have a sense of who I am, what I am attempting to create, why I am attempting to create it, and an affective connection in the creation of it, irrespective of the medium of my music-making practice – physical instruments or virtual technologies. Virtual technologies are now as much an extension of my music-making practitioner self’s body, as playing my physical instrument of choice, the electric guitar. Allow me now to share my finding of this research study Project 1 – Holistic model to authentic practice – my journey and development through the four (4) phases of: identity-driven practice, value-driven practice, narrative-based practice, and embodied practice.
DCI Project 1 Model Graphic_Overview.20170607.P1c1.png
(DLP 2017f)
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 25. It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
DLP 2017a image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Holistic Model of an Authentic Practitioner. Created 17th May, 2017
DLP 2017b image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Holistic Model of an Authentic Practitioner. Created 17th May, 2017
DLP 2017c image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Holistic Model of an Authentic Practitioner. Created 17th May, 2017
DLP 2017d image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Holistic Model of an Authentic Practitioner. Created 17th May, 2017
DLP 2017e image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Developed Praxis v9k. Created 17th May, 2017
DLP 2017f image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Holistic Model of an Authentic Practitioner.  Created 17th May, 2017
DLP 2017c image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Developed – Holistic Model of Authentic Practice. Created 17th May, 2017
DLP 2016a image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Developed Praxis v5b. Created 17th May, 2017
DLP 2016b image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Developed Praxis v8i.  Created 31st December, 2016
DLP 2015a image courtesy of David L Page. Created 14th September, 2015
DLP 2015b image courtesy of David L Page Project 1 Research Study Developed Praxis v4.  Created 4th December, 2015
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March, 2015
Page, David L. 2017. Doctoral Research Study Part 3 Accessed 17th May, 2017
Wiley, Norbert. 2010. “Inner speech and agency.” In Conversations about reflexivity, edited by Margaret S. Archer, 17-38. New York: Routledge
– @David L Page 17/05/2017
– updated @David L Page 30/05/2017
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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Doctoral Research Study Part 3

~DLP Pro Image 1.20141020

(Page 2014a)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2014b) for the previous blog.
saeq-joint-logo-201309

Reflecting on 2014 ….

My approach to practice was so different to that of my recently recruited peers. As part of the creative media studies stream, learners were now to be immersed in specific creative media lexis and theory, via tasks that guided the aspiring practitioners in the development of them selves as unique and individual creative media identities. They were to learn to critically consider what creative media is for them as practitioners; researching and investigating both concepts and areas of the creative media industry they may possibly choose to engage in via their practice. They were to then apply these concepts to develop their unique creative media practice. With a developed sense of themselves, having time to form their world views, they would be guided in their development as aspiring professional practitioners; and as academic researchers.

2017 Update

I commenced the doctoral program in February 2015. My formal research journey had begun. On the back of the new acquired knowledge and approach in 2014 as described in the previous blog in this series, I implemented a new blog strategy at the beginning of 2015. This saw me changing my blog site from tumblr.com to wordpress.com. I did this for a number of reasons, but primarily due to:
  • wordpress.com is what we were guiding our learners to create as their primary creative practice blog site;
  • functionality of the wordpress.com site, including the use-friendly nature of the interface, the editing features, and the ability to publish multi-media within the one entry.
wordpress-site-20160129
(Page 2017a)
A selection of the 2014 journal entries were published retrospectively in wordpress.com as blog posts as soon as I opened that site. In revisiting this particular blog post- formerly named Reflecting Part 2 – now, nearing the end of my Project 1, I have chosen to rename some of those blog posts. Most noteworthy are:
  • my realisation that Reflecting Part 1 was essentially about my self , effectively situating my self in regard to my – at the time – pending  research study. I therefore renamed this Doctoral Research Study Part 1;
  • my realisation that Reflecting Part 2 (this blog post) was essentially about my practitioner self , effectively situating my practitioner self in regard to my – at the time – pending  research study. I therefore renamed this Doctoral Research Study Part 2.
Pre-DCI 2014 Journal Entries.20170430.P2.png
(Page 2017b)
Standing here today, reflecting, I now realise how my focus within this Project 1 was influenced by my experience within my HE education & learning role in 2013 and 2014.  The small sample of blogs I currently have listed on my wordpress.com site under the menu category DCI Phase 0 – Starting Point (Page 2017c) – are representative of some of the new knowledge and approach I acquired and developed during that period.  These journals/blogs were completed prior to my official commencement of my doctoral studies, the research study I was choosing to embark on to seek out answers to my long-term queries regarding my music practice. Yes, these blog entries represented 10,000 words book-ending the beginning of my research study.

My view of 2013 & 2014, looking back from 2017….

Reflecting from this point, I realise now how much I have developed over the course of the past almost four (4) years, in terms of new knowledge and approach. I have developed a new set of eyes in terms of my self, and as a practitioner. I look at my developed identity – self and practitioner selves – in 2017, differently to how I saw my self and my practitioner self in 2013, just under four (4) years ago. I am surprised with the level of detail I now see my self, my practitioner self, and my practice is detailed. After all, I have always actively engaged in reflection. However, two (2) key distinctions have emerged.
Firstly: I always knew I was complex; I always knew I was diverse. I now accept I am complex. I now accept I am diverse. I have a wonderfully varied and diverse life. In my need to ground my self during a period of failing creative practice (‘writers block’?), in order to re-connect to my muse, it was suggested I attempt to re-connect to my identity. As a result, I revisited a task that I have led hundreds of professional through in their professional development; I developed a Charter of Values and Beliefs for my self and practitioner self across my Project 1. Three (3) versions over the course of sixteen (16) months. I noted a summary of these developments in my blog last month:
“Quantifiably, the development across the three (3) versions of the Charter of Values and Beliefs over the sixteen (16) months of Project 1 has been:
v1: 26 green entries – new entries – under 8 categories
v2: 55 entries under 10 categories (112% growth in entries)
v3:  87 entries under 11 categories (58% growth in entries)” (Page 2017d)
Viewing this blog in the graphic below – where v1 is column 1, v2 is column 2, and v3 is column 3  – the level of development across the sixteen (16) months is exemplified (see Research Practitioner Part 18 Page 2017d for greater detail of this chart):.
Charter of Values development v3_v10_13.20170320.P1
(Page 2017e)
Secondly: I acknowledged early in my Project 1 journey that I realised I was a multi-disciplinary practitioner (see Research Practitioner Part 5):
“I began to recognise that I naturally took a multi-discplinary approach in not only my music practice, but in my life in general. I recall few times in my life where I was content to focus on one discipline for an extended period of time. I have accepted that my practice now covers three broad disciplines: a broad definition of music practice (Small 1998), education and learning practice, and my most recent engagement, research practice” (Page 2016).
As per my blog Research Practitioner Part 16 in January (Page 2017f), this passage of time has also provided me an opportunity to realise I am a multi-facetted, multi-dimensional practitioner. Based on evidenced practice-led data, I have documented at various point in my journey multiple instances of how my self informs my practice; and how my practice inform my self.
reflection
Reflecting thus far,  I realise how I immersed my self into this research study, a creative project opportunity that has provided me reflections of my self, and of my practitioner self. I can see with more clarity who I am as a unique and individual creative media identity.  I have critically considered how I choose to engage in creative media – what motivates me – as a practitioner. I have researched and investigated how I engaged in my unique creative media practice. In doing so, I have left no stone unturned. Having crystallised my world view, with a developed sense of my self, I was then able to guide my own development via conscious, deliberate and systematic reflective and reflexive practice of my creative practice, as a professional practitioner; and as an academic researcher.
Yes, much like Bilbo Baggins (Bros 2014) I am grateful in retrospect, for the opportunity to go on the journey into what was largely unknown territory for me – academic research. It was a self-imposed intervention process in many ways, to look at my creative practice through a very different set of eyes than I had previously. I stepped forward out of my comfort zone, and put just about every facet of my practice under the microscope. I was the subject; and I was the observer.  At points I thought I was going out of my mind, observing my practitioner self in the midst of practice, trying to conduct two roles at once. I faced large droughts of creativity, playing with session files for hours on end, and yet not connecting at all to the music I was making. When i finally did connect, i experienced quite the complete opposite situation. All of a sudden I felt I was drowning in a mass of data – electronic and paper notes, creative doodles, mindmaps, charts, textural, theoretical and methodological literature, session files, microphones, recording equipment, software updates, and an increasing list of potential blogs – my attempts to narrate my journey as I progressed. As I near the end of Project 1, and attempt to further streamline my findings, into an exegesis, i immerse my self more into the journey it has been to date.  What a journey to date. Once I submit this document, I can then embark on the next Project this research study journey. I can’t imagine what is install for that next leg.

images

 (Terry-Toons Comics 1945-1951)
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 23 (Page 2017g). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Bros, Warner. 2014. “The Hobbit.” Accessed 26th December, 2014
Learning Philosophy image courtesy of:  Learning Accessed 25th December 2014
Page, David L. 2017a. David L Page wordpress.com site Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2017b. Revised DLP Blog Category Topics Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2017c. DCI Phase 0 Starting Point Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L 2017d. Research Practitioner Part 18  Accessed 15th May 2017
DLP 2017e. image courtesy of Data for DLPs Project 1_Music and Sonic Collage.20170529.v39 Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2017f. Research Practitioner Part 16 Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2017g. Research Practitioner Part 23 Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2016 Research Practitioner Part 5 Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2015. A Creative Artist’s Need – Gratitude Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Linked-In site  Accessed 25th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014b. Doctoral Research Study Part 2  Accessed 15th May 2017
Reflection image courtesy of: Reflection Accessed 15th May 2017
Terry-Toons Comics. 1945-1951. Mighty Mouse in Mighty Mouse #38-85  Accessed 8th March, 2014.
– @David L Page 15/05/2017
– update @David L Page 17/06/2017
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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Research Practitioner Part 1 – effective and best practice for the contemporary music practitioner

Pro Tools 11screenshot

Standards of effective practice have played an important part in the audio industry, even though these may be challenged by DIY culture and practices. Historically, the music and audio industry’s standards have addressed commercial and technical criteria. In commercial terms a “successful record producer is, by definition, someone who has had multiple hits” (Burgess 1997, 162; Grammy Awards 2015), while technical standards have been formulated through industry bodies such as The Audio Engineering Society (Gibson 2006, 42) and more recently, the Recording Producers and Engineers Wing (2008).

Historical development of practice

The Audio Engineering Society {AES} was formed in 1948 in New York as a governing body, and to offer industry expertise to the developing recording and broadcast industry (AES 2015). A significant outcome of the AES was the creation of standards for which the industry could operate, and that manufacturers of any recording and broadcast industry equipment could comply with. This was very beneficial as the development of certain equipment such as microphones were being constructed with a variety of unique fittings that meant that microphones were not universal, requiring different microphone cables for each manufacturer’s device. The AES was instrumental in influencing a universal standard over time (AES 2015; Huber and Runstein 2010, 111-179). However, the majority of standards developed, were technical or theoretical to audio engineering, not process or workflow-based for the more global discipline of music production (AES 2015). As access was limited to recording studios up until the 1980’s, such music production process or workflow remained to those in the one of the specific skilled roles previously referred to, or as an artist. Practice was aligned to the typical corporate organisational effectiveness objectives, to maximise profitability. Music production practice was controlled by the management of the commercial radio and television studios or the recording studios; the skilled scientists, technicians or manufacturers creating the technology or the processes, with the focus on ‘correct’ use and application of technology, inline with the studio management’s directives of conservatism to preserve the organisational objectives; or the music producers who had successfully produced recordings for artists, contracted to abide by management’s directives to meet the organisational objectives (Robbins et al 2009, 708-710; Burgess 2014, 38-41, 42-55, 82-97; Emerick and Massey 2007, 54).
As technology developed and music production related equipment became available to the prosumer market, user manuals provided by the manufacturer instructing the user how they were best to use the unit was one of the few mediums of effective practice being made available outside of the professional studio environment[1]. One of the first units with such a user manual was for the TASCAM series 144 model Portastudio user manual (TEAC 1979); A decade later, the first industry functional text, sponsored by one of the major manufacturers on the sector was released. Initiated by two audio engineers, arranging sponsorship from the Yamaha Music Corporation to be able to write it, the “Yamaha-The Sound Reinforcement Handbook” was at the time the only comprehensive audio engineering textbook of its kind, and instantly became a standard reference book to the industry (Davis & Jones 1990). The text remained for more than a decade as the only text book comprehensively, outlining audio engineering theory and techniques for ‘sound reinforcement’[2]. The third service and support more recently provided for budding DIY music producers is a range of instructional courses, vocational courses such as the likes of the Australian-based SAE, the School of Audio Engineering (2015), and JMC Academy (2015). In order to teach subject content, audio engineers with studio experience had to be employed to teach the industry standard practices. Whilst it may have taken some decades for this process to become refined and consistent, Burgess confirms their relevance in the discipline: “combined with a proactive DIY approach, a good school program can fill in knowledge gaps and instill a deeper understanding of the fundamentals while increasing awareness of best practices” (Burgess 2013, 35).
The industry to date has only a few disparate best practice documents such as The Recording Producers and Engineers Wing (2008) “Digital Audio Workstation Guidelines for Music Production” advice but it does not comprehensively cover contemporary music production practice. The industry has progressed from the traditional music production model, where exemplars existed across the different roles and skills. However, now within the decentralized music production era, the disparate roles across the music production process tend to be fused and completed by the one person, the contemporary DIY music producer. Music production practitioners have access to a large range of ancillary services and products, such industry trade magazines, texts, forums and blogs. Audio industry magazines such as “Sound on Sound” and “Audio Technology” are recognized as reputable magazines within the audio industry and music production discipline. But do they truly reflect the contemporary music production practice, or are their roots from the traditional music production model causing a widening gap of relevance? Alternative press options such as “Computer Music” (2015) and “MusicTech Focus” magazines have their origins in the development of digital technology. But do their roots limit their relevance by not including the more creative and musical requirements of the contemporary music production practice? Other alternative press includes “Wire”, which focuses more on the cultural and aesthetic aspects of music culture and practice. There is a vast range of support for music practitioners in the form of forums and blogs, with some of these operated by recognised industry professionals[3]. However, many of these are run by hobbyists with well intentioned advice, whilst others are commercially driven, with some of their marketing tactics, products and advice is at best, questionable.

Current practice

Some scholars refer to the current field of DIY music production as being in transition (Hracs, 2012), although it can also be thought of as a fusion or hybrid of two prior developments: that of traditional large format console studio music production and computer-based sound generation. Irrespective of the definition, twenty-first century contemporary DIY music production illustrates the ways that practitioners have broken with previously accepted industry practices, with consensus about effective or best practice now difficult to identify, or indeed where the idea of best practice has been actively challenged through social and cultural changes in the practices of cultural production. As such, the discipline of contemporary DIY music production lacks the infrastructure of an established and mature industry where consensus of what effective practice is, might be found.
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The notion of effective practice [4] originated in business centred on notions of effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity (Montana and Charnov 2000,12; Robbins et al 2009, 313; Griffin 1996). In this way, effective practice is a quantifiable measure and assumes the ‘organisation’ or practice has commercial or technical objectives. In contrast, contemporary DIY music production practitioners may not be motivated by either commercial or technical objectives, and therefore effective practice measures may not apply to many practices within the discipline (Rogers 2013, 168). In fact, contemporary DIY music production is a discipline in which notions of effective practice may actually be actively disregarded due to the perception that other motivations such as creativity, emotional connection and free-spiritedness are more important (McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41). As a result, the term best practice is perhaps more appropriate in the discipline of contemporary DIY music production, bringing with it the idea of benchmarking, or “analysing and copying the methods of the leaders” in the field (Robbins et al 2009, 313). However, without accepted discipline standards, and consensus of what best practice is, it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to accurately and effectively benchmark amongst the discipline and its practitioners. Further, if the contemporary DIY music production practice is lacking in organisational characteristics of a mature industry such as robust management processes and procedures, sophisticated vision and strategic planning, then the contemporary DIY music production practitioner is less likely able to measure quality standards should they exist, nor consciously position their practice within the field in order to optimise the chance of success (Robbins et al 2009, 708-710, 716-717).
Note [1]: The manufacturer’s user manual described ‘effective practice’ for the user to operate that unit safely, following a technically correct process
Note [2]: Sound reinforcement is a term used to describe the live audio industry function which still remains today
Note [3]: Pensado’s Place (2015) is operated by Dave Pansado who has had a recognized audio industry career
Note [4] :The notion of effective practice originated in business and post-War Japan, centred on notions of effectiveness (“doing the right thing”), efficiency (the effort exerted in “doing the right thing”), and productivity (the relationship between input and output) (Montana and Charnov 2000, 12; Robbins et al 2009, 313; Griffin 1996).
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 2.
References
AES. 2015. “Audio Engineering Society (AES) History.” Accessed  May 3,2015
Audio Technology Magazine. 2015 http://www.audiotechnology.com.au Accessed August 15, 2015
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Computer Music. 2015. http://www.musicradar.com/computermusic Accessed August 15, 2015
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98.
Davis, Gary and Ralph Jones. 1990. Yamaha-The Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology.
Grammy Awards. 2015. “The 2015 Grammy Awards.” Accessed May 20, 2015. https://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Griffin, RW. 1996. Management. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Hracs, Brian J. 2012. “A creative industry in transition: the rise of digitally driven independent music production.” Growth and Change 43 (3): 442-461.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
JMC Academy. 2015 http://www.jmcacademy.edu.au/?gclid=CN636-HnmcsCFQGbvAod7GoMDQ  Accessed August 15, 2015
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
Montana, Patrick J and Bruce H Charnov. 2000. Management. 3rd ed. Vol. 333, Business Review Books. New York: Barron’s Educational Series.
MusicTech. 2015. http://www.musictech.net Accessed August 15, 2015
Recording Producers and Engineers Wing, The. 2008. “Digital Audio Workstation Guidelines for Music Production.” Accessed May 27, 2015. https://www.grammy.org/files/pages/DAWGuidelineLong.
Robbins, Stephen, Rolf Bergman, ID Stagg and Mary Coulter. 2009. Management 5. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
Rogers, I. 2013. “The hobbyist majority and the mainstream fringe: the pathways of independent music-making in Brisbane, Australia.” In Redefining mainstream popular music, edited by Sarah Baker, Andy Bennett and Jodie Taylor, 162-173. New York: Routledge.
SAE. 2015. “SAE Institute.” https://sae.edu.au/ Accessed August 15, 2015
Sound on Sound. 2015 http://www.soundonsound.com Accessed August 15, 2015
Target image courtesy of: http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/target-skills-53658831 Accessed 15th August, 2015
TEAC. 1979. “TEAC Tascam series: model 144 Portastudio manual”, edited by TEAC Inc. www.tascam.com: TEAC Inc.
Wire. 2015. http://www.thewire.co.uk Accessed August 15, 2015
– ©David L Page 16/08/2015
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.

Doctoral Research Study Part 2

A year to remember….

~DLP Pro Image 1.20141020

(Page 2014a)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2014b) for the previous blog.

My life – music-making and education & learning

My journey in music-making commenced a number of decades ago. I made music via physical instruments. I strummed chords on a guitar or piano, hummed or played a melodic phrase, developed lyrics, and over time a song emerged. I felt connected to the music. I recall getting positive feedback when I shared my acoustic instrument-based songs with an audience. I followed this approach several hundred times over several decades, and because of the relative ease these songs came to me, I never had felt a need to consciously consider my music-making process.

Guitar Room.20141004.P2.v3

(Page 2014c)
As technologies developed, I transitioned into music-making using digital virtual technologies. I invested in virtual technologies, trialling a number of virtual music-making applications – digital audio workstations (DAWs). I experimented; I spoke to local pro audio retailers; I experimented some more; I bought instructional books and videos; I studied; I experimented a lot more. Over a number of years however, I found that irrespective of how much time and money I invested into my virtual music-making production practice, I never managed to achieve a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – as I had music-making using physical instruments. My frustration grew using virtual technologies to make music. I enrolled into a practical tertiary course. The course assisted me greatly to develop my theory and practical skills. However, using virtual technologies to make music that I felt connected to, (largely) continued to elude me. There was one instance, a remix project where I felt a connection. That experience gave me hope that my attempts to use virtual technologies to make music I felt connected to, was not going to be in vain. I continued to experiment; I continued to read; I continued to invest; I continue to immerse my self into my virtual music-making production practice. However, I still found I wasn’t achieving a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – using virtual technologies to make music as I had music-making using physical instruments. My frustration was at an all-time high. I had arrived at a juncture in my life where I felt there was now no alternative: my virtual music-making production practice needed an intervention. I needed to put my creative practice using virtual technologies to make music, under scrutiny.
AE Project Studio
(Page 2014d)
Last year I applied to a formal academic research program – a professional doctorate program. I was accepted in readiness for commencing at the beginning of this year. However, as I neared the commencement date I accepted my very busy education and learning role was not going to be conducive to embarking on such a demanding journey as a doctoral research study, at that time. I therefore immediately applied for a delayed commencement to next year.

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With my delayed commencement formalised, it allowed me to reconsider – to delve down into the many ideas I had for a higher degree research study topic. I developed mindmaps for each of the seventeen (17) potential topic ideas I had, drilling down to see where they took me. I was looking for a topic that allowed me to research as many aspects of interest.
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I was practicing creatively, while also lecturing in creative media across the range of audio production modules – audio theory, signal flow, microphones, processing – , and a cross-disciplinary creative media studies module. SAE Institute has been going through exponential development – strategically and structurally.  With a radical change to the focus of their academic programs, new academic staff have been actively recruited over the past twelve (12) months to lead the re-writing of the academic programs. SAE Institute revised focus was now to be project-based learning, promoting learners to engage to more in the learning process, developing assessment tasks that met their interests while realising the required learning outcomes. A major benefit of this approach was the possibility of cross-disciplinary collaborations. As part of the revised focus, all undergraduate programs were now to include studies in the broad discipline of creative media studies and critical thinking. As a Senior Lecturer with broad experience across a number of disciplines, I was assigned to assist on one of the new cross-disciplinary creative media studies module. Late last year the new versions of the undergraduate programs were rolled out.

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However, despite many decades of post-compulsory education experience, I found in talking to the newly recruited academics a lot of their language that largely went over my head.  These new peers were recruited from within the Australian higher education (HE) institutional system. Following completion of their doctorates, most had taught in the specialised HE environment, whilst continuing with their research projects and publishing schedule. My background, and therefore my approach, was so different. As part of the creative media studies stream, learners were now to be immersed in creative media studies and critical thinking. The learners were going to be encouraged to develop themselves as unique creative practitioners, in a unique creative media practice:  mmm, whatever that meant?
I had developed my multiple forms of practice throughout my life, fundamentally as a craftsperson. I was practical. I liked to be hands-on. I had learnt to become a successful practitioner via the 10,000 hour rule – practice, consider, practice, reconsider, practice, etc. I had a Masters level of education, but I didn’t ever consider my self as a higher education critical thinker. I was a practical person that looked at outcomes. This is what I did for organisations over a number of decades – I improved outcomes. I was analytical for a functional outcome. My brief entrée in an education doctorate program in 1999 reinforced this. I accepted I was not naturally inclined as a scholar. I was a functional, practical practitioner.

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014e)
When the newly recruited academics began arriving at SAE Institute late last year, speaking a language that largely went over my head, I felt very out of place. By the beginning of this year, I felt very challenged. Challenged on every front: as an educational practitioner, despite my years of experience, knowledge and developed skills; as a music practitioner – again, despite my years of diverse experience, knowledge and developed skills; as a guide and mentor to my learners. A question I asked my self was: how could I guide others when I was struggling with my own learning? I was struggling to both understand and engage in all forms of technology and networking opportunities currently on offer via the internet that were now part of the Institute’s degree program. I recall questioning my place within the higher education environment; I recall questioning my place within the Institute; in fact, I even recall questioning my place within an organisational workplace.
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I have never considered my self smart, but had the experience of knowing what had served me well for most of my life: the principle of 10,000 hours (Page 2004). I decided to engage developing this new knowledge and approaches to contemporary creative media practice in the only way I knew how: hours of research, and hours of trial and error. My motive to engage in this were: I knew I needed to learn in order to model to my learners what their assessment tasks were asking of them; I needed to learn in order to be able to guide my learners as to how to do such tasks effectively and efficiently; I needed to learn in order to model the importance of these approaches in order to assist them to develop an industry ready practice by the end of their degrees; I needed to learn in order to engage with my new peers – the recently recruited academics; I knew I needed to learn in order to embrace new ways of seeing my practice – to see my creative practice through a different set of eyes. After all, my eyes had only gotten me so far in my creative media career. I was also reminded that my entire point of my engaging in my intended higher degree research was to discover what I had not been able to discover within my own means. Whilst this process was not yet part of my doctoral research study, I recall seeing the situation I found my self in as an opportunity to learn and develop under the tutorage of several published creative media academics. In addition to understanding the value of hard work, I also understood that I had always been an opportunist. I decided to embrace this opportunity of these new found peers, irrespective of whether I could immediately see the point or benefit of how such new knowledge or approach was going to apply to my creative practice. Frankly, I couldn’t. My head chatter throughout the year has been at a critical level. Internally, almost on a daily basis, I have been debating the pros and cons of such knowledge or approach, particularly in regards to the internet-based technology and networking opportunities.
learning-philosophy
Below is a small sample list of journal entries I have written in 2014. These journal entries record my newly acquired knowledge and approach to my music practice. These have been written for my eyes only, in order to record my learning, and to frame my position with regard to these topics as a practitioner; particularly for my role as an education and learning practitioner in a creative media higher education institution. You will note: some of the journal entries are more technical in nature – for example, the first four (4) Critical listening journals; some are about developing how, as a practitioner, I interact with society – for example the Media Identity and Curation journal; whilst others are about reflecting on my autobiography, and starting to consider who I was as a music practitioner – for example Beginnings, Life is About the Moment, What Brought Me Here and Genealogy. I concluded this year with the journal entry Reflecting Part 1 (as described in Doctoral Research Study Part 1  (Page 2014b), reflecting upon my life up until now. I was about to embark up a new journey in academia, and needed now to ground my self, and begin to focus on the journey in front of me.
Pre-DCI 2014 Journal Entries.20141226.P1.png
(Page 2014f)
I believe going through this intensive one plus year long process was worthwhile in my development as an education and learning practitioner, in the specific discipline of creative practice. As I acquired this new knowledge, I found I now:
  • felt more broadly informed when I taught related topics at this Institute; and
  • more informed and better able to engage with learners in a range of discussions that I had been able to previously;
  • more equipped to respond quickly to their many questions, irrespective of which discipline they were engaged in;
  • whilst I was not of the belief that I had yet arrived at a clear sense of my identity following this twelve (12) to fifteen (15) months worth of development, I did accept that I now had a positive view of the direction I was heading in. I had a sense that I was on the right path. I was seeking new knowledge about alternative approaches to what I had previously considered. I had a sense that my nervous excitement, looking to the horizon in front of me, was infectious, and motivating for most of the learners that I engaged with at the Institute.
Yes, I was excited about my pending studies. Nervously excited about the journey into what was largely unknown territory for me – academic research. In some ways, I likened my nervous – apprehensive – excitement to that of the character Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit (Bros 2014): nervous about embarking on a new adventure – perhaps even somewhat resistant; but trusting I was in need of going on this adventure, for a greater good. It was for me, in many ways, a self-imposed intervention process. I know I needed to look at my creative practice through a different set of eyes. As I have mentioned: the eyes I had previously been looking through had only gotten me so far in my creative media career. I knew I needed to walk down new paths in order to discover new knowledge and approaches that I had not been able to discover within my own means in all my prior decades of practice. I was ready to apply my self to the commitment that others had led me to understand was going to be required. Of the new academic peers I had met, one had taken ten (10) years to attain their doctorate; another seven (7) years; another six (6) years; another five (5) years. I knew undertaking a three (3) full-time doctoral program, whilst working in a very demanding full-time education and learning role, was going to need focus, and lots of hours: probably 10,000 hours.
~DLP Gretsch Profile.20141006.v2
(Page 2014g)

 

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 (Terry-Toons Comics 1945-1951)
This blog series is planned to continue next month with A creative artists need (Page 2015). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Ericsson, K.A., Krampe, R.T. and Tesch-Römer, C., 1993. The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological review100(3), p.363.
Learning Philosophy image courtesy of:  Learning Accessed 25th December 2014
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Linked-In site  Accessed 25th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014b. Doctoral Research Study Part 1 Accessed 30th April 2017
Page, David L. 2014c image courtesy of David L Page My Space site  Accessed 25th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014d. David L Page Pinterest site Accessed 25th December 2014
Page, David L. 2014e image courtesy of David L Page You-tube site  Accessed 25th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014f. DLP Blog Category Topics Accessed 30th April 2017
Page, David L. 2014g image courtesy of David L Page About.me site  Accessed 25th December, 2014
Page, David 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 25th December 2014
Pulsating image courtesy of:  Image Accessed 25th December 2014
SAE QANTM image courtesy of: SAE QANTM Creative Media Institute Accessed 25th December, 2014
QUT image courtesy of: QUT Accessed 25th December, 2014
Terry-Toons Comics. 1945-1951. Mighty Mouse in Mighty Mouse #38-85  Accessed 8th March, 2014.
– @David L Page 26/12/2014
–updated @David L Page 30/04/2017
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.

Doctoral Research Study Part 1

Preparing for my research study

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

 (Page 2014)

Just being me……

I have never considered my self smart. My schooling test results were mainly above-average, but I worked consistently, and often for long hours in order to achieve these. I recall I often looked to those who got the top grades – those who appeared to do it effortlessly – and wondered what they had inside their heads that I didn’t. My mother was strict, and prohibited me from going out to play until I had done my chores, and homework. I therefore sat there, and continued to toil, in order to be able to get outside. It brought both resentment (for being denied play time) and conviction (to get my chores or home tasks completed, in order to get outside to enjoy playtime). Possibly this was imposed as a result of other behaviour I exhibited in the years prior, but I don’t recall what or when this, may have been.
I do however recall I always seemed to get into trouble with my parents, relatives and teachers, just for being me. Mmmmm……… Ok, I was probably mischievous. Thinking back, there was the time I talked my neighbour’s sister into going with me to the local gas station to buy a packet of cigarettes. I recall I was seven (7) years old, and she was possibly four (4) years old at best. What was the fuss? No one was harmed – just a simple afternoon walk. It was of no consequence to anybody really…… well, except the girl’s parents. When they eventually found out, they in turn told my parents. Mmmm…. banished to my room with limited dinner, no playing and no talking for what seemed like a month.
I perhaps had a limited filter between my thoughts and my mouth. I thought, I spoke, I acted.
images
 (Terry-Toons Comics 1945-1951)
My mother was an active P+C member in my schools, and therefore she knew the teachers, and most likely, the principal. One of my school principals was a very social person. He would hang in the school grounds and talk to the students at break times. He was large – a big guy – with snow white hair, and a large jovial face. Much like I imagine a normal version of Santa Claus. He was well over weight. I recall – when I was about six (6) years old – sharing with him during a playground catch up what my brother and sister called him at home – Fatty Arbuckle. I recall it came back to my parents some days later. Mmmm…. banished to my room with limited dinner, no playing and no talking for what seemed like a month. I hadn’t said it to him to be malicious. I just thought it was funny, and wanted to share it with him. I was sure he would enjoy it. Mmmmm…. note to self.
I was left-handed. Up until I was about eight (8) years old, the teachers at my first primary school made me sit on my left-hand during class times, to (as they said) “get it (my left-handedness) out of my system”. I remember when I moved up to the next class level, at another school, this was no longer a focus of the teacher. I recall often wondering whether this change away from the focus on my left-handedness ‘being a problem’ at the new school – was due to the teacher, the school’s approach, or whether in fact it was just the end of an era of this view of left-handedness being considered wrong.
I recall I was naturally happy – smiling, and this too caused issues. Again with parents, relatives, and teachers – wondering with such a smile on my face, what I was up to. I recall a teacher talking sternly to our class one day (we had possibly been talking and acting up while waiting to be let into our home room after a lunch break). All students were standing, ready to be seated by our teacher prior to class, as she dressed us down for our noisy behaviour in the corridor. I was apparently standing there, during this dressing down, with a smile on my face. “What are you smiling at?” she barked. “I, I , I am happy?” I responded meekly. The class laughed, though I am unsure of whether they were laughing with me, or perhaps laughing at me?
DLP_Age 4_Cropped_Fade.P2
 (Page 2016)
I was average at individual sport, but recognised early on, the advantage of team sports. I learnt that within a team I could excel. I became a year house captain within my school; and played in team sports on Saturday mornings, with a team that was consistently in the top two teams in the district over an 8 year period.
I was always a practical person, wanting to do things with my hands, but also realised I wanted to know how it worked, and how I could use it for other applications. I pulled apart all kinds of gadgets, toys, billy carts, wheel-barrows; antique clocks, motor mowers, motorbikes, and cars. I admit I didn’t like the follow up process – the putting back together of these things. I had learnt in pulling them apart what I needed to know – the how it worked, and could then consider other applications. I made (make believe) sports cars, space ships, and moon craft with the many parts I had before me – all in the backyard. Once I had created my make believe craft, I would move onto the next thing. Yes, I got bored quickly.
I quit school – because I was bored – in preference to get out and explore industry. I did engineering as a trade, but quickly realised, as soon as I had worked out the how, I was again ready to move on. I then applied to enter tertiary study, fumbling my way through a bachelor’s degree with out having completed high school. I used the time to explore all manner of things – philosophy, re-engage my music-making, experiencing social events, bands, pubs, live gigs, and girls. I struggled to find my place in that institution studying a business degree, but looking through many photos of that era, I recall I had a lot of fun trying. Eventually – yes, when I ended up graduating, I immediately headed overseas to explore the world. I arrived in Asia with an opportunity in corporate education and training. I played in cross-cultural bands, got roped into significant events in the local region such as opening bridges, made key note speeches at local city events, and played music in cultural festivals. I gained invaluable experience and skills. I returned home, formalising my experienced gained in education and continued, in order to be able to continue in my education and learning practice in Australia.
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Some ten (10) years later, I re-entered university to complete my masters degree. As its conclusion, it was suggested I progress onto a doctorate in that discipline, but after only a short time of study, I was tempted back into industry. I commenced in management in a global business, and quickly progressed into a number of leadership roles. Over time my career continued to develop into governance roles, ultimately arriving into the industry of my main passion, creative arts – music and sound. Having embarked on a doctorate previously, and not choosing to continue it, I had a feeling of incompleteness. Having only formally studied my area of passion – music and sound – at an entry tertiary level, I still have so many unanswered questions. I therefore decided last year to enquire what possible programs I could consider. In talking to several industry contacts, I was quickly referred to the Head of Department at one of Queensland’s leading universities, and over the course of a fifteen (15) minute conversation, a Doctorate of Creative Industries was suggested. I proposed a topic, and after some months I received confirmation of my acceptance.
Over the past number of years, I have used the image of the purple onion to represent my approach to life. I am committed to learning – something I have done over most of my life – looking under the many layers of my practice or self in order to gain more insight into life and practice. I still do not consider my self smart, but experienced. I believe in Ericsson’s 10,000 hours (Ericsson in Page 2004), and believe much of my life’s success is based on constant and continued work, rather than just being smart. I therefore embark on my doctorate research study journey from the beginning of next year with this in mind, and trust that this approach will be sufficient to have me realise the required milestones, at the standard expected of Australian post-graduate studies.

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My journey is about to begin….
References
Ericsson, K.A., Krampe, R.T. and Tesch-Römer, C., 1993. The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological review100(3), p.363.
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2016 image courtesy of: Slideshare  Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
Japan Grunge Flag Image courtesy of:  Japan Flag  Accessed 15th December, 2014.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Terry-Toons Comics. 1945-1951. Mighty Mouse in Mighty Mouse #38-85  Accessed 15th December, 2014.
– @David L Page 16/12/2014
– updated @David L Page 30/04/2017
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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Media Identity & Curation Part 2

My Gravatar.20160220.P2.png
As revealed in my blog last month, Media Identity & Curation Part 1, I hold a very broad view of creative practice. My interests, activities and roles are diverse. I love life and the aesthetic of life. Whether it is a visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, gustatory or olfactory-based creations, I embrace them all. As my personal motto describes, my life is full: “Life is about the moment……. experiencing the moment…” (Page 2014). Whilst most days I prioritise my primary interest of music practice, I take every opportunity to immerse myself proactively in as many sensory-based practices as I can on a daily basis. I seek out people to engage and learn from – practitioners who know more of a discipline area than I do – to develop my knowledge, understanding and appreciation of that particular practice.

My Media Strategy

As described last month, I use social media to support my diverse interests and practice. The sites I choose and the practice I engage through each site such as blogging and curating of text, video and audio resources relate to my broad creative practice. My media strategy is very deliberate. The media sites must connect the diversity of my interests and practice. The media sites must facilitate the expression of my self, revealing more understanding of my self in the process, and making connections with others of similar interests or practice to share experience, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of a particular practice.
 In this aspect of my creative practice, new facets of myself and in turn, new distinctions regarding my practice are revealed – to my self, and to others. Through my media strategy the dynamic relationship between my self, my practice and my audience is demonstrated –  my self informing my practice, my practice informing my self and my audience, which in turn reinforces and consolidates my identity at any point in time.
Representative of my diverse interests and practice, the social media sites I use include: about.me, gravatar.com, wordpress.com, tumblr.com, twitter.com, linked-in.com, myspace.com, facebook.com, pinterest.com, you-tube.com, soundcloud.com, instagram.com, lastfm.com, slideshare.com, googlescholar.com, academia.com and google.com.
[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 creative 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. 
In this blog I choose one site that I proactively use to support my creative practice, and show how I have structured the curation of the content. The site is: Pinterest.com.

Pinterest [Pinterest.com/David L Page]

Pinterest Board Categories.20160306.P1b
Pinterest uses a board system for the user to categorise their interests. The boards I have created are intended to reflect the diversity of my interests, activities and roles. The following boards in some form represent my interests in visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, gustatory and olfactory-based phenomena or creations – natural or constructed. Please note that each the Boards within my Pinterest site, and each pin is linked to a relevant playlist within my You-Tube Channel [You-Tube/David L Page] .
  • *Social Media Sites: connections to David L Page’s Social Media Sites, all linked for ease of access.
  • Academic Creative Media – Texts: All ‘academic creative media texts’ related: Research Methodology, Creativity Theory, Music Theory, Genre Studies, Cultural Theory, Compositional Theory, Arrangement Theory, Songwriting Studies, Audio Theory – Digital versus Analogue, Production Theory – Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Post-Production, Anecdotal, etc. Intended audience are undergraduate and post-graduate Creative Media students
  • Academic Creative Media – JournalsAll ‘academic creative media journals’ related: Research Methodology, Creativity Theory, Music Theory, Genre Studies, Cultural Theory, Compositional Theory, Arrangement Theory, Songwriting Studies, Audio Theory – Digital versus Analogue, Production Theory – Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Post-Production, Anecdotal, etc. Intended audience are undergraduate and post-graduate Creative Media students
  • ArtAll things ‘visual art’ related: paintings, posters, drawings, lithographs, sculpture, pottery; and the people that do it……
  • Audio – EquipmentAll things ‘audio equipment’ related: any audio equipment including hardware, software, and peripheral equipment and devices……
  • Audio – RecordingAll things ‘audio recording’ related in a studio: microphones, microphone placement, microphone technique and any recording related technique or matter ……
  • Audio – TheoryAll things ‘Audio Theory’ related: sound waves, frequencies, amplitude, decibels, harmonics, acoustics, electronics……
  • Audio – Post ProductionAll things ‘Audio Post-Production’ related: ADR, Foley, Mixing, Mastering
  • Audio – Live SoundAll things ‘audio recording’ related in live sound: sound reinforcement, stage setup, front of house, monitoring side of stage, microphones, microphone placement, microphone technique and any live sound related technique or matter ……
  • Audio – TextsAll ‘audio texts’ related: Theory, Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Post-Production, Anecdotal or Process, etc. Intended audience are Audio Production practitioners & students

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  • CelestialAll things celestial – space and movement in places other than on Planet Earth………
  • ComedyAll things ‘comedy’ related: people or events…
  • Community MusicCommunity MusicAll things ‘community music’ related: making music accessible to all … for all to enjoy, to learn, to develop, to become, to overcome, ‘holistic therapy’ …..To guide, to mentor, to inspire, to educe……
  • Culture: Language, Dress, Values, Beliefs, Spirituality, Rituals, Traditions, Music, Food, LifestyleAll things ‘culture’ related: Language, Dress, Values, Beliefs, Spiritual Beliefs, Rituals, Traditions … (I have chosen to exclude Music and Food & Lifestyle here, making other ‘Pinterest boards’ dedicated to those..)…
  • EnvironmentAll things ‘environment’ related: continents, nature – flora, fauna, environmental or historical monuments….
  • Fast, Fun ThingsAll things related to going fast, being physically active, using exhilarating modes of transport……
  • Great ImagesAll things ‘photography and imagery’ related …….. [ In addition to my other Pinterest boards, for more great photos/images, see http://about.me/dpgold/collections/greatpic]
  • Lifestyle, Food & WineAll things ‘living’ related: enjoying, relaxing, breathing, exercising, eating and drinking…..
  • Marketing & PromotionAll things ‘marketing’ related: branding, strategic planning, product analysis, market analysis, proactive plan development, advertising via a range of mediums, print versus social media, promotion ………
  • MoviesAll things ‘film’ related: movies, documentaries, short film, sit-com, or animation; and the people that act or direct these …….
  • PerformanceAll things ‘performance’ related: any creative expression, irrespective of the art form…. performance or performer….
  • Performance – EquipmentAll things ‘performance equipment’ related: any performance-related equipment including hardware, software, and peripheral equipment and devices. ‘Instruments’, no mater their country or nationality origin, or whether their medium is ‘organic’, ‘electronic’ or ‘virtual’…
  • Production & ProducersAll things ‘Producers’ and the ‘Production’ of recorded mediums related: including the Recording and Mixing process and the Producers & Engineers dedicated to this….
  • The ‘Soft Skills’: Communication, Education, Learning, Development & ChangeAll things ‘communication’ related: all that is associated to the act of communicating, engaging, discussion, expressing, projecting, reflecting, learning, developing self image and ‘voice’, changing & developing views and perceptions, goal setting, time management, negotiation, conflict resolution, educing, teaching, training, guiding, or scaffolding: either of yourself or others, into something more than who you were, to become who you really are …….
  • Storytelling: Poetry, Prose, Songwriting & CompositionAll things ‘contemporary storytelling’ related: poetry, prose, & poets, songwriting & songwriters, raps & rappers, composition & composers, arrangements & arrangers….. examples, methods & people who practice the many and varied mediums of ‘contemporary storytelling’…
I have also created three Boards very specific to one particular audience, that of my Trimester One and Trimester Two students within the Bachelor of Audio degree I Lecture in at SAE Institute. I have used these specific Boards to engage in , and take a proactive interest in researching within the particular unit and subject content. These are:
I also joined one Pinterest Group Board which I thought was aligned to my media strategy:
  • MUSICIANS UNITED: ALL THINGS MUSIC:  Beautiful Instruments, Recording Studios, Concerts, Musical Heroes, Quotes, Tips and Tricks, and anything that makes musicians SMILE. :
I am proactive in curating resources (pinning)  and sharing these within my immediate music practice audience, predominantly my Higher Education undergraduate creative media students.I have yet to proactively engage in the wider global market place within Pinterest due to my other commitments and priorities.  I currently have  1,569 Pinterest followers, and I am following 2, 389 Pinterest users.
As a creative practitioner I use social media to support my diverse interests and practice, and Pinterest is an example of this strategy. Within Pinterest, I curate text, video and audio resources that relate to my broad creative practice. I have very deliberately used this media site to connect the diversity of my interests and practice, in concept and functionally via direct links to my other media sites. As a result, this media site facilitates an expression of my self, revealing more understanding of my self in the process, and making connections with others of similar interests or practice to share experience, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of a particular practice.
 In this aspect of my creative practice, new facets of myself and in turn, new distinctions regarding my practice are revealed – to my self, and to others. Through this particular media strategy the dynamic relationship between my self, my practice and my audience is demonstrated –  my self informing my practice, my practice informing my self and my audience, which in turn reinforces and consolidates my identity at any point in time.
References
Page, David L. 2014. Life is About the Moment 20/09/2014 Tumblr and WordPress.com blog. Accessed 13th November, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. Media  Identity & Curation Part 1  18/10/2014  WordPress.com blog. Accessed 13th November, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. David L Page’s Pinterest.com site  Accessed 13th November, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. David L Page’s You-Tube Channel  Accessed 13th November, 2014
– ©David L Page 14/11/2014
– updated ©David L Page 01/03/2015
– updated ©David L Page 15/15/2016
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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Media Identity & Curation Part 1

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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.