Doctoral Research Study – Part 2f

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020
(Page 2014a)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part f

2nd Observation.P2a.renamed

Bordering my music-making practice

As mentioned in the previous blog, I came to understand within the first few months I needed to broadly explore the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, in order to border – and define – my music-making practice. Following exploring the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century in the previous five (5) blogs, I will now examine the remaining two (2) aspects of my practice:
  • the site of practice
  • and me as a practitioner
I will commence with me as a practitioner, outlining:
a. My autobiography as a music-maker
b. What form my practice currently takes
c. Broadening definition of music-making practice
d. Changing motives of practice
and then outline my specific site/s:
e. My sites: my DIY Studio Production setup/s.
I will then conclude with:
f. Defining the Music Production process
g. Defining a holistic DIY Music Production process

 

My autobiography as a music-maker
In the field of contemporary music production my eyes were starting to open to who I, David L Page was in terms of my music-making. In terms of my musical identity, I felt a compulsion to explore the diversity of my musical influences.
 I have listened to music across many mediums in my life, such as: TV, radio, gramophones, pianolas, movie theatres, record players, tape players, HIFI systems, car radios, car playback systems such a tape, CD and more recently via ipod and iphones; aeroplane inflight systems; ipods; desktops, iphones, and live performance.
I played physical instruments derived directly from nature. The pianos and guitars I played in my formative years were manufactured from woods from the forest. They were physical instruments with 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. When I listen to music I generally experience a physical or emotional response. Often I felt the hairs stand up on my arms, or down the back of my neck. Often I would feel a calmness come over me, dissipating my worries or concerns. Sometimes, I would feel a swell of emotion, to the point of tears.
I had started to consider who I was as a music-maker – my autobiography – and what had influenced me to arrive to be at this point, prior to commencing my doctorate. As evidenced in my 2014 blogs Music Practitioner Part 1 (Page 2014b) and Part 2 (Page 2014c) I was brought up within a household of illness and not a lot of engagement during the first seven (7) years of my life. I therefore learnt to spend time within my self.
Music has been the one constant in my life, central to my being, accompanying me wherever I am, irrespective of whether I am physically playing, listening or internally listening via memory. Irrespective of the location, circumstance or event, music was within me. I had for many years accepted I had diverse musical influences. My mother filled our house with European classical music and opera on a daily basis from the age of eight (8) years old. I was also being influenced by the likes of my brother in blues rock, country rock, psychedelic rock, and political-driven folk music. I my self was naturally gravitating towards the experimental pop music of the day, along with more confessional singer –songwriter folk music. On the back of the historical investigation I had undertaken as described above, I considered the next step: to develop my music genealogy chart. I had led my HE creative media students through such an exercise within their chosen disciplines. I therefore was intrigued to delve into such an exercise for my self; developing a chart that contained the vastness of my musical influences. I understood music had always been, and continues to be an integral part of my life. However, it was not until I had completed this exercise, and in looking over the detail of this chart, did I acknowledge how diverse and influential music had been. For perhaps the first time in my life, I had a chart that visually depicted the breath of my musical influences, and in doing so, inferred many significant periods of my life.

    (Page 2015b)
Music had always been an integral part of my life. However, such a statement I believe still understates the importance of it for me.
What form does my practice currently take?
“Music-making practice is not a choice for me; it is a necessity” (Page 2015c).
I have practiced music for over four decades in multiple social and cultural contexts, and in significantly contrasting creative locations, such as a church choir singer, musician, songwriter, band member, teacher, project manager, engineer, solo artist, musician for hire, producer, and most recently an electronic music producer and educator. Over this time, I have engaged a (vast) range of technologies, using countless variations of workflow. Having commenced my music-making practice with acoustic and analogue technology, I then progressed to digital technologies, finally to digital virtual technologies. I found moving to digital and digital virtual technologies in recent decades, difficult. The vastly different technologies and associated workflows that lend themselves to creative locations and music styles impacted my music-making practice, hindering the realisation of my creative productions, my EPs. I observed this phenomenon had an effect on the concept of my self, which then in turn had an effect on my motive to practice music (DeNora 1999; MacDonald et al 2002; DeNora 2005; Peraino 2006; Taylor 2012). Despite lapses in motive, I continued to practice music on a daily basis, engaging physical instruments and also digital virtual technologies.
Broadening definition of music-making practice
However, over the course of my first year on my doctoral studies, I became familiar with, and subsequently embraced a broader definition of music-making practice – musicking (Small 1998; DeNora 2000; Wallis 2001; DeNora 2005; Hesmondhalgh 2013). In spending so much time away from what I had always known as music-making practice, I realised I was still in some way researching, analysing music, or in some way considering my music-making practice. I noticed that my music-making practice was not only occurring within the sites I had always associated with my music-making practice – a stage or a studio. The term musicking acknowledged the many other times and locations that I engaged in music-making practice, outside of what a professional music practitioner would potentially consider to be music-making practice, or music-making practice sites. These are the times when one is listening to music, considering music, or possibly recalling music in their memory. As my investigation progressed, I realised I engaged in this other form of music-making practice – musicking – often. I observed my practice music occurred across a range of sites, including my home music studio, my home performance space, at colleague’s houses, in rehearsal sheds, commercial practice rooms, and tertiary institution studios. [Note: I am not currently practicing music-making in pubs, clubs and public festival stages]. However, I now recognize that my music-making practice also included the sites of: my lounge room, the bathroom, the toilet, in my car, in my bed, on my bed, at my office desk, and even, outdoors. Yes, any location I can hear, listen or recall music.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2g (Page 2015d). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
DeNora, Tia. 2005. “The pebble in the pond: Musicing, therapy, community.” Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 14 (1): 57-66.
DeNora, Tia. 2000. Music in everyday life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
DeNora, Tia. 1999. “Music as a technology of the self.” Poetics 27 (1): 31-56.
Hesmondhalgh, David. 2013. Why music matters. Vol. 1. West Sussex, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
MacDonald, Raymond A. R., David J. Hargreaves and Dorothy Miell. 2002. Musical identities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page  Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015d. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2g  Accessed 29th July, 2015
Page, David L. 2015c. Quote courtesy of David L Page.  Created 30th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Music Practitioner – Part 4. Accessed 30th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2e  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014c. Music Practitioner – Part 2  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014b. Music Practitioner – Part 1  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page.  Created 15th December, 2014
Peraino, Judith Ann. 2006. Listening to the sirens: musical technologies of queer identity from Homer to Hedwig. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Small, Christopher. 1998. Musicking: the meanings of performing and listening. Hanover: University Press of New England.
Taylor, Jodie. 2012. Playing it queer: popular music, identity and queer world-making. Bern: Peter Lang.
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
– @David L Page 30/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 29/07/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/06/2017
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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History Music Production Part 4c – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios

David Gilmour.Large Format Console(Meter 2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2016) for the previous blog.

The changing field of music production

Twenty-first century music production exists as a fragmented field of practice, in part as a result of increasing decentralisation in the audio and music industry since the 1980’s. A range of factors influenced this decentralization, including the development and adoption of digital recording technologies (Zagorski-Thomas 2005; Leyshon 2009; Huber and Runstein 2013; Izhaki 2013; Théberge 1997; Burgess 2013) and the exponential influence of global communication networks on music production and consumption practices (Spencer 2005; Moran 2011; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Watson 2012).

(TEAC/TASCAM 2015a)

Ever increasing levels of access

Throughout the 1970’s technology continued to advanced with “quality digital recording equipment more widely available” at progressively decreasing cost to the consumer (Wallis 2001, 11). Offering an alternative music production option to the large format console studio continued, all levels of the field actively engaged with the technology. Springsteen released his solo album ‘Nebraska’, made in his bedroom (Springsteen 1984a).
(Springsteen 1982b)
Intended to be a ‘demo’, it was decided the aesthetic of the DIY recording was preferred to the studio-produced album (TEAC/TASCAM 2015b; Burke 2011, 119,188). “Evidence from the 1980’s showed that multi-track cassette based recording technologies spread at a high pace to virtually every nation” (Wallis 2001, 11).
(TEAC/TASCAM 2015c)
Digital Technology – Organs, Synthesisers, Samplers
Towards the end of the 1980’s, low cost digital keyboards and devices were released globally by a number of manufacturers. Digital synthesisers and samplers, triggered by a MIDI controlled keyboard could now play a range of tones, sounds, and emulate instruments. Because a single key could trigger multiple sounds or chords, the technique and skill required to play each of the instruments became virtually redundant. Whilst initially the range of instruments emulated were fairly limited, over time this has grown exponentially, from acoustic – European or world – instruments to synthetic instruments. Such resources allowed music producers to have numerous instrumentation options available to them to integrate into any one of their music productions, as their creativity desired. This has also had of course an affect on the industry in terms of labour, rendering musicians with specialist skills to a certain degree redundant. “Digital sampling and simulation techniques have decreased studio producers’ dependence on hiring the services of live musicians. These trends apply virtually everywhere in the world” (Wallis 2001, 11).
Over the next two decades technology continued to develop at an exponential rate, in terms of general devices, global communication network options and music-making equipment. By the late 1990’s and early 2000’s development in music-making technology had moved into the digital virtual realm.  Several digital audio workstations (such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and then eMagic’s Logic) became available for domestic consumption. A few years following this – as more refined versions became available, virtual instruments (software instruments) and sample libraries (audio libraries for software instruments) from 3rd party providers started to become available. Commercial providers such as Spectrasonics, Native Instruments, Garritan, East West Quantm Leap, or Vienna Symphony came with extremely large and varied databases, at a cost range suitable for novice to serious producers, ready to include into their productions (Gilreath 2010). Miles Hubber and Runstein reinforced the view that the project studio, now with virtual technology “brought about monumental changes in the business of music and professional audio”, with the greatest benefit being a music creator able to “select from a wide range of tools and toys to generate specific sounds – or to get the particular sounds that he or she likes”, without necessarily having that instrument or musician capable of playing that instrument, on hand (Huber and Runstein 2013). Webb confirms the potential of this practice, citing a commercially successful song (having reached the US Music charts) that included a sample from Apple’s household digital audio workstation Garageband: Rihanna’s “Umbrella used one of its drum loops (specifically, Vintage Funk Kit 03) to great effect” (Webb 2007).
(Rhianna 2007)
As composer producer Goyte had made his first two albums using samples from prepared sample libraries exclusively, he decided for his third album he wanted to incorporate a range of unique acoustic instruments into the process. Recording these acoustic instruments – for example, an African thumb piano, music box, an autoharp – over time in his project studio (a barn on his family’s property), using a MacBookPro and a multi-track reel to reel recorder, Goyte then processed the recorded wave samples in a digital audio workstation via a digital sampling instrument. This effectively created a range of new virtual instruments that could be played in ways that the original acoustic instruments could not have – rhythmically, harmonically and even melodically. Goyte commented that “in virtualizing the instrument this way, it would become something unique” (Gotye 2011): effectively a unique instrument that no one else had access to, and had not necessarily heard previously, as a direct result of the digital environment processing. Goyte’s “Making Mirrors” CD was released to critical acclaim, and among many awards worldwide, won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Album’ in 2011.

Making Mirros_Goyte

(Goyte, 2011)
Wallis notes five (5) primary trends in the music and audio industry, three (3) of which are related to the discussion here: one being the “deregulation of existing analogue channels and the growth of the Internet and digital channels as global means for conveying music to businesses and consumers”; another being the “removal of national boundaries in distribution, leading to globalization of media products” (‘distribution’ excluded in this essay); and ‘technology’: “(w)idespread diffusion of new digital technologies for recording and distribution, providing wider access to technology with satisfactory quality at an affordable price” (Wallis 2001,10).
“The rise of more affordable digital recording rigs and easier programming protocols represents a democratisation of technology, making available a process that was once accessible only through the facilities and skills provided by a recording studio” (Leyshon 2009,1309).

Project Studio

Further technological developments gave rise to the increasing opportunity of having a music production setup in the home, based around a personal computer, a sound card, and some form of digital audio workstation to either record or arrange the music. Izhaki noted: “as computers became more affordable and competent, and the hiring of expensive {large format console, commercial} studios was no longer a requisite for multi-tracking and mixing”, a new era of home music creation and production studio iterations known as project studios began to emerge (Izhaki 2013, xiiii). As early as 2005, with a project studio based around an Apple computer with a range of analogue outboard hardware and synthesizers, Stuart Price admitted he “did much of the work for Madonna’s ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album” in his home-based project studio (Doyle 2008). Madonna’s ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album” was a commercial success [1]. As Leyshon highlighted “the recording studio sector is not a particularly profitable or efficient part of the musical economy overall” (Leyshon 2009, 1315), and therefore from an industry perspective, it was positive that alternative options evolved.
Footnotes
[1] In 2005, Stuart Price used his home-based project studio, based around an Apple computer with a range of analogue outboard hardware and synthesizers to produce Madonna’s commercially successful ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album, achieving commercial success reaching the US Music charts (Doyle 2008).
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month History of Music Production Part 4d – Digital Project Studios become for contemporary DIY music-making (Page 2015).
References
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Burke, David. 2011. “Heart of Darkness : Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska”. London: Cherry Red Books.
Doyle, Tom. 2008. “Stuart Price: producing Seal & Madonna.” Accessed May 2, 2015. https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/stuart_price.htm.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Goyte. 2011. Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2013. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Kuznetsov, Stacey and Eric Paulos. 2010. “Rise of the expert amateur: DIY projects, communities, and cultures.” In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 16-20, 2010, edited, 295-304. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1868914&picked=prox: ACM.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
Meter, M . 2014. “For their last-ever album the endless river, Pink Floyd recorded on a boat” Accessed May 20, 2015  http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/pink-floyds-nick-mason-on-the-endless-river
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Music Group. 2015. “Behringer : our story.” Accessed May 2, 2015. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015.  History of Music Production Part 4d – Digital Project Studios become for contemporary DIY music-making Accessed 7th June, 2015.
Page, David L. 2016. History of Music Production Part 4b – Experimental practice changes the approach to mainstream music production Accessed 5th March, 2016.
Rhianna and feat Jay-Z. 2007. Umbrella. Def Jam. Compact Disc. Video courtesy of You-Tube. Accessed 21st May, 2015
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
Springsteen, Bruce. 1982b. Nebraska. image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 21st May, 2015.
Springsteen, Bruce. 1982a. Nebraska. Columbia Records. Vinyl LP.
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015c. TEAC Tascam History. www.teac.com: TEAC Inc. Accessed 24th July, 2015
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015b. TEAC Tascam series: 1979 model 144 Portastudio Manual, edited by TEAC Inc.  www.teac.com: TEAC Inc. Accessed 24th July, 2015
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015a. TEAC/TASCAM 144 Portastudio advertising image courtesy of Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording Accessed 24th July, 2015
Théberge, Paul. 2012. “The end of the world as we know It: the changing role of the studio in the age of the internet.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 77-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England.
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
Watson, Allan. 2012. “The world according to iTunes: mapping urban networks of music production.” Global Networks 12 (4): 446-466.
Webb, A. 2007. “Is GarageBand top of the pops?” The Guardian Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/18/news.apple.
Zagorski-Thomas, Simon. 2005. “The US vs the UK sound: meaning in music production in the 1970s.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 57-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate
– ©David L Page 21/05/2015
– updated ©David L Page 24/07/2015
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.

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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2e

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020
(Page 2014a)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part e

2nd Observation.P2a.renamed

Bordering my music-making practice

As mentioned in the previous blog, I came to understand within the first few months I needed to broadly explore the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, in order to border – and define – my music-making practice. Due to the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century, I felt it was necessary to review the industry, fields and disciplines of music-making.
Changing face of music-production
Perhaps motivated by the power imbalance and limited access to studios in the 1970’s and 1980’s, aligned with the broader social and cultural developments of DIY culture from the 1970s, the ever increasing available range of technology has enabled the process of music creation and production to exponentially develop, with musicians in the new era of project and mobile studios, emerging as a new generation of prosumers – both producers and consumers (Théberge 1997, P3). The acknowledged diversity of backgrounds of the contemporary DIY music production practitioner expanded to include: DJ, self-taught/school-trained and discoverer (Burgess 2013, 29).
Technological development provides multiple outcomes, including choices within music production practice: devices to use, work environment location, processes and procedures to use, skills to draw on and workflows, to name a few. In an article on best practice within the music industry, Wallis (2001, 13) observed that access to user-friendly technology has “resulted in many creative artistic talents achieving a high degree of IT literacy, leading to the emergence of the combined studio producer/ writer role. Max Martin from Sweden, writer and producer of the majority of songs recorded by artists such as Britney Spears, is such an example”. Just 5 years later, the ongoing technological developments that influence the project and portable studios further open the discipline to a broader prosumer market (Cole 2011, 448).
This in turn has attracted a range of people and what motivates them to produce music. Music production technology is now accessible to just about anyone who has any degree of interest in the creation and production of music, irrespective of their background {social status or professional role}, their musical or professional audio training and/or experience, or the genre of music they may be interested in attempting to produce, making for a truly eclectic music production society (Burgess 2014, 34; Rogers 2013). Rogers in his 2010 study on local musicians in the Brisbane scene to be of varying levels of professionalism: professional, semi-professional, emerging and several ‘non-commercial’ aspirational levels – including amateur or hobbyist practices – in the discipline (Rogers 2013, 168). I will apply the term “amateur not as a reflection on a hobbyists’ skills, which are often quite advanced, but rather, to emphasise that most of DIY culture is not motivated by commercial purposes” (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295) . The “status and position of the amateur have been redeemed and a new, less aristocratic, breed of amateur has emerged .. (who) .. are technologically literate, seriously engaged, and committed practitioners”. (Prior 2010, 401).
The traditional definition of Music Producer
Traditionally, Music Producers were defined as being responsible for the: “control, guidance, and communication of the musical vision of the project”, seeing the completed product prior to the project even commencing (Gibson 2006, 1). A music producer was recognised as likely to originate from a diversity of backgrounds that would provide them with a different perspective and approaches in the studio. These background types were most commonly: artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, entrepreneur and multipath (Burgess 2013, 29).
A good producer was also seen to have a diversity of skills, beyond the specialist technical skills as outlined in the previous section. These skills, commonly referred to as soft skills (Page 2014b), would be:
  • understanding and proficiency of music;
  • high degree of communication skills;
  • motivational and inspirational skills to encourage greater performance and execution of roles;
  • inspirational skills to encourage a change of approach if or as required;
  • an experienced reflective practitioner;
  • project management and administrative skills to ensure the project remains viable and on target;
  • an understanding of business and have the associated skills or communication, negotiation, conflict resolution;
  • functional knowledge of the genre;
  • passion for music and all elements of the holistic music production process (Gibson 2006, 2-3; Griffin 1996, 15-19).
A new discipline of music-making emerges
Following substantial technological development from the late 1960s to today, music-making practice has diversified exponentially in a variety of social and cultural contexts (Wallis 2001; Watson and Shove 2008). Limited access to major corporate record label and broadcasting studios in the 1970’s and 1980’s aligned with the broader social and cultural developments of DIY culture from the 1970s, and with the ever-increasing available range of technology. This enabled the process of music creation and production to exponentially develop, with musicians in the new era of project and portable studios, emerging as a new generation of music practitioners (Théberge 1997, P3; Hracs 2012). A new music discipline has emerged – contemporary DIY music-making practice (Moran 2011; Watson 2014; Spencer 2005; Rogers 2013). Increased access to digital recording and production technology has enabled aspiring music practitioners from diverse backgrounds and interests to participate in a do-it-yourself (DIY) capacity, resulting in a significantly more fragmented industry (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Spencer 2005; Moran 2011; Watson 2014). Wallis (2001, 13) observed that practitioners’ access to user-friendly technology has “resulted in many creative artistic talents achieving a high degree of IT literacy, leading to an even broader market”. Music production technology is now accessible to most people who have any degree of interest in music-making practice, irrespective of their social status or professional role, their musical or sonic training or experience, or the social and cultural context. This enables a truly diverse and eclectic music-making practice society (Burgess 1997, 34; Rogers 2013).
Practitioners now access and use broad range of music production and instrument technology, have vastly different workflows, for a broader range of music styles, and use a range of creative locations to create their EP’s. This diversity of practice now exemplifies contemporary industry (Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997). As a result, recorded music is now created in ways that contrast with previous models, where cultural products resulted from established industrial hierarchies and imperatives (Burgess 1997).
Multiple options to play and produce music have implications on what elements of music production are used at any point in time: the creative technologies that can be used, the music style that emerges naturally out or certain technology, the creative location that practice occurs within, and the practice workflow. Further, as practitioners tend to assume all of these creative labour roles in their home-style project studios, contemporary music practitioners continue to extend their knowledge, skill level and technology, in obvious contrast with previous models (Izhaki 2013; Théberge 1997).
With the fragmentation of the industry, and the attracting diverse peoples in music-making practice, the contemporary practitioner’s motivations to practice music have also diversified. Rogers’ study highlighted varying orientations of motive amongst participants: professional, semi-professional, emerging and several non-commercial aspirational levels – including amateur or hobbyist practices. By far, the largest group was the amateur category (2013, 168). The term amateur is adopted “not as a reflection on a hobbyists’ skills, which are often quite advanced, but rather, to emphasise that most of DIY culture is not motivated by commercial purposes” (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295). Not interested in the traditional music industry criteria of volume sales of commercially released tracks, these contemporary practitioners pursue music-making practice for their own motives – “their sense of identity is firmly attached to the pursuit of ‘serious leisure’” (Stebbins in Prior 2010, 401; Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295). The “status and position of the amateur have been redeemed and a new, less aristocratic, breed of amateur has emerged .. (who) .. are technologically literate, seriously engaged, and committed practitioners” (Prior 2010, 401).
With DIY perspectives on cultural production being particularly influential in music-making practice, in many ways redefining the field today (Frith 1992; Watson and Shove 2008; Watson 2014; Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997), traditional standards of practice are now being challenged. Music industry standards (Burgess 1997, 162; Grammy Awards 2015; Gibson 2006, 42; Recording Producers and Engineers Wing 2008) appear to be less valued by DIY music practitioners. Notions of effective practice appears to be actively disregarded due to the DIY practitioners prioritizing of motivations such as creativity, emotional connection, networking, and free-spiritedness (Hracs, 2012; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010). Burgess found contemporary music practitioners are likely to be: self-taught, and of a ‘discoverer’ learning style (2013, 29); with a preparedness to reject accepted industry practice (eg: technical or music style standards); and a willingness to borrow at will any music or sonic characteristics from other cultural approaches to fuse into their practice, leading to “unprecedented diversity” (Rogers 2013, 168; McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41).
With this diversity comes the portability of both production and performance technology. For example; producing a full EP on a beach, only needing to retreat to a location to get some electricity when my laptop battery runs empty; dance festivals in a forest where the artists arrive with as little gear as a laptop, or perhaps a USB stick and perform in front of 1,000 people for up to several hours; or, as a result of the technological developments, a new music style emerges because practitioners use the digital virtual technology as an instrument and performance tool, rather than for what it was originally designed for by the manufacturer {data management} (Hewitt 2008, xv). One of the best examples of this would be the creation of electronic music and its sub-genres of electronic dance music, trance music and chill music.
It could also be stated that in Electronic Music Production (EMP), musicians and producers generally use portable technology, accessing synthetic or digital instruments, and compose typically in a structured process (Gunderson 2004; Johnsen et al 2007; Davie 2014, 38; Duckworth 2005, 148; Goyte 2011a; Goyte 2011b; Davie 2015, 34; Holder 2011; Huber and Runstein 2014, 78). In contrast, Indie Rock musicians and producers generally use project studios, access acoustic or electric instruments, and quite often compose in an organic process (Emerick and Massey 2006, 306; Burgess 2014, 93; Dandy Warhols 2010; Leyshon 2009, 1309; Davie 2012, 44-45; Tame Impala. 2012).
The contemporary music-making practice
I propose contemporary DIY music-making practice is now positioned in large part due to factors including, the DIY cultural focus of the past 4 decades, spurred significantly from the punk music era of the 1970’s, where independence and expression was held in greater regard than either aesthetics, musical training or performance technique [DIY cultural pursuit as continued agency of change], and; the simultaneous technological development of the equipment and tools contemporary musicians as music producers use, facilitating unrivalled levels of access to professional equipment, significantly influencing the manner in which musicians as music producers engage in their practice (Wallis 2001). [technology as agent of change]. Additionally, effective contemporary DIY music production practice potentially has the following characteristics:
  • The practitioner is a prosumer, using professionals tools, but also be a consumer of the new technologies [technology as agency of economic change];
  • The practitioner interacts with the technology as a medium for creative expression, as if it were an instrument [technology as agency for creativity and differentiation];
  • The practitioner works in varied environments, use different processes, skills and workflows in order to achieve the outcomes that the musicians and music producers would have a decade ago {and probably including a portable environment} [technology as agency of change].
  • The practitioner works across varied genres, requiring different workflows and instruments
  • The practitioner works with a variety of technologies, likely to be a combination of digital, digital virtual and analogue equipment
  • The practitioner works with a combination of acoustic, digitalised and synthetic instruments
In framing my research study, I have broadly and deeply researched the technological advancements historically in the following audio and audio-related areas of: the telephone; the telegraph; the phonograph; microphones; gramophones; the recording process; the development of radio stations and broadcasting; the development of recording and recording studios; the development of alternative electronic instruments such as synthesisers, organs and samplers; recording consoles, multi-track recording devices, popular music production, large format console studios and analogue audio processing equipment; general computers and Apple Macintosh computers; the internet; digital instruments such as digital sequencers and samplers; digital consoles and audio processing equipment; virtual soft samplers and instruments; virtual Digital Audio Workstations {‘DAWs’}, and a range of exemplar artists (commercially successful, full-time practitioners) that were innovative in some way, influenced by the technological developments, and incorporated the new technologies into their creative works for either new or unique sounds, and/or improved workflow.
The contemporary music-making practitioner
Having explored how the technological development of general devices (namely personal computers and sound cards) and music-making equipment (namely samplers and digital interfaces), has had on, and continues to have on, the music production process, lets look at a profile of the contemporary DIY music production practitioner and the technology they use, we have unearthed to date.
The contemporary DIY music production practitioner may be of any age, of any social status or professional role, but are likely to be IT conversant. They are likely to come from a range of backgrounds such as: artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, DJ, self-taught/school-trained, discoverer, entrepreneur or multipath (Burgess 2013, 29). The contemporary DIY music production practitioner is likely to have at the very least a portable studio, or perhaps a project studio with a range of both outboard and in-the-box instruments and audio processing devices, or quality ranging from entry level, through to professional level. I believe that the term prosumer accurately describes the contemporary DIY music production practitioner, one who is both a purchaser and an operator of technology aimed at the level of domestic, semi-professional or professional use. This technology could be analogue, digital or virtual, procured as a DIY kit, as an assembled device via retail channels, or procured through a range of file share, shareware, or freeware, either legally or not. anti-consumerism, rebelliousness, and creativity. They most certainly possess a ‘just do it’ spirit as the Nike slogan has encouraged since 1971.
They may or may not be currently a professional or a semi-professional DIY music production practitioner, they may or may not be motivated by commercial aspirations to become a professional or a semi-professional DIY music production practitioner. They may be motivated by purely creative or social aspirations, operating on a non-commercial basis, at an amateur or hobbyist level. Kuznetsov and Paulos found the majority of DIY communities engaged “to express themselves and be inspired by new ideas”, “not to gain employment, money, or online fame” with an example being “amateur radio hobbyists in the 1920’s” (2010, 295). Operating at this amateur level does not however reflect their level of passion or commitment compared to the professional practitioners, just the reliance on alternative forms of income to fund their contemporary DIY music production practice.
If the contemporary DIY music production practitioner does have professional aspirations, they are more than likely an ‘entrepreneurial’ producer, “who must increasingly not only perform creative tasks, but also a range of business including searching for work, self-marketing and managing the finances of small studio facilities. This mirrors the increased entrepreneurialism found among independent musicians” (Watson 2013). I would argue, that in these times of tasking multiple roles in economically tight times (as Braithwaite alluded), the choice of music production environment and music production process comes down to what resources are available, how much time one has, and access to funds to support their passion (Théberge 2012). However, as the contemporary DIY music production practitioner is a resourceful species, in the new economy restraints of budget no longer guarantee there will be limitations of access as previous generations of aspiring music producers experienced. A slogan of  DIY practitioners in the new economy may be ‘where there is a will, there is way’. With access, comes choice: choice of technology, location, musical style and workflow. These elements of practice provide each practitioner many combinations of  options to apply to their practice, enabling uniqueness in process, sonics and musical style. Yes, the discipline of contemporary DIY music production is now “characterized by infinite choice” and as a result of the burgeoning numbers of practitioners, “intense competition” to have their music heard, irrespective of commercial or non-commercial motives. As a result, practitioners need to expand their focus from production to also include promotion, developing “strategies to ‘stand out in the crowd’” (Hracs et al 2010, 1,144). 
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2f (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Cole, S. J. 2011. “The Prosumer and the Project Studio: The Battle for Distinction in the Field of Music Recording.” Sociology 45 (3): 447–463.
Dandy Warhols, The. 2010. The Dandy Warhols: best of the capitol years 1995-2007. Capitol Records. Compact Disc.DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 5th May, 2015
Davie, Mark. 2015. “DIY: don’t be a tool.” Audio Technology2015 (106): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2014. “Danger Mouse: producer of the decade.” Audio Technology (100): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98.
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 5th May, 2015
Duckworth, William. 2005. Virtual music: How the web got wired for sound. New York, NY: Routledge.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Frith, Simon. 1992. “The industrialization of popular music.” Popular Music and Communication 2: 49-74.
Grammy Awards. 2015. “The 2015 Grammy Awards.” Accessed 20th April, 2015. https://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Griffin, RW. 1996. Management. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology.
Goyte. 2011b. Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc.
Gotye. 2011a. “Making, making mirrors – a short documentary.” Accessed May 5, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXLyeatI0s&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=64.
Gunderson, Philip A. 2004. “Danger Mouse’s “grey album”, mash-ups, and the age of composition.” Postmodern Culture 15 (1): 7. doi: 10.1353/pmc.2004.0040.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Hracs, Brian J. 2012. “A creative industry in transition: the rise of digitally driven independent music production.” Growth and Change 43 (3): 442-461.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Johnsen, Andreas , Ralf Christensen and Henrik Moltke. 2007. “Good Copy, Bad Copy.” Copyright and Culture Documentary. Accessed June 7, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEKl5I_Q044&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=72.
Kuznetsov, Stacey and Eric Paulos. 2010. “Rise of the Expert Amateur: DIY Projects, Communities, and Cultures.” In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 16-20, 2010, edited, 295-304. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1868914&picked=prox: ACM.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The Software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page  Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2f  Accessed 30th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study Part 2d  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014b Knowledge base & skill set required for Creative Artists today  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
Prior, Nick. 2010. “The rise of the new amateurs: Popular music, digital technology and the fate of cultural production.” Handbook of cultural sociology. London: Routledge: 398-407.
Purdue, Derrick, Jörg Dürrschmidt, Peter Jowers and Richard O’Doherty. 1997. “DIY culture and extended milieux: LETS, veggie boxes and festivals.” The Sociological Review 45 (4).
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.
Ritzer, George and Nathan Jurgenson. 2010. “Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital ‘prosumer’.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10 (1).
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.
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
Tame Impala. 2012b. Lonerism. Modular. Compact Disc.
Théberge, Paul. 2012. “The end of the world as we know It: the changing role of the studio in the age of the internet.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 77-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England.
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
Watson, Allan. 2014. Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. New York, NY: Routledge.
Watson, Matthew and Elizabeth Shove. 2008. “Product, Competence, Project and Practice DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (1): 69,74.
– @David L Page 20/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 30/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/06/2017
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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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2d

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020
(2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part d

2nd Observation.P2a.renamed

Bordering my music-making practice

As mentioned in the previous blog, I came to understand within the first few months I needed to broadly explore the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, in order to border – and define – my music-making practice. Due to the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century, I felt it was necessary to review the industry, fields and disciplines of music-making.

Defining DIY

‘Do-it-yourself’ {D-I-Y, DIY} is now a broadly used term. I found numerous academic articles, publications and commercial organisations to use the term in varied ways and meanings. DIY has been linked from the core of human survival to the early settlers who needed to be resourceful due to either economic or geographical reasons, relying on themselves, or their network of family or friends to provide any required services and repairs outside of their skillset. For hundreds of years people have been doing tasks themselves, irrespective of their skillset, “without the aid of paid professionals” (Washburn 2013; Ryan et al. 1996; Skordas and Trader 1968; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 1)[1]. The Oxford Dictionary defines DIY specifically to home improvement as an activity engaged for economic motive (Hornby 2005). Watson and Shove agree, but expand the definition to include a social aspect of such practice “personal networks of family, friends and neighbours are crucial for individual experiences of DIY” (2008, 69,74). Ritzer and Jurgenson similarly suggest there is an economic motive in the phenomenon of DIY, with examples from the 1970’s of corporations “putting consumers to work”[2] in order to reduce both the expense to the organisation, and the cost to the consumer. The American fast-food restaurant[3], the self-serve petrol station and banking ATMs are examples of the customer ‘volunteering’ to be a more active player in the consumption transaction process with the understanding that this should provide a level of agreeable service, whilst reducing the cost of the good being purchased (2010, 18).
Kuznetsov and Paulos offers an alternative perspective that the rise of DIY culture is motivated by creativity. They found the majority of DIY communities engaged “to express themselves and be inspired by new ideas”, “not to gain employment, money, or online fame” with an example being “amateur radio hobbyists in the 1920’s” (2010, 295), making their analogue radio devices, and then engaging in social groups to use them. Such a trait aligns to Purdue et al’s definition of DIY culture as: “self-organising networks, with overlapping memberships and values”, “challenging the symbolic codes of mainstream” (Purdue et al 1997, 647). This theme was developed in the 1960’s with the retailing of electronic parts and kits for DIY construction. The products were very popular (Saee 2010, 1081) with high school students having get-togethers to discuss projects, and meeting once they had individually completed the projects to compare what they had done. It is interesting that the oxforddictionairies.com definition of prosumer, unlike Ritzer and Jurgenson’s above, is very specific to electronic goods consumers:
Prosumers are those defined as: “who buys electronic goods … of a standard between those aimed at consumers and professionals”, and “who becomes involved with designing or customizing products for their own needs” (Oxford 2015).
A generation of prosumers were being developed, and similar to the amateur radio hobbyist, the assembler could then become the technical operator of the analogue equipment. With scarcity of relatively priced professional pieces of analogue audio equipment, these operators used their customized DIY built analogue equipment in varied audio situations, from hobbyist, semi-professional or professional applications. Still today, DIY electronic kits of specialist analogue audio processing equipment are available and used in today’s project studios (Cole 2011). The motivations to engage in this activity seem to be creative, social, economic and anti-main stream consumerism. As technology advanced, “quality digital recording equipment more widely available” at progressively decreasing cost to the consumer (Wallis 2001, 11). With the development of digital technology alternative music production options to the large format console studio continued. The first digital portable console[4] was introduced in 1979 using tape technology. Three years later, Springsteen released his widely acclaimed and large selling solo album ‘Nebraska’[5] made on this digital portable console, in his bedroom. Originally intended to be a ‘demo’, Springsteen decided the quality and aesthetic of the DIY recording was preferred to the studio-produced album developed (TEAC/TASCAM 2015a; Burke 2011, 119,188). “Evidence from the 1980’s showed that multi-track cassette based recording technologies spread at a high pace to virtually every nation” (Wallis 2001, 11).
Defining DIY Social, Cultural & Music-making practice-related
Examples of DIY in the practice of music have been present for centuries, with the combining of genres together to create a unique style of music, often using specific instrumentation. ‘Skiffle’ music[6], including ‘spasm bands’, ‘jug bands’ and ‘rent party bands’ with the common elements of “simple yet rhythmic style of music using home-made or improvised instruments”[7]. The motivation was for impromptu entertainment (unrehearsed at least), with the choice of instruments more than likely economic, given the prevalence of these bands in communities and an era experiencing harsh economic times (Spencer 2005, 219-226).
By the early 1970’s and 1980’s, expensive and large format analogue consoles[8], commercial record label studios became the norm, and small independent studios became less prevalent (Zagorski-Thomas 2005, 70; Watson 2014, 150). A diversity of music production backgrounds were common, being: artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, entrepreneur and multipath (Burgess 2013, 29). However, a culture of preserving limited access, scarcity of information and skills knowledge was very prevalent in large format console commercial studios by those who were fortunate enough to gain employment within the scarce but highly sought after roles within these studios (Morawetz 1974, 3,4; Leyshon 2009, 1316).
By the 1980’s, economic hardship and British government policy helped to mobilise a culture of rebellion, protest and anti-establishment[9]. The punk movement, with limited capital, resources and access, drew on the DIY social and cultural ethos, creating music, fanzines, record labels, press, and venues. At the core of the cultural movement was independence and expression, with the anti-establishment aesthetic held in greater regard than the formal arts institutions’ interpretation of aesthetic and value of disciplined training and technique. Many believe the DIY aspect is what “kept the punk subculture alive since the late 1970s”, allowing “individuals who seek an alternative lifestyle to thrive. The DIY record labels and independent pressing system created social networks that allowed punk music and ideologies to be distributed” (Moran 2011, 1).
With the birth of the internet[10], people under the age of 33 years old today have not experienced life without the global communication network phenomena. What is unique about the internet is that it is there are virtually no rules and no governing body to regulate it. Therefore this generation, and all generations after them, have experienced life without rules and regulations on for most people is atleast a daily interaction (if not exponentially more). So it is no wonder that Kuznetsov and Paulos (2010, 296) [11] believe DIY cultures reflect the anti-consumerism, rebelliousness, and creativity of earlier DIY initiatives, supporting the ideology that people can create rather than buy the things they want”.  I would add to this list for DIY music production culture, procure at any cost.
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 Footnotes
[1] Of course such a geographical necessity may also include a motive of economic necessity, where the consumer cannot afford the extra service charge that may be due given the extra distance required for the professional to travel.
[2] Referred to as ‘prosumers’ (Ritzer & Jurgenson, 2010; Cole, 2011).
[3] McDonald’s restaurant as a systemized approach to a fast-food restaurant, where service is reliant on the customer ‘helping themselves’ to the table, to get utensils, condiments, etc.
[4] The Tascam Portastudio 144 was released in 1979, at a cost of approximately US$150. It was the world’s first four-track recorder based on a standard compact audio cassette tape (TEAC/TASCAM 2015b) .
[5] In 1982, Bruce Springsteen released his solo album project “Nebraska”, recorded in his home, on a Tascam Portastudio 144 digital console. The album sold to platinum (Australia and the US) and gold (UK and Canada) levels, and was considered a success, making numerous top albums of the decade lists (Burke 2011; George-Warren et al. 2001) .
[6] “‘Skiffle’ refers to the form of grass roots music produced in the first half of the 20th century” (Spencer 2005, 220)
[7] Instruments range from tea-chests, washboards, and kitchen utensils – any resource imaginable that could be used to participate and improvise within the music at that moment (Spencer 2005, 219-226).
[8] In the 1970s the first large format analogue mixing consoles were released including API, Neve, Solid State Logic. 32 channel consoles were the first large format incarnation.
[9] British Parliament Margaret Thatcher is often cited as being a primary motive of the British punk rebellion movement
[10] A global communication network option – the ‘internet’ – was termed in 1982, and grew within 5 years to 10,000 host sites. By the year 2000, the ‘internet’ had 300,000 host sites, indicating the exponential growth that it was capable of into the future (Burgess 2014, 119).
[11] The success of file sharing, shareware, freeware internet sites such as piratebay.se, utorrent.com etc are testament of the proactiveness, motivation, resourcefulness and tenaciousness of the youth of today to get what they desire outside of the traditional and legal retain channels
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2e (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burke, David. 2011. “Heart of Darkness : Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska”. London: Cherry Red Books.
Cole, S. J. 2011. “The Prosumer and the Project Studio: The Battle for Distinction in the Field of Music Recording.” Sociology 45 (3): 447–463.
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 5th May, 2015
George-Warren, Holly and Patricia Romanowski. 2001. The Rolling Stone encyclopedia of rock & roll, edited by Jon Pareles: Touchstone.
Hornby, Albert Sydney. 2005. Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary. 7 ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
Kuznetsov, Stacey and Eric Paulos. 2010. “Rise of the Expert Amateur: DIY Projects, Communities, and Cultures.” In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 16-20, 2010, edited, 295-304. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1868914&picked=prox: ACM.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The Software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Morawetz, David. 1974. “Employment implications of industrialisation in developing countries: a survey.” The Economic Journal: 491-542.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Oxford. 2015. “Oxford dictionary.com.” Accessed 20th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2017 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page  Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2e  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2c  Accessed 10th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
Purdue, Derrick, Jörg Dürrschmidt, Peter Jowers and Richard O’Doherty. 1997. “DIY culture and extended milieux: LETS, veggie boxes and festivals.” The Sociological Review 45 (4).
Ritzer, George and Nathan Jurgenson. 2010. “Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital ‘prosumer’.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10 (1).
Ryan, DG, JE Ryan, BJ Starr and Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Committee. 1996. “The Australian landscape: observations of explorers and early settlers.
SAE. 2015. “SAE Institute.” https://sae.edu.au/ Accessed 20th April, 2015
Saee, John. 2010. “Foreign Direct Investment as a Catalyst for Economic Development.” In The 6th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management’2010, edited, 1080-1085.
Skordas, Gust and Arthur Trader. 1968. The early settlers of Maryland: an index to names of immigrants compiled from records of land patents, 1633-1680, in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Com.
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015b. TEAC Tascam History. www.teac.com: TEAC Inc. Accessed 10th May, 2015
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015a. TEAC Tascam series: 1979 model 144 Portastudio Manual, edited by TEAC Inc.  www.teac.com: TEAC Inc. Accessed 24th July, 2015
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
Washburn, Sherwood Larned. 2013. Social life of early man. New York: Routledge.
Watson, Allan. 2014. Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. New York, NY: Routledge.
Watson, Matthew and Elizabeth Shove. 2008. “Product, Competence, Project and Practice DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (1): 69,74.
Zagorski-Thomas, Simon. 2005. “The US vs the UK sound: meaning in music production in the 1970s.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 57-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
– @David L Page 10/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 20/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/06/2017
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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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2b

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020
(2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part b

2nd Observation.P2a.renamed

Bordering my music-making practice

As mentioned in the previous blog, I came to understand within the first few months I needed to broadly explore the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, in order to border – and define – my music-making practice. Due to the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century, I felt it was necessary to review the industry, fields and disciplines of music-making.

Historical development of the industry – an overview (continued)

Project Studio
Further technological developments gave rise to the increasing opportunity of having a music production setup in the home, based around a personal computer, a sound card, and some form of digital audio workstation to either record or arrange the music. Izhaki noted: “as computers became more affordable and competent, and the hiring of expensive {large format console, commercial} studios was no longer a requisite for multi-tracking and mixing”, a new era of home music creation and production studio iterations known as project studios began to emerge (2013, xiiii). As early as 2005, with a project studio based around an Apple computer with a range of analogue outboard hardware and synthesizers, Stuart Price admitted he “did much of the work for Madonna’s ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album” in his home-based project studio (Doyle 2008). Madonna’s ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album” was a commercial success. As Leyshon highlighted “the recording studio sector is not a particularly profitable or efficient part of the musical economy overall” (Leyshon 2009, 1315), and therefore from an industry perspective, it was positive that alternative options evolved.
Consoles – DAWsand Digital Virtual Instruments – Organs, Synthesisers, Samplers
The late 1990’s and 2000’s saw the development of the digital audio workstation (such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and then eMagic’s Logic). Virtual instruments (software instruments) and sample libraries (audio libraries for software instruments), available from 3rd party providers such as Spectrasonics, Native Instruments, Garritan, East West Quantm Leap, or Vienna Symphony came with extremely large and varied databases, at a cost range suitable for novice to serious producers, ready to include into their productions (Gilreath 2010). Miles Hubber and Runstein reinforced the view that the project studio, now with virtual technology “brought about monumental changes in the business of music and professional audio”, with the greatest benefit being a music creator able to “select from a wide range of tools and toys to generate specific sounds – or to get the particular sounds that he or she likes”, without necessarily having that instrument or musician capable of playing that instrument, on hand (Huber and Runstein 2013, 10-11). Webb confirms the potential of this practice, citing a commercially successful song (having reached the US Music charts) that included a sample from Apple’s household digital audio workstation Garageband: Rihanna’s “Umbrella used one of its drum loops (specifically, Vintage Funk Kit 03) to great effect” (Webb 2007).
As composer producer Goyte had made his first two albums using samples from prepared sample libraries exclusively, he decided for his third album he wanted to incorporate a range of unique acoustic instruments into the process. Recording these acoustic instruments – for example, an African thumb piano, music box, an autoharp – over time in his project studio (a barn on his family’s property), using a MacBookPro and a multi-track reel to reel recorder, Goyte then processed the recorded wave samples in a digital audio workstation via a digital sampling instrument. This effectively created a range of new virtual instruments that could be played in ways that the original acoustic instruments could not have – rhythmically, harmonically and even melodically. Goyte commented that “in virtualizing the instrument this way, it would become something unique” (Gotye 2011): effectively a unique instrument that no one else had access to, and had not necessarily heard previously, as a direct result of the digital environment processing. Goyte’s “Making Mirrors” CD was released to critical acclaim, and among many awards worldwide, won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Album’ in 2011.
“The rise of more affordable digital recording rigs and easier programming protocols represents a democratisation of technology, making available a process that was once accessible only through the facilities and skills provided by a recording studio” (Leyshon 2009,1309).
Portable Studio
With the development of laptops and handheld microphones such as the Zoom H4, the project studio got smaller and more mobile. Coined as portable studios, anyone with musical aspirations could compose and produce in a studio one moment, and then move outside to into nature, or even the extreme, “on the beach of a remote seaside island under battery power” and continue to compose and produce (Huber and Runstein 2013, 78). Such flexibility of recording environments enabled the composer producer the choice of using actual instruments (acoustic or digital), virtual instruments, purchased sample libraries, or creating their own sample libraries directly from the environment they habituate using these portable studios.
The laptop, particularly the Apple MacBookPro, was an integral part of this technological development enabling the portability of music production. Discussing the music production process of his 2011 Grammy Award winning “Making Mirrors” CD, Goyte reinforced choice with “some songs I sang into the mic of the MacBookPro – for whatever reason it sounded really good in that room and I left it in the final mix” (Holder 2011). Hewitt concludes that such choice and options of practice allows aspiring music producers “a significant degree of creative freedom”, to “produce highly accomplished soundtracks”, of a standard where “some of these tracks … can literally be sent straight to the record company for final mastering” (Hewitt 2008, xv). Certainly, the portable studio became a new environment for music production (Huber and Runstein 2013, 78).
Whilst specialising in the Post-Production stage of the Music Production process, Grammy award winning Mix Engineer Leslie Braithwaite mixed the Grammy Award winning song “Happy” entirely within a digital audio workstation. He explains his recent change of workflow to a “21st Century DAW-only approach” in order to:
“keep up with my productivity schedule. Doing recalls on large format consoles is a pain the butt, because it takes a lot of time and it is therefore just not efficient. With my workload increasing and me also trying to meet the demands for smaller budget projects, going into the box made total sense” (Tingen 2014).
As I gathered information, I documented it into a chart. This proved to be very beneficial enabling me to notice specific developments, and make connections across the various discipline streams of the industry that I have not previously recognised.

Contextual Development of Field_2015

Contextual Development of Field (2015b)
As my investigation continued to focus, I was able to form connections that I hadn’t previously noticed between the development of music-making technology, and the development of certain musical styles.  The industry of music production had exponentially developed, and was now so diverse.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2c (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Doyle, Tom. 2008. “Stuart Price: producing Seal & Madonna.” Accessed 20th April, 2015. https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/stuart_price.htm.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2013. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017. 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page  Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2c  Accessed 29th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2a  Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 1  Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2014. image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
Tingen, Paul. 2014. Inside track: Happy – secrets of the mix engineers: Leslie Braithwaite. Accessed 1st May, 2015. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may14/articles/inside-track- 0514.htm.
Webb, A. 2007. “Is GarageBand top of the pops?” The Guardian Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/18/news.apple.
– @David L Page 20/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 29/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/06/2017
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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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2a

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014)
 This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part a

As part of the professional doctorate program I had entered, we were inducted into the world of academic research study. Whilst I was a relative open book in terms of my quest for new knowledge, I found the requirements of being fast-tracked from a position of practitioner into the world of academia at a doctoral level, overwhelming. The level of growth required was enormous.
As part of our program, we were being led to examine three (3) aspects of our practice:
  • the field and discipline of practice
  • the site of our practice
  • and me as a practitioner
Despite my practicing for many decades, I was starting to realise that I actually knew very little.

Bordering my music-making practice

I came to understand within the first few months I needed to broadly explore the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, in order to border – and define – my music-making practice.

Due to the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century, I felt it was necessary to review the industry, fields and disciplines of music-making. I looked in depth at:
a.     Historical development of the industry from the 1830’s to the current era. Recording industry – from the invention of the 1st recording, microphones, corporate studios, progressing to large format recording studios
  • Music Production
  • Digital Technology – Consoles
  • Digital Technology – Organs, Synthesisers, Samplers
  • Project Studio
  • Consoles – DAWs and, Digital Virtual Instruments – Organs, Synthesisers, Sampler
  • Portable Studio
b. Industry standards of practice – commercial
  • Industry standards of practice – technical
  • Industry standards of practice – creative, aesthetic or affective
  • Industry standards of practice – soft skills
c. Defining DIY
d. Social, Cultural and Music-making practice Related
e. Changing Face of Music Production
f. The traditional definition of Music Producer
g. A new discipline of music-making emerges
h. The contemporary music-making practice
i. The contemporary music-making practitioner

Historical development of the industry – an overview

Music Production
Historically, music production lay within what is now referred to as the audio industry. During the 1940’s and 1950’s in both the US and the UK, the field of audio and the discipline of Music Production was centralised around commercial radio and television studios (Zagorski-Thomas 2005, 70), with the hiring of technical experts to experiment both in terms of recording techniques and equipment. By the early 1960’s the recording industry was flourishing with a lot of experimentation. Studios were now starting to be owned and operated by large recording corporations such as RCA, Colombia and EMI records[1], with technical departments to develop analogue technology to use within their studios. As a result, access to the technology, along with the knowledge and skill in using this technology was somewhat restricted to only those working within these environments (Burgess 1997, 30). Though it must be noted, a number of small-scale independent recording studios also operated in the 1960’s, though usually owned and operated by technical-based enthusiasts[2] who proved they were capable of commercial success[3].  However, by the early 1970’s and then into the 1980’s, with the advent of expensive and large format analogue consoles[4], commercial record label studios became more of the norm, and small independent studios became less prevalent (Zagorski-Thomas 2005, 70). Industrialization generated specialist roles and skills[5], as well a culture of capitalizing on one’s skillset, and reliance on others’ services for financial remuneration (Morawetz 1974, 3,4). Capitalism also introduced the notion of barriers to access in order to create or preserve the imbalance of power relations and ongoing dependence on goods and services. This culture was very prevalent in large format console commercial studios, and for those who were fortunate enough to gain employment within the scarce but highly sought after roles within these studios, were inclined to preserve the culture of limited access, scarcity of information and skills knowledge (Leyshon 2009, 1316). Burgess acknowledged a diversity of backgrounds of music producers from that era as being: artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, entrepreneur and multi path (1997, 29).
Digital Technology – Consoles
Throughout the 1970’s technology advanced, with “quality digital recording equipment more widely available” at progressively decreasing cost to the consumer (Wallis 2001, 11). With the development of digital technology alternative music production options to the large format console studio became available. The first digital portable console[6] was introduced in 1979 using tape technology, marking the beginning of a dramatic change in the music production playing field. “Evidence from the 1980’s showed that multi-track cassette based recording technologies spread at a high pace to virtually every nation” (Wallis 2001, 11). Three years after its initial release, Bruce Springsteen released the widely acclaimed and large volume selling solo album ‘Nebraska’[7], made on this same digital portable console in his bedroom {with the intention of it being a ‘demo’, but then choosing the quality and aesthetic as preferential to a studio produced product he had access to as a label signed artist} (TEAC 2015; Burke 2011, 119,188).
Digital Technology – Organs, Synthesisers, Samplers
Towards the end of the 1980’s, low cost digital keyboards and devices were released globally by a number of manufacturers[8]. Digital synthesisers and samplers, triggered by a MIDI[9] controlled keyboard could now play a range of tones, sounds, and emulate instruments. Because a single key could trigger multiple sounds or chords[10], the technique and skill required to play each of the instruments became virtually redundant. Whilst initially the range of instruments emulated were fairly limited, over time this has grown exponentially, from acoustic – European[11] or world[12] – instruments to synthetic instruments[13]. Such resources allowed music producers to have numerous instrumentation options available to them to integrate into any one of their music productions, as their creativity desired.
This has also had of course an affect on the industry in terms of labour, rendering musicians with specialist skills to a certain degree redundant. “Digital sampling and simulation techniques have decreased studio producers’ dependence on hiring the services of live musicians. These trends apply virtually everywhere in the world” (Wallis 2001, 11). However, the positive of this technological development enabled the creation and development of specific electronic music genres, and social and cultural events such as the 1990’s based rave parties. (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 295)
Over the next two decades technology continued to develop at an exponential rate, in terms of general devices[14], global communication network options[15] and music-making equipment[16]. “Renewed interest and wider adoption of DIY cultures and practices through 1) easy access to and affordability of tools and 2) the emergence of new sharing mechanisms” such as the internet had a prolific effect on the widespread interest of music production (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 295).
Wallis noted recently five (5) five main current trends in the music and audio industry, three (3) of which are related to the scope of my Research Study: one being the “deregulation of existing analogue channels and the growth of the Internet and digital channels as global means for conveying music to businesses and consumers”; another being the “removal of national boundaries in distribution, leading to globalization of media products” (‘distribution’ excluded in this essay); and ‘technology’: “Widespread diffusion of new digital technologies for recording and distribution, providing wider access to technology with satisfactory quality at an affordable price” (Wallis 2001,10).
The Behringer company (Music Group 2015) commenced while the founder was studying audio engineering at a German University with insufficient supply of working order audio processing equipment. With limited access to equipment, Behringer who had a DIY electronics background, started repairing the existing inoperable devices, and then progressed to building additional devices for his own use. Behringer recalls about the mid 1980’s “there was simply a tremendous need for good and affordable sound equipment”. Behringer’s mission became “to provide professional products at prices every musician could afford”, creating as they claim a new “prosumer or home-recording market that had not existed before”. Whilst quality was an issue in the early years, by the mid-2000’s Behringer was a very well established provider as they had aspired to.
onion-layers
Footnotes
[1] The biggest studios were owned and operated by large media companies like RCA, Columbia and EMI, who typically had their own electronics research and development divisions that designed and built custom-made analogue recording equipment and mixing consoles for their studios.
[2] later becoming known as audio engineers.
[3] Likewise, the smaller independent studios were often owned by skilled electronics engineers who designed and built their own analogue desks and other equipment. A good example of this is the famous Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, the site of many famous American pop recordings of the 1960s. Co-owner David S. Gold built the studio’s main mixing desk and many additional pieces of equipment and he also designed the studio’s unique trapezoidal echo chambers.
[4] In the 1970s the first large analogue 32 channel mixing consoles appeared. Mixing consoles now featured EQs and FX sends on all channels, and it became also possible to route signals from one channel to another (such desks are also called “inline mixing consoles”). In the mid 1970s Neve developed NECAM, the first computer-controlled moving fader automation. Many popular mixing console manufacturers debuted in the 1970s. Famous mixing console companies in the 1970s included AMS Neve, Solid State Logic, API, Harrison and Raindirk.
[5] concept of skilled and unskilled labour
[6] The Tascam Portastudio 144 was released in 1979, at a cost of approximately US$150. It was the world’s first four-track recorder based on a standard compact audio cassette tape (TEAC 2015) .
[7] In 1982, Bruce Springsteen released his solo album project “Nebraska”, recorded in his home, on a Tascam Portastudio 144 digital console. The album sold to platinum (Australia and the US) and gold (UK and Canada) levels, and was considered a success, making numerous top albums of the decade lists (Burke 2011; George-Warren et al. 2001) .
[8] Korg, Roland and Yamaha were the early manufacturers of digital synthesisers and samplers.
[9] Musical Instrument Device Input (MIDI) was created by a number of musical companies to allow the flow of digital signal between two or more digital devices (Gilreath 2010).
[10] Known as pads.
[11] Such as a double bass which I have seen many times in both European music orchestras and contemporary Jazz bands, but never played one.
[12] Such as a Kenyan Nyatiti which I have only seen in Kenya in the 1980’s.
[13] Such as a Jupiter-8 synthesiser which I saw being played live in Japan in the later 1980’s.
[14] Such as personal computers.
[15] A global communication network option – the internet – was termed in 1982, and grew within 5 years to 10,000 host sites. By the year 2000, the internet had 300,000 host sites, indicating the exponential growth that it was capable of into the future (Burgess 1997, 119).
[16] Such as those previously mentioned, namely digital samplers and digital interface.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2b (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
 Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Burke, David. 2011. “Heart of Darkness : Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska”. London: Cherry Red Books.
George-Warren, Holly and Patricia Romanowski. 2001. The Rolling Stone encyclopedia of rock & roll, edited by Jon Pareles: Touchstone.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Kuznetsov, Stacey and Eric Paulos. 2010. “Rise of the expert amateur: DIY projects, communities, and cultures.” In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 16-20, 2010, edited, 295-304. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1868914&picked=prox:ACM.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
Morawetz, David. 1974. “Employment implications of industrialisation in developing countries: a survey.” The Economic Journal: 491-542.
Music Group. 2015. “Behringer : our story.” Accessed 15th April, 2015. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017. 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2b Accessed 29th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 1 Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
TEAC. 2015. “TEAC TASCAM history.” Accessed 15th April, 2015. www.tascam.com.
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
Zagorski-Thomas, Simon. 2005. “The US vs the UK sound: meaning in music production in the 1970s.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 57-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate
– @David L Page 15/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 20/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/06/2017
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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Doctoral Research Study – Part 1

My journey begins….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

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

Year 2015: 1st Observation

Commencing the doctoral program, I had a relative clear idea of my proposed research study problem. I say relative as, as I have progressed through the many twists and turns of my doctoral program, I have gained clarity regarding just about every aspect of my planned research topic – my practice, my self understanding, the music styles I am attracted to, the reasons I use certain technologies, workflows, just to name a few. In few ways do I consider my self to be the same person – the same practitioner as when I considered embarking on this post-doctoral journey in 2014. This is my journey. Buckle up, as I take you for the ride of my life.
By the end of 2014, I had a clear idea of my research study problem. I made music in two ways:
  1. using physical instruments; and,
  2. using digital virtual technologies
I wanted to know why I felt connected to my music-making when using physical instruments, and why I largely did not feel connected to my music-making when using digital virtual technologies.
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 many hundreds of times over several decades.
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. 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.

1st Observation.P1a.renamed

(2017)

End product orientated in my music-making

I acknowledged that I naturally took an end product focus with my music-making. Perhaps due to the relative ease I made music via physical instruments, I had never felt a need to consciously consider my music-making process. Similarly, I viewed my music-making in virtual technologies from an end product perspective. However, because I struggled with the results of my making music via virtual technologies, I had begun to realise that I perhaps needed to reconsider that approach. Perhaps I needed to consciously consider my music-making process?
A question that arose in my mind was:
  • how did I achieve this connection in one form of music-making – using physical instruments, and not another form of music-making – using digital virtual technologies?
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study Part 2a (Page 2015). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017 1st Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015. Doctoral Research Study Part 2a Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2014b. Pre-Doctoral Research Study Part 2 Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
– @David L Page 29/01/2015
– David L Page 15/04/2015
– David L Page 10/06/2017
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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Pre-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)
In 2013 I applied to a formal academic research program – a professional doctorate program. I was accepted in readiness for commencing in 2014. However, as I neared the 2014 commencement date I accepted my very busy education and training 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 2015.

qut-logo

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 nineteen (19) 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.
saeq-joint-logo-201309
In 2013/2014 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 were being recruited 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.

cooltext170962165748837

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.
As part of the creative media studies stream at our Institute, 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 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 undergraduate academic researchers.

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014e)
My background, and therefore my approach, was so different. 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.
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.
full-2
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 for 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-making 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.
(Page 2017a)
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.
~DLP Gretsch Profile.20141006.v2
(Page 2014f)
I therefore consider this experience to have been very worthwhile in my development as an education and learning practitioner, in the specific discipline of creative practice. I inherently knew that it also prepared me better for my pending studies in 2015.

Preparing for 2015

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.

qut-logo

2017 Update

I commenced the doctoral program in 2015. My formal research journey had begun. On the back of the new acquired knowledge and approach in 2014, 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 students 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 2017b)
These journal entries were published retrospectively in wordpress.com as blog posts as soon as I opened that site. The small sample of blogs I currently have listed on my wordpres.com site under the menu category DCI Phase 0 – Starting Point (Page 2017c) – are representative of some of this new knowledge and approach I acquired and developed during this 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 hopefully find answers to my long-term queries regarding my music practice: 10,000 words book-ending the beginning of my research study.

images

 (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 17th December, 2014
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017a. DLP Blog Category Topics Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2017b. David L Page wordpress.com site Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2017c. DCI Phase 0 Starting Point Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2015. A Creative Artist’s Need – Gratitude Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Linked-In site  Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014b. Pre-Doctoral Research Study – Part 1 Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014c image courtesy of David L Page My Space site  Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014d. David L Page Pinterest site Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014e image courtesy of David L Page You-tube site  Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014f image courtesy of David L Page About.me site  Accessed 17th December, 2014
Page, David 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 17th December, 2014
Pulsating image courtesy of:  Image Accessed 17th December, 2014
QUT image courtesy of: QUT Accessed 17th December, 2014
SAE QANTM image courtesy of: SAE QANTM Creative Media Institute Accessed 17th December, 2014
Terry-Toons Comics. 1945-1951. Mighty Mouse in Mighty Mouse #38-85  Accessed 8th March, 2014.
– @David L Page 17/12/2014
– 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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Pre-Doctoral Research Study – Part 1

Preparing for my research study

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

 (Page 2014a)

Learning and development

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 imagined Santa Claus would look like in an everyday suit. He was well over weight. I recall – when I was about six (6) years old – during a playground catch up sharing with him what my brother and sister called him at home – Fatty Arbuckle.  Several days later, I recall coming home to be greeted by my mother…. mmmm….I was  banished to my room with limited dinner, no playing and no talking for what seemed like a month. She had heard through the Principal at a P+C meeting what I had shared with him. I hadn’t told 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.

Left-handed

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, being told to sit on my left-hand was no longer a focus of the teacher. I recall wondering whether this ceasing to focus on my left-handedness being an issue at the new school was due to the teacher, the school’s approach, or in fact it was just the end of an era of left-handedness being considered wrong.

Always smiling

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.

Practical approach

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 – how it worked, so that I 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 then move onto the next thing. Yes, I got bored quickly.

Industry beckoning me

I quit school because I was bored, preferring to get out start working with adults. I started engineering at a trade level, 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 without having completed the final two years of high school. I used the time to explore all manner of things – philosophy, re-engage with 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, when I ended up graduating, I immediately headed overseas to explore the world. I arrived in Asia to an opportunity in corporate education and training. I played in a number of cross-cultural band, performing at many cultural festivals. As a foreign educator and trainer, I was also volunteered to make addresses at significant events in the local region, such as at the openings of bridges and at local government and community meetings. I gained invaluable experience and skills, that had I stayed in my native Australia, i would not have had similar opportunities. Several years passed and I returned home. I considered my options, and chose to formalise my experience gained in education and training with qualifications, in order to be able to continue my education and learning practice in Australia.
japan_grunge_flag

Corporate experience

After some ten (10) years of practice, the next level of formal qualifications beckoned. I re-entered university to complete my masters degree. At its conclusion, it was suggested I progress onto a doctorate in that discipline. However, after only a short time of study, I was tempted back into industry. The choice was easy for me to make – to apply in real life my proposed thesis topic, rather than remaining at university and developing the thesis statement theoretically.
I commenced managing a local site of a globally-run business, and within a few years had surpassed all projected targets. I progressed into a number of global leadership roles. These required much local and international travel attending conferences, and leading staff training and professional development sessions across a number of content areas: organisational and operational management (including finance, HR, business development, systems and processes), and my developing expertise -corporate culture. Within a global business with over 30 sites around the globe, there was always a need for re-aligning sites to the organisational needs. My demonstrated expertise in change management provided an opportunity to move overseas permanently, heading a region that was now in financial difficulty, and facing deregulation by the countries’ governing body. Over a three year period, I liaised closely with government, governing bodies, financial institutions and head office to return the regional multi-site entity to full accreditation and profitability.  Unfortunately, just a few months after this GFC hit the global economy and over a twelve month period, the corporate entity – located in Japan – went into receivership. Fortunately, the region I had led in its development was one of the few secure entities to survive the GFC, and was able to be on-sold. My wife and I returned home to Australia, to enter our next phase.

Formal Studies

As my career had developed into governance roles, I formalised this experience with a qualification upon returning home. As a number of education, training and consulttancy opportunities arose, I arrived into the industry of my main passion, creative arts. Firstly, an education and training role in music and sound; followed by governance roles in film and arts business development. Having embarked on a doctorate previously, and not choosing to continue it, I had a feeling of incompleteness. In addition, having only formally studied my area of passion – music and sound – at an entry tertiary level, and still having so many unanswered questions, I decided 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.

Symbol of my learning and development

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 any presence of intelligence. I therefore embark on my doctoral pilot study journey with this in mind, and trust that this approach will be sufficient to have me realise the required milestones, at the level of rigour expected of Australian tertiary studies.

onion-layers

My journey begins….
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Pre-Doctoral Research Study – 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
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 15th October 2013
Page, David L. 2016 image courtesy of: Slideshare  Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014b. Pre-Doctoral Research Study – Part 2 Accessed 30th April, 2017
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 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

Pinterest Board Categories.20160306.P2b.png

  • 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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