Memory – Introduction

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Context

The series of memory blogs that follow this Introductory blog are part of David L Page’s creative process – reflecting on selected significant events in the early stages of his life, and associating sonic and musical textures that best represent his memory of those significant events. The collection of associative memories will then be formed into a composition – The Dark Years: A Boy Who Was Beaten – which David L Page will produce as a fifteen (15) minute soundtrack of the first stage of his life. This cultural artefact is to make up one part of his Doctoral Project 1 submission. 

Doctoral Research Study Abstract

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

Blog Posts as part of the Reflective Practice journaling process

Welcome to David L Page’s recollection of his story. 
These blogs are David’s attempt to share his recollection of the most significant events of the early stages of his life, as best as he can – events that David believes have shaped the development of his self, or the development of his musical self. 
The deep reflective practice process David engaged in as part of his creative practice, saw him over some time, situating himself back in time, delving deeper and deeper into the place and the event. Of course, as much as he could possibly do decades after an event, when so much distance has occurred in terms of time and place – David’s aim was to recall as much of the kinaesthetic, the auditory, the visual, the olfactory, or even the gustatory sensations of the particular time and place – of that particular significant event. This is not entirely a new experience for David, merely describing the process he has always intuitively put himself through in his creative practice endeavours, particularly in his music practice – creation, performance, or production. The difference in this research study is however, David had to learn how to more consciously focus in on the selected suite of significant events – at a scheduled time – to more deliberately situate him self back in time, whilst recording the data of each of his in-situation experiences.  
You will notice that the various blog posts – more often than not – David has included associated visuals or images, to accompany  the written text, along with the attached associative sonic and musical event. David’s intention was to be able to share his in-situation experience with his audience as much as he could.  David trust’s these blogs will appeal to either the kinaesthetic, the auditory, or the visual senses of the audience. With more advanced technology, or perhaps an alternative medium, David would like to – in the not too distant future – also share his in-situation olfactory and  gustatory sensation experience with his audience. 

David L Page’s Reflective Practice process

David requested for it to be noted: the output of each reflection of a significant event arrived as a result of a range of catalysts. David found his deep reflective re-expereinces occurred as a result of a range of catalysts used stimulate memory recall. These included: a calendar date; a visual image in a photo album for example, a book – quote, passage, or once just the cover – , a magazine – with handwritten notes in the borders, the internet – pictures or articles, or his vast stock of past writings – streams, prose in working, lyrics in working.  On a few occasions the catalyst was something David saw in life that reminded him of a time or place; at other times a blurred visual image or colour that reminded him of a past time, place, or event; at other times, a sonic texture he heard in his head situated him back in time; or by a sound he heard as he conducted himself in his every day life.  At other times, an old song or piece of music, a musical phrase or motif that triggered a memory – something in someone else’s composition, on occasion something he played on an instrument ; at other times, it was a smell – weather, forest, water, toilet freshener, food cooking; at other times, it was a taste – some deliberate, others by accident; and at other times, it was a feeling he had, and recalled a past time, place or event. On many occasions, it was while he was working in another form of practice, something was said or happened that triggered a memory. David noted these down on a phone message or in iNotes, to return to explore them to a greater depth when he had the time to reflect, and more deeply drill down into the particular event.
However, what ever the catalyst,  it was unusual for David not to have reverted to the written word at some point in this deep reflective process.  At the base of all of David’s practice, lies writing in some style, form, or medium. More often than not in practice, David engaged in streaming his consciousness onto the page – physical or virtual.   This streaming could have been just ramblings from his mind, not quite sure yet of what he wanted to say, but trusting he had to get it out, and down onto the page for some greater future benefit. All writings after all,  were to make up the wide range of data to be collected in this research study Project 1. Therefore, David made a special effort not to judge the merit or worth of that data at the time – in the moment of performance of his practice, at any particular time. He gathered it all. Often, emotions accompanied these streamings, deepening the in-situation experience. Sometimes these emotions were easily tapped; but most often David had to draw his self in over many hours, days, weeks or months, in order to arrive at what he could finally accept was the essence of that particular significant event. More often, possibly than David would like to admit, tears flowed as his in-stuation experience intensified, reassuring his self of the value and merit of this significant event and the particular in-situation experience, at that time.  Sometimes a narrative flowed out of this streaming in the form of a tale; at other times, as prose; at other times, as song-type lyrics; and at other times, distinctions regarding his self, or any one of the forms of his practice – be it creative, research – reflective and reflective, or education and learning. [for more information about a multi-faceted/multi-dimensional approach to practice, see  Research Practitioner Part 16   blog].
In terms of this Research Study Project – and most particularly – this series of deep reflective memory blogs – he observed that there was no particular order of the stimulations. On some occasions  David commenced in the digital audio workstation (DAW), composing from whatever memories he held of the significant event at the time – associating sonic or musical textures that he felt best represented those occasions, and assisted to return him to the in-stutation experience. At other times, David began in an excel chart, reflecting on the significant event, and allowing thoughts, feelings, images and aural events to return him to the in-stutation experience. On other occasions, David used the writing process to return him to the in-stutation experience. 
However, irrespective of what practice or what medium David commenced the deep reflective process, David recycled through most of these processes and mediums – usually multiple times – in no particular order. With each cycle, David deepened the level and intensity of experience, in order to arrive at a deep reflective in-stutation experience,  to gather the range of data for this research study Project 1. You will therefore observe in the following sixteen (16) blogs, a variety of layouts, formats, writing styles, graphics or images; along with accompanying links to an equally wide variety of associative sonic and musical textured events.
David’s hopes, as you join him in his journey back to the first stage of his life,  you will start to hear his voice emerge through the multi-modal narratives of these sixteen (16) significant events. He trusts you will get a sense of how David gains clarity of his self, as he gains a better understanding of his identity, musical identity,  and how his musical self developed over the first twenty years of his life. This research study was always to be an immersive study; a a first-person narrative of David L Page’s personal journey, critical reflection and reflexive practice, highlighting the co-constituted nature of his music practice.
We welcome you to his journey….. 
[NB: Included in each memory blog is a link/s to the associative sonic and musical textures that David feels best represent his in-situation memory of each of the particular significant events].

Message from David L Page

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

Overview

In the early 1990’s I returned home to Australia following a very productive period in creative practice overseas “performing and writing, including recording and experimenting in production. It was a wonderful period for me – one that I hoped would never end” (Page 2014). I recall I arrived home with a new self-image in terms of my creative practice.
In an attempt to develop my practice for my next stage of life, I undertook a number of creative writing courses. The outcome of these programs were a number of pieces of prose, of key moments within my life while I was growing up [see for example, Boy].  A number of the instructors and peers at the time noted my ability to re-situate my self back into the moment of a past event, in some way re-experiencing that experience, in order to then write about it. It was a technique I had developed and practiced, already using this technique across some of the forms of creative writing I engaged in – streaming my consciousness and song lyrics. This technique applied to writing lyrics aligned with my desired confessional singer-songwriter role. A really positive outcome of these creative writing courses was not only the prose, but perhaps more so, my acceptance of this practice as a conscious, deliberate process that I could now apply to another form of my creative writing, prose.
In early 2014, as I was re-considering the focus of my Doctoral Research Study (I had already been accepted), I began brainstorming my journey as a music practitioner. I was very keen on reflecting on more eras, to recall:
how had I arrived at where I was at as a music practitioner?
what life experiences had influenced who I was, or wasn’t, as a music practitioner?
I wanted to articulate these key life experiences into a fluid narrative – my autobiography – of my journey to date. I did return to some of the prose written in the early 1990’s as well as other pieces of creative writing I had done at other times across my life. This reflective exploration took several months, resulting in the narrative overview, Music Practitioner Part 1 – Beginnings (MP Pt1 – Beginnings) blog. I would like it noted though: when I first started writing this autobiography, I had no thought or consideration about doing a soundtrack around my life’s significant events. I had considered at this stage that I would write in the style that I had always done – in an acoustic folk pop song musical style.
Fast forward to 2016 with me now engaged in my Project 1, some 25 months after I had written the MP Pt1 – Beginnings blog, In my search for a thematic idea for my compositions (songs), I started focussing in on more specific events across my life. This then led to another event, and then another, and then another. This process spanned approxiamtely four (4) to five (5) months, arriving as some thirty-five (35) significant events. I then considered how I was going to derive a musical project out of these significant events, arriving at the idea of focussing in on associative memories of each of the significant events. I would – through reflection – associate musical and sonic events for each of the significant event;  and then craft the sum of these associative memory events into a soundtrack as the cultural production output for my research study.  A musical and sonic collage of my life, if you like.
I knew a challenge for me was going to be to contain the length of the composition – short enough to maintain listener interest; and yet long enough to authentically represent the sum of these significant events. But with thirty-five (35) significant events, it was going to be too long a composition for one Project. I however noted that there was a natural division within the significant events of two time frames that I could possibly divide between my Research Study Project 1 and Project 2: up until twenty (20) years of age; and post-twenty (20) years of age. I decided that it would be logical to have Project 1 represent the associative memories of the first twenty (20) years of my life.
I started experimenting with some sonic events, directly inside the digital audio workstation (DAW). Whilst I gained confidence with my vision, I found that I easily lost focus within each event, and could create some musical or sonic events that were less authentic, less congruent to me of an associated memory. The blogs evolved as a way to more specifically focus in on a range of highlighted events, drawing my self into each of them to determine the actual particular significance of the event. I found by immersing my self into each event via a number of written forms (prose, lyrics, narrative), I could deepen the in-situation experience, and better recall a range of kinaesthetic, auditory, visual, olfactory, or even gustatory sensations of the particular significant event. After experimenting across a number of these significant events, I learnt to trust the physical and emotional responses of these in-situation re-experiences as they occurred. For me, the actual sixteen (16) significant events narrated are real. Whilst immersed in this creative practice, I noted experiences including an inability to breathe, shortness of breath, nausea, headaches and body pain. I relived experiences that brought up emotional responses such as joy, sorrow, fear, sadness, nervousness, loneliness, loss, and feelings of abandonment and shame whilst in-stuating my self within these significant events, and writing these blogs.  My planned research study was always to have been a first-person narrative of my personal journey: an emergent study, revealing aspects of my life I had not previously considered fully, or perhaps fully understood. I expected this journey was potentially going to be revealing, and at times, confronting, True to my expectations, it has been.
I trust that you as the reader can in some way experience my re-experiences of significant events within my personal journey, that I now choose to share.

full-2

Re-experiencing the experience 1

Re-experiencing the experience 1 ©David L Page 2016
Just now,
I realise how much stress I am under
as I delve back into my past,
reflecting on,
and writing about
a particular significant event
in the earliest stage of my life…..

 

 

Whilst writing,
I can feel the tension within
my jaw is tense,
I can feel a pulsing down the side of my head
my forearms and fingers are cramping,
I note I am quite out of breath,
I can hear my heart pumping,
as though I have a stethoscope on
listening with so much intent

 

re-experiencing the experience,
of a particular significant event,
immersing my self back in time,
into a deeply reflective in-situation experience,
at the earliest point of my (life) time…..

 

All of my senses are heightened,
the visual,
the auditory,
the smell,
the taste
the emotion I feel within my body,
everything moving in slow mo (tion),
every thing around….

 

re-experiencing the experience,
of a particular significant event,
immersing my self back in time,
into a deeply reflective in-situation experience,
at the earliest point of my (life) time…..

 

 

whilst in the moment
– performing if you like –
deep in the in-situation experience,
deeply reflecting,
in many ways, re-living,
re-expereincing the feeling and emotion
of the particular time, place and event

 

“What is that strange taste?”, I thought
as I instinctively wiped my chin,
snapping back into the current moment,
I realised I had vomited,
mainly within my mouth,
but with evidence down my front

 

 I stepped back
– out of my painting as such –
for a split second,
and considered how I possibly felt back then
in that particular significant event,
such a  long time ago

 

re-experiencing the experience,
of a particular significant event,
immersing my self back in time,
into a deeply reflective in-situation experience,
at the earliest point of my (life) time…..

 

All of my senses are heightened,
the visual,
the auditory,
the smell,
the taste
the emotion I feel within my body,
everything moving in slow motion,
every thing around….

 

I had many similar in-situation experiences,
over the past six months time,
all whilst undertaking this research study,
into the significant events that made up my life,
from Age 2 to Age 20,
in the formative stage
of my growing
up…
I welcome you to my journey
re-experiencing the experience,
of sixteen (16) particular significant events..

 

immersing my self back in time,
into a deeply reflective in-situation experience,
in order for me to gain a better understanding of
my self,
my identity,
my musical identity,
and how my musical self has developed
over the first twenty years of my life…..
(Page 2016a).

 

In-situation re-experiences (aka deep reflective practice)

In-situation re-experiences (aka deep reflective practice) ©David L Page 2017
As you read…
I welcome you to feel…
But of all of the feelings that you can embrace,
please do not feel sorrow or pity …
it is not the point of this journey
that I am taking my self on…
The point of this journey – this process – is for me….
to work through significant events of my life,
to date
to reconcile what I have done in my life,
against what it is that I have wanted to realise,
but have not been able to succeed in,
yet…

 

It is perhaps not surprising
for those who know me,
you understand I am grateful for who I am,
where I have been,
where I have come from…

 

I am here,
as a result of all that has gone before me…
all that I have been through

 

I know my tales are not perhaps
what you’ve heard in other’s
worldly tales of their complicated lives,
some so horrific,
you wander how they lived to tell it at all…

 

I certainly do not want to minimise
those real life stories of
genuine pain, suffering and hardship

 

I have had the blessing of living a privileged life
though, living true to my self
in certain areas of life,
still evades me …

 

and so, I choose not to
let go of this investigation,
my self-imposed intervention process,
my auto-ethnographic research study
with me playing the subject,
and the observer
of the self

 

after all, what is a life for?
gain more understanding of who you are,
and perhaps learn better,
what you are here (on earth) for….

 

there is something in my journey,
that has caused me to be unsettled
for as long as I recall,
it is the point of this journey
that I  am taking on
the study of my self…

 

The point of this journey – this process – is for me….
to work through significant events of my life,
to date
to reconcile what I have done in my life,
against what it is that I have wanted to realise,
but have not been able to realise,
yet…
Without endorsing any behaviours or acts,
that you may realise along my journey,
I know that I am stronger
as a result..

 

Through this process
I am trying to understand,
what brought me to where I stand today..

 

Nothing more, nothing less…

 

So I welcome you to proceed..
I welcome you to reflect on what I have lived,
and where I have been ..
If this helps you understand a little bit more of either,
me….
perhaps you (your self)….
or perhaps someone else…
in which you have crossed paths,
then all the better …..

 

I believe we are all in this thing called life together,
whatever one experiences…
Hopefully others can benefit from our stories,
with lessons to learn,
understandings to gain
for everyone …
So without taking more time out of your busy schedule
I welcome you to engage in…
into any number of episodes in the early stage of life
of me
(Page 2017).

onion-layers

The next blog in this Project 1 series is Memory – Age 2.
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March, 2015
Page, David L. 2017. “In situation re-experiences (aka deep reflective practice)” ©David L Page 2017
Page, David L. 2016a. “Re-experiencing the experience 1” ©David L Page 2016
Page, David L. 2016b.  Research Practitioner Part 16  Accessed 11th March, 2017
Page, David L. 2014.  Music Practitioner Part 1 – Beginnings  Accessed 11th March, 2017
Page, David L. 1991 Boy Accessed 11th March, 2017
Page, David L image courtesy of David L Page. Accessed 23rd October, 2016
Pulsating image courtesy of: Image Accessed 15th January, 2016
QUT Creative Industries image courtesy of:  Queensland University of Technology  Accessed 23rd October, 2016
– ©David L Page 24/10/2016
– updated ©David L Page 31/12/2016
– updated ©David L Page 11/03/2017
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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Reflecting on my Education & Learning Practice

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Reflecting on 16T2 – the findings of this reflection, and what actions I have done as a result

Note: an abbreviated version of this blog is available as a powerpoint presentation. 
It is currently the week following SAE Institute’s Trimester two (16T2) grading fortnight. I am clearing my desk and organising my electronic folders of the last fifteen weeks of teaching resources and administration, and saving required items to the post-Trimester folder. Whilst I am in this process, I find myself reflecting on the Trimester in terms of:
  • the results students within my modules had achieved;
  • my perception of their learning experience within those modules;
  • my interactions with those students throughout the Trimester – their behaviours, comments and any feedback I received;
  • the resources I had provided them, and;
  • my education and learning approach – what approach I had taken, what I felt went well, and what with hindsight I would change if I had another opportunity.
16T2 was a particularly challenging Trimester for a number of reasons, and my thoughts were now on my preparation for another Trimester – 16T3 – due to start next week.  In 16T3 I will again teach on three of the same modules, two of which I also coordinate (administer and am fully responsible for) – a Trimester two (2) module Production I, and a Trimester five (5) module Final Project.
In 16T2 both of these modules were populated with February intake students: 15T1 and 16T1. The February intake at SAE Institute is largely made up of school leavers, having graduated their Australian high school in the proceeding November, made decisions regarding their immediate tertiary study choices, and been accepted into those respective undergraduate degree programs. Whilst there are usually a few other students within this cohort who have had some life experience since graduating school, I have observed that the February intake usually has considerably less mature age students than the other two (2) yearly intakes of May and September.

Professional Development Program

As a Senior Lecturer for the global Creative Media Institute, SAE Institute I am required to engage in their internal professional development program. A minimum requirement is to undertake three online programs per year. The topic selection is from a range of disciplines such as soft skills, education, supervision, management and compliance. These MaxKnowledge courses take approximately four (4) hours to complete, and are assessed progressively throughout the program, as well as upon its’ completion. Given I had not yet completed any courses, I decide to do these as part of my unwinding of one Trimester, and preparing for the next. Looking through the large list of course options, I highlighted a good number of potential topics.  The two courses I finally decided upon were ED117 Teaching Gen Y Students; and EDN112 Influencing Student Motivation. The reason I chose these two particular topics of the many topics available were two-fold:
  • I often observe peer Lecturer’s getting frustrated with certain cohorts of students for demonstration of qualities and characteristics that I believe could in part be examples of generational gaps;
  • As a mature Senior Lecturer in a Creative Media Institute a large portion of the students I interact with either school leavers or recent school leavers. Born approximately two decades earlier, they are from Generation Y – the Millennials. Whilst I believe I have maintained currency with contemporary educational practice including learning theory [Educational Philosophy – Part 1],  following my particularly difficult 16T2 Trimester with two groups of students with an approach to life, learning and engagement, that was at times at odds with my expectations of tertiary level study; I decided it could not hurt to hear another point of view regarding one of our Institute’s primary learner groups.

gen-x

General Characteristics Generation X

As outlined in Educational Philosophy – Part 2, I was born into Generation X (Gen X), the son of two parents of the previous generation, Baby Boomers. In Australia at that time, the resources boom was at its height, providing great levels of economic growth, and surplus levels of disposable income.  Many Baby Boomer parents took advantage of riding this wave of opportunity, especially as many of them had grown up as children in the previous veteran generation where they had experienced war or post-war economic hardship.  The result of working long hours for economic gain, was that in general Baby Boomer parents had less time for their families and children’s lives.
Simultaneously, technology was developing rapidly including space travel, telecommunications, computer technology and media. Social and cultural norms started to change with people questioning their values and beliefs – particularly the youth – motivated by political decisions that affected everyday citizens. Ongoing participation in the Vietnam war was protested in most developed nations, with popular artists and musicians using their popularity to express their anti-establishment views, and alternative life philosophies – be it drug-culture or alternative Eastern religious views. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix used the popular cultural stage to express their art in influential ways to the global youth market. All of these events influenced Generation X  (MaxKnowledge 2016).
Gen Xers grew up to become self-reliant, due to often having absent parents with either organisational or social commitments. Gen Xers therefore learnt that for something to be done, they had to do it for themselves. I recall many a times when my parents were away on business trips for a week, and my siblings were looked after by a live in carer, or as we got older, fended for ourselves. Because of this I became quite independent, in my choices of interests and thought processes. I also noted that I was shy to request assistance, a trait that according to MaxKnowledge is inherent with Gen Xers (MaxKnowledge 2016).
As a result of my upbringing, I have consciously sought balance of lifestyle and work in my adulthood. I like flexibility, and work well in non-traditional structures and times. Whilst I ensure I meet my responsibilities and accountabilities, where and when I actually do this work is less of a priority. Such work needs to be balanced around my family commitments. I have developed strong connections with my family – both my direct and my extended family. Whilst I have not been blessed with my own children, I have a god-daughter and nephew who I provide much attention and guidance to. It is also not coincidental that I have chosen careers across a range of industries which has allowed me to guide and mentor younger people in their education and learning. In many ways, this path has allowed me to address an aspect that I recognised was missing within my development – support, guidance and advice. I am comfortable with and quite technically proficient given my experience with the broad and rapid change of technology within my lifetime.

gen-y

General Characteristics Generation Y

In contrast to Generation Xers, Generation Ys (Gen Ys), have in general been raised by Gen Xers. Gene Xers have tried to correct history by providing total attention to their Gen Y kids, in many ways making up for the lack of parenting they received as children to their baby boomer parents. No question was too small or unworthy.  Due to the attention provided by their Gen X parents, Gen Yers have grown up in a heavily structured life. Gen Y’s lives have been planned down to the hour in a very busy daily schedule of school, sports, clubs, family and friends’ activities. Gen Yers have been engaged by their Gen X parents in discussing all aspects of their lives – their views, thoughts, feelings including social, cultural and political events. Gen Yers have in general received very tangible guidance and direction. As a result, Gen Yers have become used to receiving  instant feedback in regards to their many activities, thoughts and contemplations. Gen Yers have very high expectations of what they choose to focus on, and yet, do not cope well with outcomes less than their expectations. This is a trait that according to MaxKnowledge is inherent with Gen Yers (MaxKnowledge 2016).
Due to the attention and guidance Gen Yers have received over their lives, along with the social network opportunities for posting comments, photos and videos on line, it is not surprising that Gen Yers are a very ‘me-centric’ generation. They do however like to operate within social groups – family or friends – enabling them for more instant direct feedback from within their groups (MaxKnowledge 2016). Gen Yers have a high level of connectivity – connected at all times to all forms of social media and networks. Gen Yers are at the centre of the ‘like-generation’; following social media and liking people and their social media posts is a Gen Y activity. MaxKnowledge noted that Gen Yers – unlike other generations – did not distinguish between activities at school, home or work (MaxKnowledge 2016). This is very apparent in contemporary learning environments, when a student is usually seen with a mobile device – laptop, mobile phone – within their reach at any time during the class.

reflection

Reflection: what I observed in my 16T2 Production I module

This Trimester two (2) undergraduate Production I module is a group project-based learning module. My aim for the module is to provide an opportunity for the students to apply their developing knowledge from the first seven (7) modules into this particular module group production project. Learning by proposing, receiving feedback, negotiation, exploring, trialling, failing, reflecting, correcting, researching and experimentation. The module is conducted primarily in the learning spaces of both a forty (44) seat theatrette & a number of  audio studios. The weekly module content is very specific to their production projects, guiding the learners in their project-based learning experience. I have observed over the course of five (5) Trimesters coordinating this module, students generally need assistance with their time-management. The 16T2 cohort was no different, with the clarification that they probably had more challenges with their time-management than any proceeding cohorts I have been involved with. I observed that students developed little of the required group production project documentation outside of class, leaving it to the last moment, or being less than the required standard, requiring redrafting post my formal feedback. In general, the standard of their audio session management was poor relative to previous cohorts, especially surprising given that much time was spent on this aspect within another module that I also taught. The final observation I had regarding this cohort in the module was that the students’ expectations of their Production Projects outcome (three songs recorded as a group, and mixed individually) were very high. However, given their (in general) lack of demonstrated competence regarding time management, their lack of development of the required documentation, and their poor attention to detail such as with their session file management, the students completed their production projects very late in the Trimester, leaving less than one (1) full week to attend to one of their largest learning opportunities in that module, their individual mixes. In contrast to some previous cohort who have spent up to four (4) weeks in the individual mixing stage of their productions, having spent less than one week meant that their Final Product were not only going to be less than my expectation; but perhaps more importantly, less than their expectation.

The Art of self-reflection

Reflective practice: could I have done anything differently in my 16T2 Production I module?

Considering my knowledge of a range of education and learning practice theories and approach options, could I have used alternative approaches and methods to that which I did use in the Trimester two (2) Production I module?
Given my understanding of the generational differences, was my approach that more aligned to a cohort of Gen Xers, rather than Gen Yers? Could my approach have been less of a holistic view and more hands-on? Perhaps I could have utilised a more focused education and learning theory and approach such as scaffolded learning? Perhaps I could have provided more opportunity within the learning sessions for the students to develop their project plans, rather than expecting them to develop these outside of class?Perhaps I could have provided more specific focus on having the learners develop their project schedules within the learning sessions with the Gant charts I had provided them as an out-of-class resource? Perhaps more of the learning session time could have been allocated to the development of their data and session management? In 16T2 I initiated weekly group debriefs in front of the group. I had thought it would allow a greater sharing of knowledge and experience amongst the whole cohort. Whilst this may have been useful, perhaps it may have been more useful to break into their production groups, and allowed for more group-based discussions over the class-based based debriefs I had organised? This may have allowed for more specific progress debriefing, reflection, discussion and forward planning. However, logistically this would have meant that I had less time per group, and less comments across all groups. But in terms of learning theory, this may have been more productive in the long run.
In terms of the large groups, perhaps I could have more consciously applied questioning techniques within the group discussions. As discussed in Layer 9: My approach in the learning experience perhaps I could have been more active in using a range of concept checking questions (CCQ), instruction checking questions (ICQ), and in general more focussed questions? In terms of the learners expectations of the level of their Final Product expectations, I am clear I needed to address this in more detail, with more specificity. As trimester two (2) aspiring audio engineer students, their expectations of the standard were unrealistic, and should have been more specifically addressed throughout the trimester. I am unsure as to how much difference this would have made given the particular learner’s personalities and attitudes, but I am confident it would have made some difference within at least several of the learners.  I also acknowledge that I could have been more proactive in changing the learning space to other locations, to allow for more group-based discussion. A lecture theatrette does impede effective education and learning irrespective of the experience of the learning facilitator. I find it is too easy to slip back into a teacher-centred learning approach due to the learning environment and layout. As several of my learners have noted: the theatrette style chairs are very comfortable and very easy to lie back, disengage, and become passive.
I would also consider that by following the department’s request to include more signal flow testing, my approach to this was quite focussed, and this was perhaps not the best approach for this particular Gen Yer group. Having used this approach with other cohorts that included other generations such as Gen Xers has proved successful in the past; but with this particular generational group, in hindsight I think it was too much for me to expect that of them.

The Art of self-reflection

Reflective practice: how I have responded, and what I have implemented in 16T3.

This trimester I have ensured from the outset that I have been more thorough in my pre-assessing phase with the 16T3 trimester two (2) Production I learners. I hadn’t met any of them previously due to me not having contact with any of the trimester one (1) modules in 16T2. Therefore, I needed to get to know each one of them from week 1. Prior to week 1, as per Layer 8: My approach in preparing for learning practice sessions, I gathered their 16T2 trimester one (1) assessment tasks that had relevance to this particular module. I ensured I was extra thorough in perusing their student files (electronic), and talked with their 16T2 learner facilitators for their perspective of each of the learners. In the week 1 introductory learning session I was very deliberate in discussing generational gaps, reviewing the learning styles they had learnt in another trimester one (1) module, and introduce myself in terms of these, as well as my relevant discipline practice experience.
In terms of my approach to the learning session – preparation and delivery – I have adopted this trimester a:
  • Less holistic learning approach, and a more detailed focus on specific content
  • More focused approach using a scaffolded learning approach
  • More in-class work, developing project plans in class. I have provide more specific examples and links to instructional blogs than I have previously.
  • More focus on Gant charts and project schedules. I have provide more specific examples than I have previously.
  • More class tasks specific to data and session management. I have provide more specific examples than I have previously.
  • I have consciously focussed more on providing small production group-based discussions, over whole class-based discussion. That is not to say I have omitted class-based discussion, but more so balanced this with more group-based discussions as well. Whilst it may be too early to tell [as of this update, it is week five (5) of a thirteen (13) week trimester],  following such an approach appears that it may have allowed for more specific progress debriefing, reflection, discussion and forward planning within each of the production project groups.
  • I have more consciously questioned all learners throughout their lecture format, small group discussions and their practical studio sessions, to ensure I am optimising the effective student learning experience of the particular learners during a learning practice session.
  • I have already introduced more open discussion as to the current learning cohort’s expectations of their Final Product expectations, and how to be more realistic with this.
  • I have negotiated with another Lecturer in another module to remove the formal Signal Flow component from my Production I module, but still reinforce the cohort’s development of signal flow within my module’s learning sessions as much as I can. This will leave the formal assessment of this function to another learning facilitator in another of their trimester two (2) modules.
  • I have consciously refocussed the way I use and interact with the learning spaces for this module. I have more consciously changed the learning space to another learning space when I require more discussion. i have done this as often as possible.

What I learnt as a result of undertaking the required professional development, and then from engaging in reflection of my practice experience.

The Art of self-reflection

Reflective practice: reflecting on my education & learning practice last trimester (16T2)?

In summary:
  • I had overlooked the thorough pre-assessment of the learners (Gen Y)
  • I mistakenly expected students to be self-reliant – even though as part of that self-reliance approach I had created and curated an enormous amount of resources for the learners to access outside of class)
  • I overlooked the need for scaffolded tasks for this learner group
  • I possibly reduced my focus on questioning with this group
    • Concept checking questions
    • Instruction checking questions
    • Focused questioning
  • I was accepting of the provided learning space
  • I did not consciously engage reflective practice of my education and learning practice as much as I could have across the Trimester
  • I did not consciously proactively pursue research of my education and learning practice during that trimester. Perhaps due to my current pre-occupation with my Doctorate in Creative Industries, I did made time to maintain my research in education and learning in 16T2.

bending-back-over-myself

Reflexive practice – how have I changed my education & learning practice this trimester (16T3)?

  • I have consciously returned to reading education and learning approaches and practice. I have returned to Millwood’s learning theories chart to review a range of learning theories, approaches and methods; and I have spent time reviewing  recommended higher education education and learning text books such as: 
    • Millwood, Richard. 2013. Learning Theory v6_Millwood.D2.2.1.20130430   Accessed September 14th, 2016
    • Knowles, Malcolm S, Elwood F Holton III and Richard A Swanson. 2012. The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. 7 ed. New York: Routledge.
    • Light, Greg, Susanna Calkins and Roy Cox. 2009. Learning and teaching in higher education: the reflective professional. London: Sage.
  • I have consciously returned to my roots to remind me of my practice. I have a large range of resources and past experience to draw upon, but I needed to re-familiarise my self with my philosophy and approach to education and learning. In order to develop my current understanding of education and learning practice, I have now planned more blog titles in my series, understanding this will assist in keeping engaged and proactive in terms of  developing my self and my practice.
  • I have returned to conscious engagement of reflective practice of my teaching practice. Acknowledging Boud’s (2001) view of the use of journal in reflective practice, I am more consciously and routinely taking notes of my practice. This blog is an example of my formalising many hours of recorded data about my practice over the past six (6) weeks.
  • I no longer accept the limitations of the provided space. I have changed spaces numerous times this trimester to optimise learning opportunities.
  • I have included a more scaffolded learning approach in my learning experiences in 16T3.
  • I have facilitated more small group work opportunities, allowing more individual assessment and engagement
  • I have more consciously included a deliberate focus on questioning
    • Concept checking questions
    • Instruction checking questions
    • Focused questioning

Where to from here, in terms of my education and learning practice, and my research practice?

As outlined in Educational Philosophy – Part 2, an analogy I have of my self and my practice is that of an onion. I as a practitioner, irrespective of my practice, have layers of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and bias. One of my beliefs is that it is up to me as part of my professional practice to embark on a journey to reveal who I am – both in terms of my self, and my practice.
There are two focal points that I choose to inform my practice – the theory generated from the field and discipline, and the methodology of my research practice. The figure below shows the relationship of these two foci with in my music practice (see figure ii below).

my-research-study-project_3-points_no-self-p0

Figure I Page (2015f)

The breadth of contemporary education and learning practice

However, the field of education and learning practice is developing inline with the needs of social and cultural needs. As Light et al (2009) outlined, the landscape of higher education education and learning practice has developed greatly in the past ten (10) years. My role as an education and learning practitioner now includes the functions of:
  • research
  • teaching
  • administration, and
  • student service
 As a professional education and learning practitioner, I am expected to perform diligently and competently across all four (4) areas as part of my professional practice. I am now expected to administer all aspects of learning programs within my responsibility and accountability effectively and efficiently, maintain a conscious eye over the progress and welfare of the learners under my responsibility, and deliver a learning experience in an engaging and verifiable manner (qualitatively and quantifiably).  I have taken figure i (above), and overlain Light et al’s four functions (see figure ii below).
education-learning-practice-20161015-p1
Figure II Page (2016)
Given my experience as a professional educator and learning practitioner over a number of decades, I do however need to consider Light et al’s (2009) use of the functional term student services. I believe that this term is very broad, and therefore could be misunderstood and misinterpreted.  Student services essentially consists of all functions outside of academic functions. The term student services usually includes the functions of the higher education organisational processes of recruiting and enrolling a student, registering them within a program, missing them with a student number, an ID card, an email address, allocating them into a class in order to allocate a timetable, arranging and advertising on student activities, and possibly assisting the learner with arrangement of suitable housing for the duration of their studies. However, a key area of student services that is central to my role as a Senior Lecturer in a Higher Education Institute I am employed here in Brisbane Australia, is specifically that of, pastoral care.
Pastoral care is beyond the range of functions that I have described above, as the term student services implies. Pastoral care includes the oversight of the learners in terms of their general health and welfare. The concept of pastoral care acknowledges that learners need to have balance in their greater life, in order to perform well in education and learning:  in their family life, their social life, and in their mental and physical health. I suppose I could summarise pastoral care as being the oversight of learners in their everyday life to ensure they are in a position to maximise their education and learning advancement. In contemporary higher education practice, with all institutes answerable to government for effective education outcomes – ie pass and/or completion rates – such oversight is ann important aspect of the contemporary education and learning practitioner. , it is a different function to both of these (see figure iii below).

DLP Contemporary Ed + Learning Practice diagram.v2.20180124.png

Figure III Page (2018)

Theories, approaches and methodologies of contemporary education and learning practice

As a professional education and learning practitioner, I know I need to read broadly and be clear on the theories, approaches and methodologies that I can draw on in my daily practice. Millwood’s Learning Theories ‘HoTEL’ (2013) chart (see figure ii above) is an excellent starting point for me to return to and re-familiarise my self in a range of education and learning theories, approaches and methods. It is holistically presented, and comprehensive in detail, easily enabling my further research into theories or approaches as a constantly developing education and learning facilitator.
learning-theory-v6_millwood-d2-2-1-20130430
Figure IV Millwood’s Learning Theories ‘HoTEL’ (2013)
By proactively researching and experimenting within my education and learning practice over time, I have been able to develop my content, information knowledge and skill gained across a wide range of experience in different learning theories and approaches. I accept that my practice is dynamic and in need of constantly revisiting, re-appriasing, and developing.
As outlined in Layer 7: My approach to educational practice I am fundamentally predisposed to a andragogical approach to education and learning practice. However, such an approach does not exclude instances where I consider a pedagogical approach to be more appropriate in order to optimise the effective student learning experience of a particular learner or learners at that time.
andragoigy-vs-pedagogy
Figure V – Pedagogy vs Andragogy Chart (2015)
 In figure v above both of these approaches are laid out in a transparent manner, allowing my self as an education and learning practitioner to consciously choose the most appropriate approach for the specific learning experience. As I have yet to find one theory or approach that that is optimal in every contemporary adult learning practice context, I draw on multiple theories, approaches and methods that I consider to be appropriate in the particular learning context.
future-past

Reflective and Reflexive practice

Following my completion of each of the respective professional development courses I had undertaken, I received the following automated email from MaxKnowledge (2016).
Dear David, Training is ineffective unless the desired behavior, knowledge and skills are transferred to the workplace. Applying what you’ve learned from your training will help you maximize your performance results. Please take a moment to reflect on what you’ve learned and how you intend to apply what you’ve learned in your workplace environment.Yours in learning, MaxKnowledge Support
 This email reminded me as a practitioner, that there is little point in being proactive in professional development research or learning, unless we take the process one step further and reflect upon what we have learnt, considering the possible application to our particular context; and then step two, to then decide for change, and implement that change into our practice. The first step is referred to as reflective practice. The second step – that of implementation –  is referred to as reflexive practice.
rp-advantages-2016o910
Figure VI – Reflective Practices Summary (Anderson et al 2015)
Reflective practice
Lawrence-Wilkes and Chapman (2015) notes the importance of reflective practice for practitioners in their development “by enabling insight and assisting learning for new understanding, knowledge and action” (see figure iv above). There is much written of the benefits of reflective practice, along with many models for practitioners to engage in Reflective Practice.
Reflective Practice Cycle_Gibbs.1988
Gibb’s (1988) model is perhaps one of the best known, cited in numerous texts and websites globally (see above).  It is a relatively straight forward model for aspiring reflective practitioners to guide themselves through the six (6) step process by asking six (6) questions:
  1. Description – what happened?
  2. Feelings – what were you thinking and feeling?
  3. Evaluations – what was good and bad about the experience?
  4. Analysis – what sense can you make of the the situation?
  5. Conclusion – what else could you have done?
  6. If it arose again, what would you do?

rp_brookfield-20160910

Figure VII – Reflective Practices Summary (Anderson et al 2015)
However, perhaps a more applicable model for education and learning practitioners is that of Brookfield (1995). Brookfield’s model asserts that as an education and learning practitioner and reflective practitioner, one needs to broadly and thoroughly gather data from a number of sources in order to gain a truly balanced perspective of the practice being studied. Brookfield outlines four (4) ways a practitioner can gain perspective regarding their practice (see figure v above) – through what he refers to as four (4) lenses:
  1. a lens of their own eyes;
  2. a lens of their learner’s eyes;
  3. a lens of one of their peers – referred to as a critical friend – and;
  4. a lens of their field or discipline – through literature
I will note that in my diverse education and learning practice, I have applied Brookfield’s approach over many years. I have found one of the most significant lenses to be that of number three (3), critical friend; interacting with peers who are engaged and proactive in their development of their education and learning practice. Irrespective of such interaction being informally in faculty staffrooms, and formally as an organised de-briefing session, I trust such engagement has provided me opportunities to enhance my “professional practice and my self-development by enabling insight and assisting learning for new understanding, knowledge and action” (Lawrence-Wilkes and Chapman 2015).  I am grateful to those fellow practitioners and for those opportunities over the course of my professional life.

forensic-reflective-practice_haseman

Figure VIII – Reflective Practices Summary (Anderson et al 2015)

Reflexive practice

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Reflexive Practice. Reflexive Practice is the process of developing my practice based on my gathering of, and analysis of the data from my research into my practice (ie: from my reflective practice). Haseman (2015) proposes that for reflective practice to be of a robust and valid form, the reflective practice must necessarily include the two steps of reflective and reflexive practice. Forensic Reflective Practice demands that the practice is (see figure vi above):
  1. Reflexive , as well as Reflective Practice;
  2. Include all three dimensions of practice in the research: the field, the site of the practice, and the actual practitioner them self (inclusive of their experience, background, paradigms, values, beliefs and bias), and;
  3. that the practice of reflection and reflexive practice is not by accident. It is a deliberate practice that is scheduled regularly and routinely into one’s practice.
Given my approach to practice [see Layer 5: My approach to all forms of practice], I am of the belief that there is little point in being proactive in professional practice, without engaging in professional development research or learning. Further, having engaged in professional development research or learning, I need to take the process one step further and reflect upon what I have learnt, consider the possible application to the particular context I am engaged in; and to then decide for change, and to implement that change into my practice. Yes, being proactive in professional practice, means engaging in professional development research – that of reflective and reflexive practice.
I trust this blog has outlined an example of my engaging in professional development research practice with regard to my education and learning practice. I hope to have illuminated my experience as both a education and learning practitioner, and a research practitioner over the past six (6) weeks. As a result of this exercise, I am reminded of the value of professional practice, and the need to maintain currency of that practice, irrespective of how much experience one has. I am reminded that to be able to conduct one self at a professional level, there are certain disciplines that I need to maintain. Ongoing development of my education and learning practice is one; and ongoing research practice is another. Life is dynamic, and therefore I accept that as a professional practitioner I also need to be dynamic – proactive and engaged in the development of all forms of my practice. Listed below are some of the resources that I have embraced over the course of this experience. Perhaps others may similarly find these to be useful in their journeys of ongoing development of their education and learning practice; and their ongoing research practice. Irrespective of the field or discipline they may practice within, I wish fellow practitioners well in their journeys.

Generational Understanding

Understanding Millennials

Education and Learning Practice

Educational Philosophy Part 3a
Educational Philosophy Part 3b
Educational Philosophy Part 3c

Reflective and Reflexive Practice

Music Practitioner Part 3 Reflective Practice
References
Anderson, C, Carolyn Carattini, Heather Clarke, Gail Hewton, David Page 2015 QUT KKP623 Reflective Practice in Action Group Presentation submission  Accessed September 14th, 2016
Boud, David. 2001. “Using journal writing to enhance reflective practice.” New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 2001 (90): 9-18. doi: 10.1002/ace.16.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass
Fisher, Douglas and Nancy Frey. 2007. Checking for understanding: formative assessment techniques for your classroom. New York: ASCD.
Future Past image courtesy of: Future Past Lanes  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Generation X image courtesy of: Generation X  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Generation Y image courtesy of: Generation Y  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Gibbs, Graham. 1988. Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. New York: FEU.
Gibbs’ Reflective cycle image courtesy of: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543739354987865666  Accessed 5th June, 2015
Haseman, B. 2015. Forensic reflective practice: effecting personal and systemic change. Accessed 14th September, 2016. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_118711_1&content_id=_5744651_1.
Lawrence-Wilkes, L. & Chapman, A. 2015. Reflective Practice. Accessed 14th September, 2016 http://www.businessballs.com/reflective-practice.htm
Light, Greg, Susanna Calkins and Roy Cox. 2009. Learning and teaching in higher education: the reflective professional. London: Sage.
Man Bending Back Over Himself  image courtesy of: Bending Back Over  Accessed 14th September, 2016
MaxKnowledge. 2016. ED117 Teaching Gen Y Students Course. http://www.careercollegelounge.com Accessed 14th September, 2016 2016
Millwood, Richard. 2013. Learning Theory v6_Millwood.D2.2.1.20130430  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 14th September, 2016
Page, David L. 2018. Figure III image courtesy of:  David L Page, adapting Light and Cox 2009 (see above)  Accessed 24th January, 2018
Page, David L. 2016 Figure II image courtesy of: David L Page  Accessed 24th January, 2018
Page, David L. 2015a. Educational Philosophy Part 2  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Page, David L. 2015b. Educational Philosophy Part 3a  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Page, David L. 2015c. Educational Philosophy Part 3b  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Page, David L. 2015d. Educational Philosophy Part 3c Accessed 14th September, 2016
Page, David L. 2015e. Music Practitioner Part 3 Reflective Practice Accessed September 14th, 2016
Page, David L 2015f. Figure I image courtesy of Research Practitioner Part 2 Accessed 14th September, 2016
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1  Accessed September 14th, 2016
Pedagogy versus Andragogy chart courtesy of: Pedagogy vs Andragogy chart  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Reflection image courtesy of: Reflection  Accessed 14th September, 2016
SAE Qantm image courtesy of: SAE Institute  Accessed 14th September, 2016
Self reflection image courtesy of: Self-reflection-for-personal-growth  Accessed 14th September, 2016
– ©David L Page 15/09/2016
– updated ©David L Page 19/10/2016
– updated ©David L Page 24/01/2018
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.

Memory – Age 4

DLP_Age 4_Cropped_Fade.P2

A Few Months Past Four….

A Few Months Past Four….©David L Page 2016
Verse 1: I recall going to kindy
A neighbour drove me with their children,
My local street kids – one the same age as me..
And his little sis
They dropped us off for the day….
It was in a local church,
on a very busy highway corner…
Not such a great place to be, I recall…..
I was only a few months past four…

Peter Rabbit.P1.png

(Daily Telegraph 2015)
Verse 2: The church steeple was a tall as the tallest tree I had ever seen..
It had a cross waiving in the wind above
dark and grey, serious and large
Taller than anything I had ever seen
Refrain: Not such a great place for a child I recall,
I was only a few months past four…
Chorus 1: I played games, but not without hesitation
Who were these other kids (who were there)?
Everyone running around and screaming…
Refrain: Not such a great place for a child I recall,
I was only a few months past four…
Verse 3: I remember around this time,
I messed my pants a lot, I recall,
Almost as though I didn’t know what to do
Feeling outside of my body, and
wondering what everything was about..
what is this skin thing that is wrapped around me?
What does it do, how do I know what to do?
Chorus 1: I played games, but not without hesitation
Who were these other kids (who were there)?
Everyone running around and screaming…
Refrain: Not such a great place for a child I recall,
I was only a few months past four…
Middle 16: And then, at about half-past one
forty (40) of us went into a large grand hall,
lights were low
as we lay down on some portable camp beds
with a blanket and a little pillow
they intended us to fall asleep
But I recall only being able to stay awake…
gazing up at the height of the cathedral ceiling ….
Or at the gigantic stain-glass windows
I can hear some kids coughing,
some sobbing,
some sleeping I recall,
there is just something about this time…
I would listen to the (near) silence
and allow me time, to be me…..
Chorus 1: I played games, but not without hesitation
Who were these other kids (who were there)?
Everyone running around and screaming…
Refrain: Not such a great place for a child I recall,
I was only a few months past four…
Return to Middle 16: they intended us to fall asleep
But I recall only being able to stay awake…
gazing up at the height of the cathedral ceiling ….
Or at the gigantic stain-glass windows
I can hear some kids coughing,
some sobbing,
some sleeping I recall,
there is just something about this time…
I would listen to the (near) silence
and allow me time, to be me…..
I was only a few months past four…
Chorus 1: I played games, but not without hesitation
Who were these other kids (who were there)?
Everyone running around and screaming…
Refrain: Not such a great place for a child I recall,
I was only a few months past four…
Return to Middle 16: I looked forward to this time every day…
gazing up at the height of the cathedral ceiling ….
Or at the gigantic stain-glass windows
I can hear some kids coughing,
some sobbing,
some sleeping I recall,
there is just something about this time…
that allows me time, for me…..
I was only a few months past four…
A Few Months Past Four….©David L Page 2016This audio event represents a developed sense of my recollection of this significant event. 
Peter Rabbit.P2
(War Memorial Register 2016)
The next blog in this Project 1 series is Memory – Age 5.
References
Daily Telegraphy. 2015. History of Pearces Corner on Pennant Hills Rd by Tom Richmond, Hornsby Advocate, September 4, 2015. Accessed 26th December, 2016
DLP image courtesy of: Slideshare  Accessed 27th December, 2016
Page, David L. 2016. “A Few Months Past Four….” ©David L Page 2016
DLP Soundcloud. 2016.  DLP Soundcloud  Accessed 27th December, 2016
War Memorial Register. 2016. Home of Peter Rabbit Kindergarten  Accessed 26th December, 2016
A Few Months Past Four …. audio link courtesy of: David L Page  Accessed 27th December, 2016
– ©David L Page 27/06/2016
– updated ©David L Page 28/12/2016
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.

Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 4

Doctorate of Creative Industries Project 1

research

Precis

Continuing on from my previous blogs in this series; as a person new to formal academic research studies,  I have been surprised with the number of occasions that I have been confronted by a range of thoughts, feelings, observations, recollections – positives and learnings – and highlighted behavioural patterns over the course of my life, relative to my music practice. Over the past few months I realised that I did not have in fact, the clearest understanding of who I was as a creative practitioner at this moment in time.
(Page, 2016a)
Therefore, in order to anchor myself, one of my supervisory advisors suggested that I revisit an exercise that I had done many times over my life – re-develop a values statement – a charter of goals, values and beliefs for both myself and my music practice.
The Art of self-reflection
I embarked on this exercise, and was able to at this stage of my research study, gain new levels of understanding of my self and my practice, and then apply them reflexively to my self and practice. In short, it allowed me to develop clarity, increase my confidence with the task at hand, and move on with my Research Study Project 1.

research-methodology

Background – Research Project Methodology (excerpt from Project Brief)

Mixed-methods qualitative study

mixed-methods-research_creswell-clark

This empirical research study will be conducted through my experiential phenomenological lens (Grace and Ajjawi 2010, 198), using a mixed-method qualitative methodology, including that of: practice-led research, evocative auto-ethnography, reflective practice, and reflexive practice, over the two projects.
Reflecting on my life across numerous disciplines, I recognise I am the archetype who has to experience activities in life, rather than just theorising about it at arm’s length. Irrespective of my creative, sporting, or professional endeavours of education and management, I learnt early that I need to experience something to understand it. In Experiential Phenomenology professional practitioners tend to be less interested in the philosophy of phenomenological method than its practice and application (Grace and Ajjawi 2010). Understanding this, I can therefore see how looking at the body of field literature through my lens can contribute to the field. I note that De Carvalho’s (2012) perspective in her article “The Discourse of Home Recording” article is that of a radical structuralist, viewing the world from a power relationship basis (Burrell and Morgan 1992). Whilst interesting from a point of view of understanding the power relationships within the broader industry, I fail to see the relevance of this perspective in trying to understand and improve the efficiencies of my practice. Blom et al refer to practice-led as the insider, reference to the subject being inside the study (Blom et al 2011, 366). As I am in a dual primary role of both subject and researcher within this study, I am well inside this study.
Auto-ethnography
Choosing auto-ethnography for this research study is a natural selection of methodology given the relationship I have with music. When I first heard the soul singers, the rhythm and blues singers, and the confessional singer songwriters of the 1960’s, I was drawn in. I found my home. The rawness, the honesty and the truthfulness spoke out to my self. As a writer, irrespective of prose or music, I learnt from a young age to write without a filter – to write from a place of honesty, truthfulness, very personally. Auto-ethnography enables the subject to be brought back under the spotlight, and celebrates the personal, the emotional and the vulnerable qualities that are deeply embedded within (Ellis & Bochner, 2000). This study is about that self, my practitioner self, the self at the heart of my music practice, learning to understand how I can maintain an open and constant relationship with that person across all music practice, irrespective of musical style, technology, workflows, or creative location. I accept that my music practice-based research study will be an emergent one, illuminating my self and how I see my self within my world, through the creation and development of an original EP. Auto-ethnography is about telling a story, as is the creation of music, be it the compositional aspect, or the lyrical aspect. Mykhalovsky asserts: “to write individual experience is, at the same time, to write social experience” (1996, 141). Creating art is about creating a narrative, usually reflecting on an experience or observation, and then making the specific very general so others relate to it. It is as Mykhalovsky describes.
– Evocative Auto-ethnography
Focussing within the discipline of ethnography, Ellis points out that evocative auto-ethnography is about writing emotionally about our lives (Ellis 1997). Ellis in Pace (2012, 5) notes that evocative auto-ethnography is
“distinguished by the following characteristics: the author usually writes in the first-person style, making himself or herself the object of the research; the writing resembles a novel or biography in the sense that it is presented as a story with a narrator, characters and plot the narrative text is evocative, often disclosing hidden details of private life and highlighting emotional experience” (Pace 2012, 5).
The 10,000 word exegesis will be a first-person narrative of my personal journey, with myself performing the dual primary roles of being both the subject, and the researcher. I am expecting the study to be revealing, and at times, confronting. I expect the study of the music practitioner will not be dissimilar to that of being a music practitioner, writing and performing from a place that is often revealing and confronting.

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 Reflective Practice
I practice music everyday, and have done for over four decades. As indicated early on in this Project Brief, I have practiced music without the conscious connection to motive or self. This is a great example of how practitioners, especially sole practitioners who are usually working in isolation without the possibility of input from other organisational members, can progress on a particular focus of functional music practice without looking outside of their realm. What practitioners require is a regular opportunity to stop and consider their everyday actions and processes. As Lawrence-Wilkes & Chapman (2015) state, “reflective practice provides an opportunity to enhance professional performance and self-development by enabling insight and assisting learning for new understanding, knowledge and action”. As a multi-method practice-led approach, I will draw on and apply multiple approaches of reflective practice across the two-year full-time research study, in both Project 1 and 2. I will look to the approaches of: Schon (1983); Brookfield (1995); Brookfield (2002); Lyon (2010); Pascal & Thompson (2012); Archer (2007), Archer (2010), Ryan (2014), Griffith (2010), and Finlay (2008) for insight regarding this practice. At this time, I am considering commencing with two art’s based discussions of reflective practice, and three non-art’s based reflective practice authors. Ryan’s (2014) approach as outlined in “Reflective Practice in the Arts”. Whilst not music practice specific, she talks about performative practice which applies very well to music practice. Additionally, Ryan draws heavily on Archer, a considered expert in the area of reflective practice. Secondly, the work of Griffith’s discusses the researcher self, which has obvious parallels with my research study of the practitioner self (2010). Both authors discuss a mixed method of reflective practice and reflexive practice within their arts-based discussions. One of the advantages of a mixed method qualitative research study is that it permits complementary methods, allowing the results or findings of one method to shape the subsequent steps in the research process (Robson 1993). The other advantage of mixed method qualitative approaches is that it permits triangulations and enhances interpretability of the literature and data collected increasing the validity of the research findings. There will be extensive empirical data gathered as a matter of process, with commentary and reflection regarding the opportunities and challenges of certain workflows and combinations of the elements of music practice. The three non-art’s based authors I will draw on are: Schon’s (1983) “Reflection-in-action” and “Reflection-on-Action”; Pascal and Thompson’s (2012) “Reflection-for-action”; and Lyon’s (2010) Reflective Journal toolkit question. (Page 2015).
Now that I have established a context for my DCI Research Study, I will share my Charter of Values and Beliefs (as at 31st December, 2015).

~DLP Pro Image 1.20141020

DLP’s Charter of Values and Beliefs v1

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Year 1 Research Study Part 1a – who I know I am now

1a. Self: In life, I value a holistic perspective [Value]. I strive to consider life from a global holistic perspective [Goal] . I believe I consider my life and varied forms of practice from a global holistic perspective [Belief].
1b. Self: In life, I value balance [Value].
I strive to be balanced, to be a balanced, functional human being – affective, expressive and communicative – mentally, physically, spiritually [Goal]. Whilst being very busy, I believe have balance in my life. I believe I am a balanced, functional human being – affective, expressive and communicative – mentally, physically, spiritually [Belief].
1c. Self: In life, I value intellect/mindfulness [Value]. I strive to approach life with an open and inquiring mind [Goal]. I believe I approach most aspects of life with an open and inquiring mind, applying thought and mindfulness [Belief].
1d. Self: In life, I value emotion [Value]. I strive to be emotionally connected [Goal] . I believe I am an affected being [Belief].
1e. Self: In life, I value joy [Value]. I strive to be connected to joy and happiness [Goal] . I believe I am a joyful being [Belief].
1f. Self: In life, I value physical connection [Value]. I strive for physical connection in everything I do [Goal]. I believe I am a physical being – a tactile being, a kinesthetic being, a sensual being [Belief].
1g. Self: I value a sincere and deep level of engagement with others [Value]. I aspire to engaging with others in a sincere way, and to a deep level of engagement with others [Goal]. I believe I engage with others in a sincere way, and to a deep level of engagement with others – in a genuine and congruent manner [Belief].

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Year 1 Research Study Part 1b – who I know I am now as a practitioner

2a. Self & Practice: In my life I value self-reliance [Value]. I aspire to being self-reliant [Goal]. I believe I am able to be self-reliant in most aspects of my life, but choose to, or not to as I see appropriate [Belief].
2b. Self & Practice: I value a high standard of practice [Value]. I aspire to execute a high standard of practice [Goal]. I believe I operate at a high standard of practice in most areas of my life [Belief].
2c. Self & Practice: I value a complex multi-dimensional approach to practice [Value]. I aspire to execute a complex multi-dimensional approach within my practice [Goal]. I believe I execute a complex multi-dimensional approach within most areas of my life [Belief].
2d. Self & Practice: I value spontaneity (being spontaneous = freedom for DLP) [Value]. I aspire to spontaneously – effortlessly, naturally – alter my practice as I see fit/appropriate [Goal]. I believe I operate in a spontaneous manner – effortlessly, naturally – in my various forms of practice [Belief].
2e. Self & Practice: In my life I value being prepared [Value]. I aspire to being prepared in all situations, facilitating optimum engagement and maximizing the opportunity of an optimum experience for others [Goal]. I believe I prepare thoroughly for my practice, facilitating optimum engagement and maximizing the opportunity of an optimum experience for others. I believe such preparation is an integral part of the practice process [Belief]
2f Self & Practice: In my life I value appearing to be in a relaxed state [Value]. I aspire to appearing to be in a relaxed state in all situations, enabling the execution of what appears to be an effortless/natural/automatic high level of practice; in turn facilitating optimum engagement and maximizing the opportunity of an optimum experience for others [Goal]. I believe I prepare thoroughly for my practice, prior to practice, in order to be in a relaxed stated at the time of public practice (ie the performance). Being in this state in turn facilitates optimum engagement and maximizes the opportunity of an optimum experience for others. I believe such a relaxed state in public performance is a key element of the practice process [Belief].

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Year 1 Research Study Part 1c – who I know I am as a practitioner

3a. Social and Cultural contexts: I value social and cultural diversity [Value]. I strive to live across a very wide and broad range of social and cultural contexts – countries and cultures in my life [Goal]. I believe I embrace a very wide and broad range of of social and cultural contexts – countries and cultures in my life [Belief].
3b. Social and Cultural contexts: I value equal opportunity for all – irrespective of gender, race, sexual preference, impairment [Value] . I strive to provide equitable levels of service and practice for all – irrespective of gender, race, sexual preference, impairment [Goal] . I believe I assist people by providing equitable levels of service and practice for all – irrespective of gender, race, sexual preference, impairment [Belief].
3c. Social and Cultural contexts: I value opportunity for all for learning and development to navigate their life  – their dreams, desires, goals, directions, wants, wishes, in order to overcome their challenges, issues, hurts… (what I refer to as “community education”) [Value] . I strive to assist people to gain an opportunity for learning and development – helping them to navigate their life –  their dreams, desires, goals, directions, wants, wishes, in order to overcome their challenges, issues, hurts… – (what I refer to as “community education”) [Goal]. I believe I assist people to gain an opportunity for learning and development – helping them to navigate their life – their dreams, desires, goals, directions, wants, wishes, in order to overcome their challenges, issues, hurts… – (what I refer to as “community education”) [Belief].

Year 1 Research Study Part 1d – who I know I am as a music practitioner

4a. Music Practice: I value social and cultural diversity of music style [Value]. I strive to experience and be influenced by a very wide and broad range of diversity of music styles in my life [Goal]. I believe I am open to experience and be influenced by a very wide and broad range of diversity of music styles [Belief].
4b. Music Practice: I value the practice of music in a supportive culture and environment [Value]. I strive to practice music in a supportive culture and environment in my life [Goal]. I believe I practice music in a supportive culture and environment [Belief].

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Year 1 Research Study Part 1e – who I know I am as a music practitioner

5a. Composition and Performance: I value compositions combining a range of music and sonic textures, appropriate to the music style [Value]. I strive to create compositions integrating a range of music and sonic textures into all of my compositions and performances, appropriate to the music style [Goal]. I believe I integrate a range of music and sonic textures into all of my compositions and performances, appropriate to the music style [Belief].
5b. Composition and Performance: I value compositions combining a range of music and sonic textures, woven together in a holistic cohesive manner [Value]. I strive as a music practitioner to create and play compositions combining a range of music and sonic textures, woven together in a holistic cohesive manner [Goal]. I believe as a music practitioner, I create and play compositions combining a range of music and sonic textures, woven together in a holistic cohesive manner [Belief].
5c. Composition and Performance: I value performing the instruments and musical parts I play, in and around other instruments, integrating/gluing all of the instrumental music and sonic textures together [Value]. I strive to perform the instruments and musical parts I play, in and around other instruments, integrating/gluing all of the instrumental music and sonic textures together [Goal]. I believe I perform the instruments and musical parts I play, in and around other instruments, integrating/gluing all of the instrumental music and sonic textures together [Belief].

~DLP Pro Image 1.20141020

As I developed my Research Study  I developed my Charter of Values progressively, and updated the following as of 25th April 2016 one third (1/3rd) the way through my Project 1.

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Year 2 Research Study Part 2a – who I am discovering/accepting myself to be as a practitioner

6a. Self & Professional Practice: In my life I value reflection – regular conscious interrogative introspection in order to consider, critically analyse and appraise my self and my practice [Value]. I aspire to being reflective – regular conscious interrogative introspection in order to consider, critically analyse and appraise my self and my practice (family, music, education, research and management & governance) as appropriate  [Goal]. I believe I am able to be reflective – regular conscious interrogative introspection in order to consider, critically analyse and appraise my self and my practice (family, music, education, research and management & governance) as appropriate [Belief].
6b. Self & Professional Practice: In my life I value ongoing development – constant and never-ending reflexive practice, in order to maintain proactive development of my self and my practice [Value]. I aspire to ongoing development – constant and never-ending reflexive practice, in order to maintain proactive development of my self and my practice (family, music, education, research and management & governance) as appropriate  [Goal]. I believe I am committed to ongoing development – constant and never-ending reflexive practice, in order to maintain proactive development of my self and my practice (family, music, education, research and management & governance) as appropriate  [Belief].
6c. Self & Professional Practice: I value varied motives of practice [Value]. I strive to practice as a result of many varied motivations [Goal]. I believe I practice as a result of many varied motivations such as: to present and express a holistic balanced perspective; to express, engage and connect with people across a range of senses such as their intellect/mindfulness, emotion, joy and physicality; for engagement – sincere and deep engagement; for nurturing – as a social carer, an encourager, a coach, a mentor, an educator, a friend; for communication – expression, reflection, observation; for learning –  discovery, exploration; for aspiration, inspiration, encouragement, lifetime learning; for emotional, mental and physical exercise; as therapeutic – reflection for balance [Belief].
6d. Self & Professional Practice: In my life I value nurturing [Value]. I aspire to be nurturing being – of myself and others – across my areas of my practice (family, music, education, research, practice) as appropriate [Goal]. I believe I am a nurturing being – of myself and others – across my areas of my practice (family, music, education, research, practice) – a social carer, an encourager, a coach, a mentor, an educator, a friend…. as appropriate  [Belief].

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Year 2 Research Study Part 2b – who I am discovering/accepting myself to be as a music practitioner

7a. As a physical being and music practitioner: I value music for its affective, expressive and communicative qualities [Value]. I strive to perform and compose music with affective, expressive and communicative qualities [Goal]. I believe I have at times performed and composed music with affective, expressive and communicative qualities [Belief].
7b. As a physical being and music practitioner: I value physical instruments that emit vibrations and resonances, of a style and size I can physically embrace [Value]. I research across a range of physical instruments to play that emit vibrations and resonances, of a style and size I can physically embrace [Goal]. I believe I search for and play a range of physical instruments that emit vibrations and resonances, of a style and size I can physically embrace [Belief].

Summary

As a person new to formal academic research studies,  I have been surprised with the number of occasions that I have been confronted by a range of thoughts, feelings, observations, recollections – positives and learnings – and highlighted behavioural patterns over the course of my life, relative to my music practice. Over the past few months I realised that I did not have in fact, the clearest understanding of who I was as a creative practitioner at this moment in time.  Therefore in order to try to anchor myself, I embarked on this Charter of Values and Beliefs exercise to develop a contemporary values statement – a charter of values for both myself and my music practice at this time. I was able to gain new levels of understanding of my self and my practice, and start to apply them reflexively to my self and practice. In short, it has allowed me to develop clarity, increase my confidence with this task at hand, my Research Study Project 1.

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Figure I – Project 1 Research Study Developed Approach (Page, 2016b)

Next Step

I realise that as my Research Study Project continues and I gain more insight and greater clarity about my self and my practice, I trust this document will require more development. It should be after all recognised as a dynamic document that will continue to evolve, in line my reflections and insights of my self interests, and my practitioner self interests.
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 5. It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Archer, Margaret S. 2007. Making our way through the world: human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Archer, Margaret S. 2010. Conversations about reflexivity, Ontological Explorations. New York: Routledge.
Blom, Diana, Dawn Bennett and David Wright. 2011. “How artists working in academia view artistic practice as research: Implications for tertiary music education.” International Journal of Music Education: 0255761411421088.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 2002. “Using the lenses of critically reflective teaching in the community college classroom.” New Directions for Community Colleges 2002 (118): 31-38.
Burrell, Gibson and Gareth Morgan. 1992. Sociological paradigms and organisational analysis: elements of the sociology of corporate life. Aldershot, Hants: Ashgate.
De Carvalho, Alice Tomaz. 2012. “The discourse of home recording: authority of pros and the sovereignty of big studios.” Journal of the Art of Record Production 7.
Ellis, Carolyn. 1997. “Evocative autoethnography: Writing emotionally about our lives.” Communication Faculty Publications Paper 304.
Ellis, Carolyn S and Arthur Bochner. 2000. “Autoethnography, personal narrative, reflexivity: researcher as subject.” In The Handbook of Qualitative Rsearch, edited by Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln, 733-768. New York: Sage.
Finlay, Linda. 2008. “Reflecting on ‘reflective practice’.” Practice-based Professional Learning Centre paper 52 29 (August 12th, 2015). www.open.ac.uk/pbpl.
Franz, Jill M. 2010. Arts-based research. Researching Practice: A Discourse on Qualitative Methodologies 2: 217-226.
Grace, S and R Ajjawi. 2010. “Phenomenological research: Understanding human phenomena.” Researcing practice: A discussion on qualitative methodologies. Rotterdam: Sense.
Griffiths, Morweena. 2010. Research and the self. In The Routledge companion to research in the arts, edited by M Biggs and H Karlsson, 167-185. London: Routledge.
Lyons, N. 2010. Handbook of reflection and reflective inquiry: mapping a way of knowing for professional reflective inquiry. Vol. 1 New York: Springer.
Mykhalovsky, Eric. 1996. “Reconsidering Table Talk.” Qualitative Sociology 19 (1).
Pace, Steven. 2012. Writing the self into research using grounded theory analytic strategies in auto ethnography. TEXT Special Issue Website Series 13.
Page, David L. 2016b. QUT KKP622 Mid-Project 1 Research Study Progress Report submission draft Accessed April 24, 2016.
Page, David L. 2016a. 7th Observation image. Created April 24, 2016.
Page, David, L. 2015 QUT KKP603 Project Development in the Creative Industries submission DLP DCI Project Brief  Accessed April 22, 2016.
 Pascal, J and N Thompson. 2012. “Developing critically reflective practice.” Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives 13(2) 311-325. Accessed June 12, 2015. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2012.657795.
Robson, C. 1993. Real world research. Oxford: Blackwell.
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot, England: Arena.
Wright, David George, Dawn Bennett and Diana Blom. 2010. The interface between arts practice and research: attitudes and perceptions of Australian artist‐academics. Higher Education Research & Development 29 (4): 461-473.
David L Page image courtesy of: David L Page’s Linked-In   Accessed 24th April, 2016
Research image courtesy of: Research Accessed 28th January 2016
Research Methodology Summary image courtesy of: Research Methodology Accessed 28th January 2016
Mixed Methods Research image courtesy of: Mixed Methods Research Accessed 25th April 2016
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March, 2015
Values image courtesy of: Values Accessed 25th April 2016
– ©David L Page 25/04/2016
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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Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 3c

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“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring” [David Bowie].

 Observations of my practice

The Art of self-reflection

Since commencing my Doctorate in January 2015, I have immersed my self in researching the industry and field of my practice, attempting to better understand how my practice sits within the very broad fields of music and sound. As I drilled down further, I defined a number of divergent disciplines within the field of music and sound that had emerged as technologies developed (Théberge 1997, in Page 2015a). Reflecting on the path my music practice had taken over a number of decades, I noticed that my path had taken what could only be described as a diagonal trajectory, across a number of the disciplines of music practice, as technologies were developed. Like many of my peers, I seemed to be attracted to new technologies and attempts to apply these, like to a moth to a lamp, I was passionate about analogue technologies; but I was also curious as to the opportunities that digital technologies brought to practice: the multiple array of sound options within a small device, relative to the multiple analogue devices that would be needed to produce a similar array of sounds. Then as virtual environments became possible with the development of computer technologies, my curiosity was again attracted to the possibilities: the exponential array of sound options, within a relatively small device such as a desktop computer, relative to the multiple digital devices that would be needed to produce a similar array of sounds (see History Music Production Part 5a). As I delved deeper into my past, I accepted that I did not see my self as an innovator, just curious. A music practitioner who was attracted by new sounds and approaches to music production and performance. I began to recognise that I naturally took a multi-disciplinary approach in not only my music practice, but in my life in general. I recall few times in my life where I was content to focus on one discipline for an extended period of time. I have accepted that my practice now covers three broad disciplines: a broad definition of music practice (Small 1998), education and learning practice, and my most recent engagement, research practice.

Research Practice

Continuing on from my previous blogs in this series; I have actively engaged in research practice investigating various research methodologies, I started to define my view of what my practice was. Whilst I have not formally studied Reflective Practice at a tertiary level, I have been presented a number of formal tertiary milestone opportunities where I was required to reflect on my practice. As a post-graduate research student, I am reading broadly about this particular methodological practice in order to improve my understanding. Whilst reading, I have found my self reflecting on each of my various forms of practice, and speculating how the particular methodological practice may apply to any of these forms.
Questions arising in my mind over the past several months have included:
  • What is the range of opinions about the process of reflecting within academic literature?
  • What of these opinions have been related to the context of creative practice?
  • What benefits might I expect as result of my reflecting on my own creative practice?
    • Should I expect these benefits to be of a tangible or non-tangible form?
    • If of a non-tangible form, how will I know that I have received the benefit?
  • Does the current literature differentiate between the process of reflecting, and what is referred to as reflective practice?
  • What are there different models of reflective practice, and how could they be applied?
  • Could different models of reflective practice be more appropriate to different forms of practice?
  • Is the act of reflective process in itself expected to bring benefit to my practice?
As I have progressed my Project 1’s creative process over the past several months – particularly in terms of the collection of data and accompanying documentation process –  I have found myself considering:
  • if I reflect in my music practice?; and if so,
  • how do I reflect in my music practice?
Further questions have arisen:
  • assuming I reflect, at what point in my practice – ie when – did I engage in reflective practice?
Further:
  • were there any observations in regard to the timing of my reflective practice? (ie: positive, neutral or negative implications);
  • had I observed that my reflective practice occured as a planned or unplanned process?
  • what did my reflective practice process look like? (ie: site, time relative to my practice, did I collect evidence of these reflections? and if so, how did I collect this data/by what mediums did I collect this reflection data)?
  • had I observed any benefits from engaging in reflective practice?
  • to what degree would I classify these benefits as being tangible or non-tangible?
  •  how did I engage in the act of reflection or reflective practice? 
Given that I nominated a number of authors in my project brief  who I had thought I would align myself to their approaches to reflective practice, have I found any of these models useful in the process of investigating my practice?
  • If so, which particular model or models have I found to be useful at which stage of my practice?
  • If not, are there other reflective practice models defined in academic literature that may better apply to my practice?
  • If so, which model or models may these be?

Reflective versus Reflexive Practice

The other side of the discussion practitioners may have with fellow reflective practitioner models is: when does creative practice move from one of reflection, to that of reflexive practice?  Reflexive practice is referred to when practice is reflected upon, and  choices of improvements are determined to trial and integrate into one’s practice moving forward. There is a sequence to the two forms of practice merely by definition, but as to how I can use or integrate these into my practice is still unclear to myself.
For me as a songwriter, I have for many years acknowledged that I intuitively use a writing technique called stream of consciousness – writing commenced from a specific stimuli (visual or other), writing continuously, pursuing a thought process without stopping for contemplation, narrowing ones’ focus in on a central theme, until the point of a specific topic and line of thought is illuminated and committed to the document (paper of electronic). I find as part of the process I actually move into a semi-conscious state. It is as Ryan describes Archer’s model in “Reflective Practice in the Arts”. Whilst not music practice specific, Ryan talks about performative practice which applies very well to this experience of this creative stage of my music practice. Archer’s model terms this type of reflective practice  as [bottom right point] “Expressivity – reflecting as performer to improve/change in the moment” (Ryan 2014, 80).

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Figure I – Archer’s Reflective Practice model (Ryan 2014)
At the moment of time within my stream of consciousness writing, I am performing – improvising within my mind, considering and expressing, and then responding to my prior thought/s. It is much the same way I respond when I am performing music, and improvising. I am reflecting in the moment, and within a slit second responding with another melodic, harmonic and rhythmic line. I think the key aspect of this type of reflection is ‘in the moment’.  The reflective practice is on-site, in the moment. As noted in a previous blog, Schon (1983) refers to this reflective practice as being “reflection-in-action”. As a music practitioner I engage in this form of reflective practice regularly. Effectively,  I am in the creative process, performing. The evidence of this reflective practice is actually the output of the performance – the cultural production; whatever form that may be. Whether the improvised instrumental solo that may or may not be captured on tape or video; or the stream of conscious writing committed to the document (paper of electronic).
Aesthetics is another stage of the reflective practice process according to Archer: “Aesthetics – reflection of the perceiver of art” (Ryan 2014, 80). According to Archer’s model, aesthetics is a arm’s length reflective practice. It may also include other’s in the performance piece, other than the creative practitioner such as an audience member, who is observing the performance as it occurs, with the performer actually responding to their response (facial, vocal, etc) and altering their creative practice as a result. However, as a researcher observer of my own creative practice, stopping and considering my process from a distance – perhaps even only at an arm’s length – is highly likely going to cause the creative performance in the moment, to stop, while the practitioner, the observer, steps back and look at their art from a greater distance than in the first step of the reflective practice stage; that of expressivity.
The last stage of Archer’s reflective process is that of expression: “Expression through symbolic capture – reflecting on and learning about self through the semblance produced” (Ryan 2014, 80). This process is likely to be in contrast to the two former stages of the reflective practice process. Instead of being on-site, this part of the process, is likely to be away from site, as part of what Schon (1983) has referred to as either “Reflection-on-Action”; or possibly what Pascal and Thompson (2012) has referred to  as “Reflection-for-action”.
With this distinction, I realised I needed to read more broadly and deeply to consider my reflective practice model options from other specialist research practitioners, to apply to my particular auto-ethnographic research study. These are likely to be, in addition to the previously discussed Schon (1983), Brookfield (2002,1995, 1986), Archer (2010,2007), Ryan (2014) and Griffiths (2010); Rolfe (2002), Kolb (1984), Lawrence-Wilkes and Ashmore (2015), and Boud (2001).
I also need to research how one is expected to then test one’s practice, pre-reflection and post-reflexive developments. It would seem to be quite a challenging task, but a necessary one to be able to provide qualified or quantified evidence of either positive or not positive results from such reflective and reflexive practice within my research study. It is after all a requirement of robust academic research – to demonstrate thorough research practice.
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 6. It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Archer, Margaret S. 2007. Making our way through the world: human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Archer, Margaret S. 2010. Conversations about reflexivityOntological Explorations. New York: Routledge.
Bowie, David David Bowie quote  Accessed 3rd January 2016.
Boud, David. 2001. “Using journal writing to enhance reflective practice.” New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 2001 (90): 9-18. doi: 10.1002/ace.16.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 2002. “Using the lenses of critically reflective teaching in the community college classroom.” New Directions for Community Colleges 2002 (118): 31-38.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Brookfield, Stephen. 1986. Understanding and facilitating adult learning: a comprehensive analysis of principles and effective practices. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Griffiths, Morweena. 2010. Research and the self. In The Routledge companion to research in the arts, edited by M Biggs and H Karlsson, 167-185. London: Routledge.
Kolb, David A. 1984. Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall
Lawrence-Wilkes, L and A Chapman. 2015. Reflective practice. Accessed 2nd June 2015. http://www.businessballs.com/reflective-practice.htm.
Page, David L. 2015a History Music Production Part 4 – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios  Accessed 18th March 2016.
Page, David L. 2015b. History of Music Production Part 5a – Rise of the DIY Practitioners Accessed 18th March 2016.
Pascal, J and N Thompson. 2012. “Developing critically reflective practice.” Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives 13(2) 311-325. Accessed June 12, 2015. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2012.657795.
Question mark image courtesy of: Cool Text Accessed March 18, 2016.
Rolfe, Gary. 2002. “Reflective practice: where now?” Nurse Education in Practice 2 (1): 21-29.
 Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot, England: Arena.
Self reflection image courtesy of: Self-reflection-for-personal-growth  Accessed 18th March 2016.
Small, Christopher. 1998. Musicking: the meanings of performing and listening. Hanover: University Press of New England.
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England.

 

Bibliography
Blom, Diana, Dawn Bennett and David Wright. 2011. “How artists working in academia view artistic practice as research: Implications for tertiary music education.” International Journal of Music Education: 0255761411421088.
Ellis, Carolyn. 1997. “Evocative autoethnography: Writing emotionally about our lives.” Communication Faculty Publications Paper 304.
Ellis, Carolyn S and Arthur Bochner. 2000. “Autoethnography, personal narrative, reflexivity: researcher as subject.” In The Handbook of Qualitative Rsearch, edited by Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln, 733-768. New York: Sage.
Ferry, Natalie M. and Jovita M. Ross-Gordon. 1998. An inquiry into Schön’s epistemology of practice: exploring links between experience and reflective practice. In Adult Education Quarterly48 (2): 98-112. doi: 10.1177/074171369804800205.
 Finlay, Linda. 2008. “Reflecting on ‘reflective practice’.” Practice-based Professional Learning Centre paper 52 29 (August 12th, 2015). www.open.ac.uk/pbpl.
Franz, Jill M. 2010. Arts-based research. Researching Practice: A Discourse on Qualitative Methodologies 2: 217-226.
Gibbs’ Reflective cycle image courtesy of: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543739354987865666  Accessed March 18, 2016.
Grace, S and R Ajjawi. 2010. “Phenomenological research: Understanding human phenomena.” Researcing practice: A discussion on qualitative methodologies. Rotterdam: Sense.
Haseman, B 2015. Forensic reflective practice: effecting personal and systemic change. Accessed 7th July, 2015. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_118711_1&content_id=_5744651_1.
Kolb, Alice Y and David A Kolb. 2009. “Experiential learning theory: a dynamic, holistic approach to management learning, education and development.” In The Sage handbook of Management Learning, education and Development, edited by Steve J Armstrong and Cynthia V Fukami, 42-68. London: Sage.
Knowles, Zoë, Gareth Tyler, David Gilbourne and Martin Eubank. 2006. Reflecting on reflection: exploring the practice of sports coaching graduates. Reflective Practice 7 (2): 163-179.
Lyons, N. 2010. Handbook of reflection and reflective inquiry: mapping a way of knowing for professional reflective inquiry. Vol. 1 New York: Springer.
McKee, Alan. 2003. Textual analysis: a beginner’s guide. London: Sage.
Mykhalovsky, Eric. 1996. “Reconsidering Table Talk.” Qualitative Sociology 19 (1).
Pace, Steven. 2012. Writing the self into research using grounded theory analytic strategies in auto ethnography. TEXT Special Issue Website Series 13.
Page, David 2016 QUT KKP622 Mid-Project 1 Research Study Progress Report submission draft Accessed 18th March 2016.
Page, David 2015c QUT KKP603 Project Development in the Creative Industries submission DLP DCI Project Brief  Accessed 18th March 2016.
Roth, Robert A. 1989. Preparing the reflective practitioner: transforming the apprentice through the dialectic. In Journal of Teacher Education 40 (2): 31-35.
Wright, David George, Dawn Bennett and Diana Blom. 2010. The interface between arts practice and research: attitudes and perceptions of Australian artist‐academics. Higher Education Research & Development 29 (4): 461-473.
– ©David L Page 20/03/2016
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.

Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 2c

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2016a) for the previous blog.

Year 2016: 5th Observation Part c

Whilst I was making headway with the development of my music praxis – significant headway in my opinion – , my actual production plan still did not have the degree of clarity I had hoped for after four (4) weeks. I therefore decided to go through each step of my Praxis v5a in terms of my production process, deliberately and systematically.
DLP DCI Praxis v5a.20160131.P2
Figure I – Praxis v5a (Page 2016b)
In following this process I made my 5th Observation.
5th Observation.P5e.renamed.png
Figure II – 5th Observation (Page 2017)

Practice….20171230.P2b

Practice

Of the five (5) stages of practice, I was in the first stage of creative practice: the creative stage.
  1. Creative Stage
  2. Pre-production Stage
  3. Production Stage
  4. Post-Production Stage
  5. Distribution Stage
 In the creative stage, I brainstormed a number of Project 1 creative ideas based on my project brief. The five (5) track EP was to be representative of some aspect of my life: past, present or future envisioning.
Site
The next element listed in my Praxis 5a was site.
“Listening to the making of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ (with Alan Parsons as engineer), I ponder…. Unlike so many US bands of the time whose core attraction was the live performance, Pink Floyd and other British bands I was predominantly listening to and influenced by, effectively used the studio as their stage” (Page 2016c; Gallagher 2012; Price 2015; Ryan & Kehew 2006)
For me, I had always been a performer. In the tradition of US bands, my core expression was on stage in a live performance. I had recorded specific music styles that I knew could translate easily to the live sound context – the stage in a venue. However, the musical style I was focussing on here – psychedelic rock – clearly had demands for different types of technology required.
Psychadelic Rock image_Ultimate Guitar.com
The music style I was pursuing was inspired by British-based psychedelic rock artists of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The site of these performances were in the studio, and therefore each of these creations were done with the aid of studio-based technologies.
Technologies
In order for me as an artist/performer to be able replicate and reproduce the range of studio-created music and sonic tones, I was going to need access to these devices. I pondered: how was this to be done in the production process effectively and efficiently?
I had at this time access to an elaborate range of virtual technologies third (3rd) party plug-in instruments and processors. These included replications of many analogue devices of the particular production era I was focussed on – late 1960’s and early 1970’s – , including instruments such as synthesisers; and audio processors in the three categories of spectral, dynamic and time-domain.
DP PT compatible Plug-ins by Manufacturer.20160215.P1.png
Figure III – 3rd Party Plug-Ins by Manufacturer (Page 2016d)
Whilst I had access to some of the more notable manufacturers such as Eventide, Lexicon and SSL; along with access to a broad range of more recent notable manufacturers such as AIR Music Technology, Antares Audio Technologies, Avid, East West, IK Multimedia, Massey Plugins Inc, Native Instruments, PSP Audioware, Sonixvox, Sonnox, SoundToys, XILS-Labs and iZotope; I wondered  whether the virtual technology replications were going to allow me the dense layering of the textures required for the psychedelic music style. Analogue processing devices were well regarded for their warmth of tone and range of sonics, with music recorded with such equipment often characterised with aesthetically pleasing device-induced distortion, hum and other noise associated with imperfect analogue devices [1].
Technology – Stage versus Studio
Of the technology I could readily access – contemporary equipment of analogue, digital or digital virtual devices – either within my studio, at either the SAE Institute studios (as a full-time Senior Lecturer), or at the QUT studios (as a post-graduate research student) what was going to assist me in this process? My mind wandered considering many options.
My performance live rig was quite elaborate for its function to reproduce typical guitar-based rock music. With other floor-based – analogue and digital – devices, and a broad range of analogue guitar amplifiers, my live rig setup was flexible. With a range of – mostly digital – dynamic, spectral and time-based processors, I could reproduce and sculpt just about any music and sonic tone to reproduce just about any contemporary organic rock-type sound in a performance situation, on stage. In addition, I also have a range of guitar emulators – such as the Fractal Axe-FXII – that allowed me to bypass the use of any guitar amplifiers, and go directly into a venue’s PA system, exponentially expanding the music and sonic palette I could access.

Live rig_20160131.jpg

Figure IV – Live rig (Page 2016e)
However, psychedelic rock music was more complex, with multiple textures and layers that occurred often simultaneously. Was my rig in its current form going to be sufficient? Whats more, if I did create psychedelic-based music in my studio – with multiple textures and layers – using my wide range of digital virtual devices complex, how could I effectively and efficiently reproduce these in a live performance context? Perhaps I needed to develop my current studio technology, expanding my current quite limited studio rig of outboard processors.

Studio rig_20160131.jpg

Figure V – Studio rig (Page 2016f)
I needed to research and consider pieces of equipment that will complement what I currently have, and what I need to fuse my performance and recording of my craft, avoiding a valley or void between the two very important aspects of my music-making practice…..  two aspects that have not met before: stage and studio equipment. I decided that what I didn’t want to do was, was create a studio album that I could not then easily replicate in a live performance. I had always been a performer, and to be able to perform congruently to my recording was a major motivator for me as an artist.
I was clearly invested in this pre-production stage of the music-making process. I needed to consider how I was going to approach the production and what equipment I would use for best effect. It was obvious to me how necessary it was for me to continue to immerse my self in two ways: the sourcing of more textural artifacts discussing the recording techniques in that era (books – The Beatles, Pink Floyd, articles on Molly Meldrum, etc); and also researching a range of equipment that I acquire, that would supplement the equipment I already had, that could more effectively replicate the sounds of psychedelic rock, that I could add to my performance rig. Yes, I desired a rig that I could effectively roll from my studio, onto a stage; and once that performance was complete, to then roll the same rig from the stage, back into the studio. It was my goal to be able to replicate all aspects of my musical and sonic creations in any of my performance locations – on stage, or in a studio.
onion-layers
Footnotes
[1] There are countless testimonies heralding the desired qualities and characteristics of analogue devices across decades of music and sound equipment, and cultural production reviews. However, three more recent acclaimed cultural productions detailing the historical significance of such devices and production workflows are: Ryan & Kehew’s 2006 book “Recording the Beatles: the studio equipment and techniques used to create their classic albums”; Guggenheim’s 2009 “It Might Get Loud” starring Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge and The White Stripes’ Jack White; and Grohl, Monroe and Young’s 2013 documentary “Sound City” about a Los Angeles studio during the 1970’s and 1980’s where a number of East Coast artists had hits with records recorded and produced at the facility. These artists included Buckingham and Nicks, Rick Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Pilot Study Part 3a (Page 2016g). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Gallagher, Mitch. 2012. “Studio legends: Alan Parsons on “Dark Side of the Moon”. Accessed 4th February, 2016. http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Studio_Legends_Alan_Parsons_on_Dark_Side_of_the_Moon.
Grohl, Dave, Mark Monroe and Neil Young. 2013. Sound city. Sony Music Entertainment. DVD.
Guggenheim, Davis. 2009. It might get loud. Sony Pictures Classics. DVD.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017. Figure II – 5th Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2016g. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 3a Accessed 5th March, 2016
Page, David L. 2016e. Figure V – Studio rig image courtesy of David L Page. Accessed 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016e. Figure IV – Live rig image courtesy of David L Page. Accessed 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016d. Figure III – 3rd Party Plug-Ins by Manufacturer image courtesy of David L Page. Created 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016c. Doctoral Pilot Study iNotes Accessed 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016b. Figure I – Praxis v5a image courtesy of David L Page. Created 31st January, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 2b Accessed 17th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
Practice image courtesy of David L Page Accessed 4th February, 2016
Price, Andy. 2015. “The Making of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.” Article. Accessed Feb 4 2016. http://www.musictech.net/2015/06/landmark-productions-pink-floyd-the-dark-side-of-the-moon.
Psychedelic Rock image courtesy of Ultimate Guitar.com  Accessed 5th February 2016
Ryan, Kevin and Brian Kehew. 2006. Recording the Beatles: the studio equipment and techniques used to create their classic albums. London: Curvebender.
– @David L Page 29/02/2016
– updated @David L Page 05/03/2016
– 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 Pilot Study – Part 2c

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2016a) for the previous blog.

Year 2016: 5th Observation Part c

Whilst I was making headway with the development of my music praxis – significant headway in my opinion – , my actual production plan still did not have the degree of clarity I had hoped for after four (4) weeks. I therefore decided to go through each step of my Praxis v5a in terms of my production process, deliberately and systematically.
DLP DCI Praxis v5a.20160131.P2
Figure I – Praxis v5a (Page 2016b)
In following this process I made my 5th Observation.
5th Observation.P5e.renamed.png
Figure II – 5th Observation (Page 2017)

Practice….20171230.P2b

Practice

Of the five (5) stages of practice, I was in the first stage of creative practice: the creative stage.
  1. Creative Stage
  2. Pre-production Stage
  3. Production Stage
  4. Post-Production Stage
  5. Distribution Stage
 In the creative stage, I brainstormed a number of Project 1 creative ideas based on my project brief. The five (5) track EP was to be representative of some aspect of my life: past, present or future envisioning.
Site
The next element listed in my Praxis 5a was site.
“Listening to the making of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ (with Alan Parsons as engineer), I ponder…. Unlike so many US bands of the time whose core attraction was the live performance, Pink Floyd and other British bands I was predominantly listening to and influenced by, effectively used the studio as their stage” (Page 2016c; Gallagher 2012; Price 2015; Ryan & Kehew 2006)
For me, I had always been a performer. In the tradition of US bands, my core expression was on stage in a live performance. I had recorded specific music styles that I knew could translate easily to the live sound context – the stage in a venue. However, the musical style I was focussing on here – psychedelic rock – clearly had demands for different types of technology required.
Psychadelic Rock image_Ultimate Guitar.com
The music style I was pursuing was inspired by British-based psychedelic rock artists of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The site of these performances were in the studio, and therefore each of these creations were done with the aid of studio-based technologies.
Technologies
In order for me as an artist/performer to be able replicate and reproduce the range of studio-created music and sonic tones, I was going to need access to these devices. I pondered: how was this to be done in the production process effectively and efficiently?
I had at this time access to an elaborate range of virtual technologies third (3rd) party plug-in instruments and processors. These included replications of many analogue devices of the particular production era I was focussed on – late 1960’s and early 1970’s – , including instruments such as synthesisers; and audio processors in the three categories of spectral, dynamic and time-domain.
DP PT compatible Plug-ins by Manufacturer.20160215.P1.png
Figure III – 3rd Party Plug-Ins by Manufacturer (Page 2016d)
Whilst I had access to some of the more notable manufacturers such as Eventide, Lexicon and SSL; along with access to a broad range of more recent notable manufacturers such as AIR Music Technology, Antares Audio Technologies, Avid, East West, IK Multimedia, Massey Plugins Inc, Native Instruments, PSP Audioware, Sonixvox, Sonnox, SoundToys, XILS-Labs and iZotope; I wondered  whether the virtual technology replications were going to allow me the dense layering of the textures required for the psychedelic music style. Analogue processing devices were well regarded for their warmth of tone and range of sonics, with music recorded with such equipment often characterised with aesthetically pleasing device-induced distortion, hum and other noise associated with imperfect analogue devices [1].
Technology – Stage versus Studio
Of the technology I could readily access – contemporary equipment of analogue, digital or digital virtual devices – either within my studio, at either the SAE Institute studios (as a full-time Senior Lecturer), or at the QUT studios (as a post-graduate research student) what was going to assist me in this process? My mind wandered considering many options.
My performance live rig was quite elaborate for its function to reproduce typical guitar-based rock music. With other floor-based – analogue and digital – devices, and a broad range of analogue guitar amplifiers, my live rig setup was flexible. With a range of – mostly digital – dynamic, spectral and time-based processors, I could reproduce and sculpt just about any music and sonic tone to reproduce just about any contemporary organic rock-type sound in a performance situation, on stage. In addition, I also have a range of guitar emulators – such as the Fractal Axe-FXII – that allowed me to bypass the use of any guitar amplifiers, and go directly into a venue’s PA system, exponentially expanding the music and sonic palette I could access.

Live rig_20160131.jpg

Figure IV – Live rig (Page 2016e)
However, psychedelic rock music was more complex, with multiple textures and layers that occurred often simultaneously. Was my rig in its current form going to be sufficient? Whats more, if I did create psychedelic-based music in my studio – with multiple textures and layers – using my wide range of digital virtual devices complex, how could I effectively and efficiently reproduce these in a live performance context? Perhaps I needed to develop my current studio technology, expanding my current quite limited studio rig of outboard processors.

Studio rig_20160131.jpg

Figure V – Studio rig (Page 2016f)
I needed to research and consider pieces of equipment that will complement what I currently have, and what I need to fuse my performance and recording of my craft, avoiding a valley or void between the two very important aspects of my music-making practice…..  two aspects that have not met before: stage and studio equipment. I decided that what I didn’t want to do was, was create a studio album that I could not then easily replicate in a live performance. I had always been a performer, and to be able to perform congruently to my recording was a major motivator for me as an artist.
I was clearly invested in this pre-production stage of the music-making process. I needed to consider how I was going to approach the production and what equipment I would use for best effect. It was obvious to me how necessary it was for me to continue to immerse my self in two ways: the sourcing of more textural artifacts discussing the recording techniques in that era (books – The Beatles, Pink Floyd, articles on Molly Meldrum, etc); and also researching a range of equipment that I acquire, that would supplement the equipment I already had, that could more effectively replicate the sounds of psychedelic rock, that I could add to my performance rig. Yes, I desired a rig that I could effectively roll from my studio, onto a stage; and once that performance was complete, to then roll the same rig from the stage, back into the studio. It was my goal to be able to replicate all aspects of my musical and sonic creations in any of my performance locations – on stage, or in a studio.
onion-layers
Footnotes
[1] There are countless testimonies heralding the desired qualities and characteristics of analogue devices across decades of music and sound equipment, and cultural production reviews. However, three more recent acclaimed cultural productions detailing the historical significance of such devices and production workflows are: Ryan & Kehew’s 2006 book “Recording the Beatles: the studio equipment and techniques used to create their classic albums”; Guggenheim’s 2009 “It Might Get Loud” starring Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge and The White Stripes’ Jack White; and Grohl, Monroe and Young’s 2013 documentary “Sound City” about a Los Angeles studio during the 1970’s and 1980’s where a number of East Coast artists had hits with records recorded and produced at the facility. These artists included Buckingham and Nicks, Rick Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Pilot Study Part 3a (Page 2016g). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Gallagher, Mitch. 2012. “Studio legends: Alan Parsons on “Dark Side of the Moon”. Accessed 4th February, 2016. http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Studio_Legends_Alan_Parsons_on_Dark_Side_of_the_Moon.
Grohl, Dave, Mark Monroe and Neil Young. 2013. Sound city. Sony Music Entertainment. DVD.
Guggenheim, Davis. 2009. It might get loud. Sony Pictures Classics. DVD.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017. Figure II – 5th Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2016g. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 3a Accessed 5th March, 2016
Page, David L. 2016e. Figure V – Studio rig image courtesy of David L Page. Accessed 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016e. Figure IV – Live rig image courtesy of David L Page. Accessed 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016d. Figure III – 3rd Party Plug-Ins by Manufacturer image courtesy of David L Page. Created 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016c. Doctoral Pilot Study iNotes Accessed 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016b. Figure I – Praxis v5a image courtesy of David L Page. Created 31st January, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 2b Accessed 17th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
Practice image courtesy of David L Page Accessed 4th February, 2016
Price, Andy. 2015. “The Making of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.” Article. Accessed Feb 4 2016. http://www.musictech.net/2015/06/landmark-productions-pink-floyd-the-dark-side-of-the-moon.
Psychedelic Rock image courtesy of Ultimate Guitar.com  Accessed 5th February 2016
Ryan, Kevin and Brian Kehew. 2006. Recording the Beatles: the studio equipment and techniques used to create their classic albums. London: Curvebender.
– @David L Page 29/02/2016
– updated @David L Page 05/03/2016
– 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 Pilot Study – Part 2b

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2016a) for the previous blog.

Year 2016: 5th Observation Part b

Whilst I was making headway with the development of my music praxis – significant headway in my opinion – , my actual production plan still did not have the degree of clarity I had hoped for after four (4) weeks. I therefore decided to go through each step of my Praxis v5a in terms of my production process, deliberately and systematically.
DLP DCI Praxis v5a.20160131.P2
Figure I – Praxis v5a (Page 2016b)
In following this process I made my 5th Observation.
5th Observation.P5e.renamed
Figure II – 5th Observation (Page 2017)
 Practice….20171230.P2b

Practice

Of the five (5) stages of practice, I was in the first stage of creative practice: the creative stage.
  1. Creative Stage
  2. Pre-production Stage
  3. Production Stage
  4. Post-Production Stage
  5. Distribution Stage
 In the creative stage, I brainstormed a number of Project 1 creative ideas based on my project brief. The five (5) track EP was to be representative of some aspect of my life: past, present or future envisioning.
Musical style
The next element listed in my Praxis 5a was musical style. I reflected on what styles of music I had and hadn’t engaged in over the course of my life. I referred to my music influences chart (as introduced in a previous blog) to reflect on these. One musical style of passion that I had never attempted, was psychedelic rock. I decided I needed to explore this style more than I had done previously.
Psychadelic Rock image_Ultimate Guitar.com.png
Psychedelic Rock
Bands such as the Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Who, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Jimi Hendrix – to name a few very successful artists – experimented with recording and production techniques during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s (Moore 2012). Technology was developing exponentially (large format consoles and analogue hardware devices); there was a US-citizen generated global social movement (aka the peace movement) protesting the allied forces involvement in the Vietnam war; and it became quite common practice amongst the youth, and their icons – artists and musicians – to engage in recreational drug taking (typically, marijuana and hallucinogenics such as LSD) (Théberge 2012; Théberge 1997; Lewisohn 2010). I knew from my years of listening – firstly, holistically as a fan, and then more from an analytical and critical listening[1] point of view as my interest in both music and audio developed (Moylan 2007, pp73-81; Vella and Arthurs 2003, 30; Everest 2007; Corey 2010), psychedelic rock used musical forms and audio processing in distinctly different ways to folk and pop songs.
“Monotonic songs were becoming increasingly popular in those early, heady days of psychedelia; I suppose they were meant to be listened to while you were stoned, or tripping. To my mind, that was really the only way they could be appreciated” (Emerick & Massey 2007, 8).
Psychedelic rock was innovative in the era. In addition to the simple musical form, psychedelic rock relied on analogue processing devices and experimental techniques, using new pieces of equipment, and existing equipment in ways they weren’t necessarily originally designed by the manufacturers to be used (Ryan & Kehew 2006; Moore 2012, 143). Such experiments were often the result of pure creativity as was the case with many artists of the era. For example, Peter Townsend in the creation of “Baba O’Riley” (The Who 1971) [2]. Townsend used a new technological device – a sequencer – to develop a hypnotic rhythmic pattern that was stylistically congruent with the genre of psychedelic music. However, more inventive creative practice included use of pre-recorded tape, spliced together in altered ways for interesting effect, slowed down to half speed, or sped up to sometimes double speed, reversed; or with multiple tape players connected in series, or multiple heads placed on the one tape player, in order to create experimental and ambient sonic and musical characteristics (The Who 2007; Lewisohn & McCartney 2005, Ryan & Kehew 2006).
My musical influences
Having developed my musical influences as noted in an earlier blog, I scoured over the chart, and highlighted three particular artist names who ventured into what I considered to be psychedelic rock:
  • The Beatles
  • Pink Floyd, and a lesser known artist around a similar era in Australia,
  • Russell Morris[3]
Early Beatle influences were the three albums, 1966’s “Revolver” (The Beatles 1966) [4], 1967’s “Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (The Beatles 1967) [5], and 1968’s “White Album” (The Beatles 1968) [6].
The first of the these albums “Revolver” had one song on it which has become known as a significant turning point for the Beatles:
“Tomorrow Never Knows” [7] was a total departure from anything the Beatles had attempted before. The song consists of three main elements: the hypnotic, riveting ostinato of Ringo Starr’s drums, coupled with the bass, unchanging throughout the entire song; a well-selected assortment of tape loops fed to the faders of a mixing console; and John Lennon’s vocal” (Moorefield 2005, 30).
Having almost exhausted themselves with the hectic touring schedule they had maintained over a number of years, the Beatles were in the process of making a conscious decision to do more in the studio. The band and its management believed they were now positioned to maintain their global popularity through album sales alone, without the necessity to tour and perform (Lewisohn 2010; Everett 1999, Ryan & Kehew 2006, 410). The artists therefore were to have more time in the studios, became more involved in the productions, and “experimented with abandon” (Moorefield 2005, 29). In the case of the Beatles, often the inventive creative practice occurred as a result of a directive by the artist of the producer to achieve a sound they could hear in their heads, but unsure of how they could achieve it with the available technology:
“But my musical tastes didn’t matter here: my job was to give the artist and producer the kinds of sounds they wanted. So my ears perked up when I heard John’s final direction to George “….and I want my voice to sound like the Dalai Lama chanting from a mountaintop, miles away” (Emerick & Massey 2007, 8)[8]
Another major influence on my self was Pink Floyd. My brother was older, and as such had been quite strongly influenced by the social movements. He bought a number of their albums over the previous decade, at an age when I was still developing my musical ear. Pink Floyd produced many albums that I have since listened to – either directly in my household, or via friend’s. However, the most significant album for me remains 1973’s “Dark Side of the Moon”[9].
Dark Side of the Moon_Pink Floyd.1973
“I recall many nights, laying on my beanbag in my downstairs bedroom, door shut, overhead room lights off. Some small desk lamps in the corners – complete with coloured cellophane.
My gramophone player was on, and I embarked on a journey….
I gave in to the moment, closed my eyes, and allowed my self to be transported to the unknown….
I was wandering, no idea of what time or space I was heading to… I was being transported around the galaxy on a musical and sonic tour.
I floated on the music and sonic textures, as it carried me to another time, to another space..
There was so much to focus in on… at any time, within any space…
Clocks ticking, voices chanting, sonic soars to the left, sonic soars to the right….
The musical and sonic soundscape lifted me, and propelled me to far away stratospheres and universes.
I was travelling, by my self, in a time and to places no one else knew existed.
I was travelling in a time and to a place, where no one else existed…. I was travelling in a time and a place, where no one else could reach me….
This was my time – every when time, and a place – every where place.
I was alone, but not lonely….
There was no one else here to tell me what I should be doing….
In that moment in time – listening, exploring, time travelling – I was independent, I was in charge of my own destiny…
In that moment in time and space, I was me…
In that moment in time and space, I was capable of doing anything.….” (Page 2016c).
More exploration required
I decided the need to explore “Dark Side of the Moon” further in terms of equipment and production process as this juncture, in order to get some more insight as to how I might go about producing a psychedelic styled EP. In addition to listening to the album, I investigated literature such as Reising (2005) [10]. He spoke more of the intended aesthetics, and whilst this was useful for me to gain a better understanding of what – in the opinion of the authors – made this album psychedelic, it was not the specifics I was in search of. I therefore turned to more industry-based textual readings for insight of what I may not have yet realised or discovered about this particular album. In articles by Harris (2005) [11], Massey (2000) [12], Parsons (1975) [13], Price (2015) [14] and Gallagher (2012) [15] – generally from interviews of the engineer of this album, Alan Parsons – they listed significant pieces of equipment used and detailed various aspects of the production process.
I had a long history of Alan Parson’s personal works through albums that I and a friend had, namely:
  • Tales of mystery and imagination[16];
  • I Robot[17];
  • Pyramid[18];
  • Eve[19];
  • On The turn of a friendly card[20] ;
  • Eye in the sky[21].
I was therefore quite familiar with Parson’s multi-layered arrangements and arrangement style. The pieces of equipment mentioned in these articles were of specific microphones, synthesisers, instruments and amplifiers used. However, most importantly, the articles discussed a number of production techniques that I was familiar with, that had become standards practice in contemporary music-making. However, standard practice that did not necessarily rely on acoustic instruments or typical live-guitar performance devices[22]. I knew how many of these musical and sonic tones could be achieved, but through the virtual world of instruments and samples. I could not see at this stage, how I could recreate any of these psychedelic-style musical and sonic tones through the external hardware device options I currently had in my live rig, or had access to.
onion-layers
Footnotes
[1] For HE Bachelor of Audio Trimester 3 level introduction to critical listening analysis, please see: https://davidlintonpage.com/2015/04/10/critical-listening-part-3 (Page 2015a)
[2] The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” on the album “The Kids Are Alright” (Who, 1971) was produced by the Who, with the assistance of well known engineer and Glyn Johns as the associate producer.
[3] For a HE Creative Media degree Trimester 1 introductory blog about the influence Russell Morris had on me as a young person, please see my 2014 blog: https://davidlintonpage.com/2014/10/05/music-practitioner-pt-2-what-brought-me-here (Page 2014; Wikipedia. 2014; The Real Thing 2014a,2014b).
For HE Bachelor of Audio Trimester 2 level critical listening analysis of the same Russell Morris song, please see my 2015 blog: https://davidlintonpage.com/2015/03/12/critical-listening-part-2b (Page 2015b)
[4] Beatles, The. 1966. Revolver. Parlophone. Vinyl LP.
[5] Beatles, The. 1967. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone. Vinyl LP.
[6] Beatles, The. 1968. White Album. Apple Records. Vinyl LP.
[7] “Tomorrow Never Knows” was a song on the Beatle’s album “Revolver” (Beatles 1966). In addition to numerous other sources, Mastropolo reported on this in his article “THE DAY THE BEATLES KICKED OFF THE ‘REVOLVER’ SESSIONS WITH ‘TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS’  Accessed 6th April, 2016.
[8] John Lennon’s challenge of Sir George Martin in the Beatle’s “Tomorrow Never Knows” song, on the album “Revolver” (Beatles 1966)
[9] Floyd, Pink. 1973. Dark side of the moon. Harvest. Vinyl LP.
[10] Reising, Russell. 2005. Speak to me: the legacy of Pink Floyds The dark side of the moon, Ashgate popular and folk music series. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Company.
[11]Harris, John. 2005. The dark side of the moon: the making of the pink floyd masterpiece. Cambridge, USA: Da Capo Press.
[12] Massey, Howard. 2000. Behind the glass I: top record producers tell how they craft the hits. Vol. 1. Berkeley: Hal Leonard Corporation.
[13] Parsons, Alan. 1975. “Four sides of the moon”. In Studio Sound. Croydon: Link House Publications.
[14] Price, Andy. 2015. “The Making of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.” Article. Accessed Feb 4 2016. http://www.musictech.net/2015/06/landmark-productions-pink-floyd-the-dark-side-of-the-moon.
[15] Gallagher, Mitch. 2012. “Studio legends: Alan Parsons on “Dark Side of the Moon”. Accessed Feb 4 2016. http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Studio_Legends_Alan_Parsons_on_Dark_Side_of_the_Moon.
[16] Parsons, Alan. 1976. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On Tales of mystery and imagination, Alan Parsons. Mercury. Vinyl LP.
[17] Parsons, Alan. 1977. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On I Robot, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
[18] Parsons, Alan. 1978. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On Pyramid, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
[19] Parsons, Alan. 1979. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On Eve, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
[20] Parsons, Alan. 1980. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On The turn of a friendly card, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
[21] Parsons, Alan. 1982. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On Eye in the sky, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
[22] There is generally a distinction made between guitar-based effects and processing devices used in typical live performance scenarios, and studio effects and processing devices used within studio environments and tracking/recording scenarios.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Pilot Study Part 2c (Page 2016d). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Beatles, The. 1968. White Album. Apple Records. Vinyl LP.
Beatles, The. 1967. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone. Vinyl LP.
Beatles, The. 1966. Revolver. Parlophone. Vinyl LP.
Beatles, The. 1966. “Tomorrow Never Knows”, off The Beatle’s album “Revolver”. Parlophone.  Vinyl LP.
Corey, Jason. 2010. Audio production and critical listening: technical ear training. Oxford: Focal Press.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Everest, F Alton. 2007. Critical listening skills for audio professionals. Boston: Thomson Course Technology.
Everett, Walter. 1999. The Beatles as musicians: Revolver through the Anthology: Oxford University Press, USA.
Floyd, Pink. 1973. Dark side of the moon. Harvest. Vinyl LP.
Gallagher, Mitch. 2012. “Studio legends: Alan Parsons on “Dark Side of the Moon”. Accessed Feb 4 2016. http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Studio_Legends_Alan_Parsons_on_Dark_Side_of_the_Moon.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Harris, John. 2005. The dark side of the moon: the making of the pink floyd masterpiece. Cambridge, USA: Da Capo Press.
Kemp, Anthony E. 1996. The musical temperament. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lewisohn, Mark. 2010. The complete Beatles chronicle: the definitive day-by-day guide to the Beatles’ entire career. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.
Lewisohn, Mark and Paul McCartney. 2005. The complete Beatles recording sessions: the official story of the abbey road years 1962-1970. New York: Bounty books.
Massey, Howard. 2000. Behind the glass I: top record producers tell how they craft the hits. Vol. 1. Berkeley: Hal Leonard Corporation.
Mastropolo, Frank. 2016. “The Day The Beatles Kicked Off The ‘Revolver’ Sessions With ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’  Accessed 6th April, 2016.
Moore, Allan F. 2012. Song means: analysing and Interpreting recorded popular song, Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
Moorefield, Virgil. 2005. The producer as composer: shaping the sounds of popular music. London: MIT Press.
Moylan, William. 2007. The art of recording: the creative resources of music production and audio. 2nd ed. Boston: Focal Press.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017. Figure II – 5th Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2016d. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 2c Accessed 29th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016c. Doctoral Pilot Study iNotes Accessed 17th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016b. Figure I – Praxis v5a image courtesy of David L Page. Created 31st January, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 1f Accessed 17th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2015b Critical Listening Part 3 Accessed 17th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2015a Critical Listening Part 2b  Accessed 17th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2014b Music Practitioner Part 2 – What brought me here Accessed 17th February 2016
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
Parsons, Alan. 1982. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On Eye in the sky, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
Parsons, Alan. 1980. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On The turn of a friendly card, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
Parsons, Alan. 1979. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On Eve, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
Parsons, Alan. 1978. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On Pyramid, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
Parsons, Alan. 1977. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On I Robot, Alan Parsons. Arista. Vinyl LP.
Parsons, Alan. 1976. “Alan Parson’s Project.” On Tales of mystery and imagination, Alan Parsons. Mercury. Vinyl LP.
Parsons, Alan. 1975. “Four sides of the moon”. In Studio Sound. Croydon: Link House Publications.
Practice image courtesy of David L Page Accessed 4th February, 2016
Price, Andy. 2015. “The Making of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.” Article. Accessed Feb 4 2016. http://www.musictech.net/2015/06/landmark-productions-pink-floyd-the-dark-side-of-the-moon.
Psychedelic Rock image courtesy of Ultimate Guitar.com  Accessed 5th February 2016
Reising, Russell. 2005. Speak to me: the legacy of Pink Floyds The dark side of the moon, Ashgate popular and folk music series. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Company.
Ryan, Kevin and Brian Kehew. 2006. Recording the Beatles: the studio equipment and techniques used to create their classic albums. London: Curvebender.
Self image courtesy of David L Page Accessed 4th February, 2016
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.
Wikipedia. 2014. The real thing (Russell Morris)   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_Thing_(Russell_Morris_song)  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
The Real Thing 2014b. article courtesy of: The Real Thing Accessed 4th October, 2014.
The Real Thing 2014a. video clip courtesy of: The Real Thing  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
Vella, Richard and Andy Arthurs. 2003. Sounds in space, sounds in time: projects in listening, improvising and composing. Vol. 2. London: Boosey & Hawkes.
Who, The. 2007. Amazing journey: the story of the who. Universal Pictures. DVD.
Who, The. 1971. “Baba O’Riley” off the album The Who’s “The Kids Are Alright”
– @David L Page 17/02/2016
– updated @David L Page 29/02/2016
– 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 Pilot 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 2016a) for the previous blog.

Year 2016: 5th Observation Part a

Whilst I was making headway with the development of my music praxis – significant headway in my opinion – , my actual production plan still did not have the degree of clarity I had hoped for after four (4) weeks. I therefore decided to go through each step of my Praxis v5a in terms of my production process, deliberately and systematically.
DLP DCI Praxis v5a.20160131.P2
Figure I – Praxis v5a (Page 2016b)
In following this process I made my 5th Observation.
5th Observation.P5e.renamed
Figure II – 5th Observation (Page 2017)
Of the five (5) stages of practice, I was in the first stage of creative practice: the creative stage.
  1. Creative Stage
  2. Pre-production Stage
  3. Production Stage
  4. Post-Production Stage
  5. Distribution Stage
 In the creative stage, I brainstormed a number of Project 1 creative ideas based on my project brief. The five (5) track EP was to be representative of some aspect of my life: past, present or future envisioning.

SELF….20171230.P1.png

Self

The 1st element of praxis that was accounted for was, self: a representative aspect of my life. I therefore needed to focus on my self motive for practice: why I was wanting to do what I did in music-making.
Motive/s for practice
In terms of the second (2nd) element of praxis, my motives for practice within this Doctoral Pilot Study was that of (but not restricted only to):
  1. Discovery: accepting music-making practice as a medium to explore – attempting to understand something which I hadn’t understood previously; deriving pleasure from discovering something new (Csikszentmihalyi 1996, 109);
a second motive was:
  1. Technical: accepting music-making practice as a medium to practice my craft, and to develop my craft skills technically;
a third motive was:
  1. Affective: accepting music-making practice as a technology for emotional construction within both the artist/performer and the listener (Denora 2001, 168). I also understood emotions would guide my decisions in music-making and therefore I needed to acknowledge this third motive was potentially both a conscious and an unconscious motivator (Appelhans & Luecken 2006, 229).
a fourth motive was:
  1. Aesthetic: accepting music-making practice as a technology to generate an aesthetic experience for the artist/performer and the listener (Denora 2001, 168; Csikszentmihalyi & Robinson 1990, 7).
a fifth motive was:
  1. Creative: accepting music-making practice as a technology to engage in creative flow, following a creative process of preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation and elaboration (Csikszentmihalyi 1996, pp 79-80).
and a sixth motive was:
  1. Social: accepting music-making practice as a social – interactive – process between the artist/performer and the listener (Small 1998, 10; Denora 2001, 168). Additional to a motive for practice, I understood my need to also have a motive for the creative piece – the song. Since my re-connecting with music at university, I had found I was less inclined to engage in the practice of song-writing just for the sake of creating. I found I had to have a purpose to create, something to say: a message. I have for many years referred to this alignment of my motive to practice, and the output of the practice – the cultural production – as being congruent, or not. Taylor & Littleton (2012, 121) refer to this “fit or congruence between” the practitioner and the practice as “personalisation”.
I did not consider the remaining motives to be so relevant at this point in time for me. I wasn’t however discounting that they may become motives within this pilot study at any point in the future, as often was the case:
  1. Educational: to demonstrate specific music-making practice to my students, live or in preparation;
  2. Physical: to use music-making practice as a medium for physical expression, for exercise;
  3. Commercial: to use music-making practice as a medium for income generation purposes.
target
Focussed message for the creative production
It was now time to create, and therefore a question in my mind was:
  • what specifically was this to mean in terms of this specific composition?
  • what was my over-arching message for this Project 1 Pilot Study cultural production going to be? I knew from past experience that I had to decide on a Project 1 theme as early as I could, in order to move on in the process of creating. My intervention into my creative process seemed to abstract: it seemed too global. What was a more grounded motive, a more grounded message to be?
  • thirdly – attached to the element of motive – is that of song mood. What was the likely song mood to be? Happy? sad? focussed and directed? melancholic? dancy? jovial? (Kemp 1996, 2). I guessed it was likely going to be somewhat melancholic given the underlying theme of intervention as a result of years of frustration at being unable to realise my creative goals. But as I had not decided upon a creative practice message at this time, it was all a bit up in the air.
As per usual past practice when I was in this type of creative quandary, I turned to media for inspiration. An i-Note reflective journal entry at this time:
“Over the past few days, I have watched a number of videos, each of which I bought many years ago… And yet now – at this place and time – I am no longer inspired by these. ……” (Page 2016c)
Shortly after, another entry developed this idea:
Humans hoard things for tomorrow. Humans instinctively hoard things, originally food items, in readiness for tomorrow, preparing for a cold, hard winter when there was primitive housing and arduous weather conditions. My hoarding of music and movie DVDs was not perhaps for the yesterdays when I bought them, but for tomorrow, when I NEED them…..” (Page 2016c)
I was not connecting to an idea, so I scoured my book shelves, and even poured back through my many filing cabinet drawers of ideas. Still not one particular idea that stood out to me. I accepted that it was part of the creative preparation process , but was not without frustration. In order to progress the creative process without deciding on a message that I connected to, I felt I had other choice but to just move on, and take the next step in my Praxis 5a.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Pilot Study Part 2b (Page 2016d). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Appelhans, Bradley M and Linda J Luecken. 2006. “Heart rate variability as an index of regulated emotional responding.” Review of general psychology 10 (3): 229.
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. 1996. Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper Perennial.
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly and Rick Emery Robinson. 1990. The art of seeing: an interpretation of the aesthetic encounter. Santa Monica: Getty Publications.
Denora, Tia. 2001. “Aesthetic agency and musical practice: new directions in the sociology of music and emotion.” In Music and emotion: theory and research, edited by Patrik N Juslin and John A Sloboda, 161-180. Oxford: 2001.
Kemp, Anthony E. 1996. The musical temperament. New York: Oxford University Press.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017c. 3rd Observation image courtesy of David L Page. Created 17th May, 2017
Page, David L. 2017. Figure II – 5th Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2016d. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 2b Accessed 17th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016c. Doctoral Pilot Study iNotes Accessed 5th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016b. Figure I – Praxis v5a image courtesy of David L Page. Created 31st January, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 1f Accessed 5th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
Practice image courtesy of David L Page  Accessed 4th February, 2016
Self image courtesy of David L Page  Accessed 4th February, 2016
Small, Christopher. 1998. Musicking: the meanings of performing and listening. Hanover: University Press of New England.
Target image courtesy of: Target Accessed 14th October 2010
Taylor, Stephanie and Karen Littleton. 2012. Contemporary identities of creativity and creative work. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited
– @David L Page 5/02/2016
– updated @David L Page 17/02/2016
– 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 Pilot Study – Part 1f

Doctorate of Creative Industries Project 1

research

This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2016a) for the previous blog.

Year 2016: Beginnings Part 1f

cooltext170962165748837

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring” [Bowie 2016].

Creative practice and identity

DIY Culture
Hartley refers to these inhabitants of the DIY cultural domain as DIY citizens:
“DIY citizenship harvests the same fields as DIY culture, but is not confined to spectacular subcultures or youth activism. It’s just as likely to occur among – for instance – suburban woman who have leisure to stay at home and browse the internet and who, it transpires are busy inventing senses of themselves..” (Hartley 2005, pp111-112).
Kuznetsov & Paulos and Prior refer to these inhabitants of the DIY cultural domain as the new amateurs. The new amateur seeks a wide range of interests with engaged commitment (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Prior 2010). Interests are as wide and as varied as one can imagine. Of the more popular trends televised on commercial networks are: real estate-based activities such as renovation and landscaping; sport-based activities including team and solo rock-climbing, abseiling, mountain-biking, parachuting, to name but a few; leisure activities such as camping, trekking, travelling; and creative activities. Popular examples of creative activities include art and craft-based activities such as drawing, sculpture, pottery and glass blowing; fashion-based activities such as clothes and jewellery design and making; food-based activities such as cooking and cake decorating; IT games-based activities such as playing – solo, team and competing – and design; drama-based activities such as script-writing, acting, prop design and construction, and musical theatre; and music-based such as instrument-making, song-writing, production techniques and music-making. Having interviewed hundreds of people over a number of years regarding their creative activities, Csikszentmihalyi & Robinson found people engaged in such creative activities as listed above “because they enjoy what they are doing to the extent that experiencing the activity becomes its own reward” (1990, 7). However, the activities I have referred to here are somewhat traditional types of creative activities. Cultural consumption and production has continued to change significantly in the new millennium. Creative activities – creative practice – are no longer restricted to these types of activities (Taylor and Littleton 2012, 4). “An expanded and extreme set of creative practices is subverting well-understood categories of the arts and culture, collapsing the borders between traditional and the innovative, …… the everyday and the celebrity, the professional and the amateur” (Haseman 2005, 158). In analysing a range of contemporary creative practice, Haseman found the following five (5) characteristics worthy of a millennia definition:
  1. Creative practices involve interactivity;
  2. Creative practices are intrinsically hybrid;
  3. Creative practices embrace new sites and forms of cultural production;
  4. Creative practices are orientated towards multi-platform, cross-promotional means of distribution; and
  5. Creative practices are not approached as if they are commercially irrelevant[1] (Haseman 2005, pp167-169) 
Creative practice as an expression of self
McRobbie (1998, 103) believes that millennia practitioners engage in creative activities for intrinsic motives as Czikszentmihalyi & Robinson found. However, McRobbie progresses the conversation, finding creative practitioners in her study using their “creative work as an expressive extension of self”. More specifically, as Taylor & Littleton report: “creative work is a means of self-actualisation” – a medium for the creative practitioners to discover themselves, on the path to realising their full potential (McRobbie in Taylor & Littleton 2012, 31).
In terms of the range of creative practice, music-making is acknowledged in research as being significant in terms of the development of self. Hargreaves et al (2002) discuss how music facilitates self-expression and development, allowing the self to transform, and construct new identities. Frith (1996,124) argues that “Music constructs our sense of identity through the direct experiences it offers of the body, time and sociability, experiences which enable us to place ourselves in imaginative cultural narratives.” Bennett (2000, ii) concludes that “music is produced and consumed by young people in ways that both inform their sense of self and also serve to construct the social world in which their identities operate”.
The self and creative practice
Ryan develops the relationship between creative practitioners and self: Ryan considers creative practice to be not limited to an expressive extension of the self, but essential practice for creative arts practitioner to look deeper into the self:
“Self-awareness and identity are significant both in the study of the arts and in becoming an artist, as aesthetic inquiry and performance are constituted by subjective self-expression in relation to objective conditions” (Ryan 2014,77).
Velosa and Carvalho’s (2013) “Music Composition as a way of learning: emotions and the situated ‘self’ “ and Taylor’s (2008) “Pink Noise: Queer Identity and Musical Performance in a local context” both stress the importance of situating the self within the context of the creative practice interest, in order to study it. As do Taylor’s (2012) and Peraino’s (2006) studies of gender. Webber (2009) clearly reinforces these perspectives in “In music and in life: confronting the self through auto-ethnography” with his claim that it is necessary to situate the self within practice – in order to be very familiar with that practice – in order to properly understand and analyse that practice:
…. “without that familiarity, there is no validity at all. One cannot “situate” without intimate self-knowledge. One cannot analyse ethnographic material, auto or not, if the “subject” is unfamiliar or unconnected with their own experience. Ethnography of any name is about situating the individual experience within culture” (Webber 2009, 268).
Contemporary music-making praxis
Aside from the examples provided above, contemporary music-making practice is more often described and explained in contemporary music production textbooks in terms of technology, creative location, music style or suggested workflow; often as independent elements of music-making practice (Owsinski 2005; Owsinski 2013; Owsinski 2014; Owsinski 2010; Huber and Runstein 2014; Izhaki 2013; Gilreath, 2010). In just the short time I have engaged in this pilot study of my music-making practice, I have observed an interdependency of these elements. However, inclusive of the elements are both motive and self. I have observed questions of self arise during moments of reflection in my music-making practice, both on site and away from site. Further, I found that such reflections were actually beneficial to my practice, better preparing me for practice, refining my focus on the theme I was in need of, and as such was guiding my practice. By the end of the first month into my pilot study, I realised my Praxis was in need of a fundamental review. In Praxis version 4 (figure I below), I had laid out my practice on the left (blue section). Acknowledging my observation and reflection immediately following any questioning of my motive, I would spend some time away from my practice, within my self. As this process was always after practice, away from my practice site, I chose to place this pink section, to the right of my practice.
dlp-music-praxis-v4-large-with-lines-20151203-p1
Figure I – Praxis v4 (Page 2015)

Year 2016: 4th Observation

However, in after just four (4) weeks of engaging in this pilot study, I had now observed quite an alternative view. I had observed that the self was in fact driving my practice – preceding my practice, at the forefront of my practice. As such, I decided it would be more accurate to represent the self relative to the practice.
Figure II – 4th Observation (Page 2017)
In Praxis v5a (see figure III below) – within the first month of my doctoral pilot study – I now recognised the self was actually the lead element in practice, in effect driving my practice. I inverted the Praxis chart v5a to have the self represented in pink on the left, with motive in green, at the bottom, and with my music-making practice, represented in blue following on the right. Yes, I was now acknowledging that it was my self that was underpinning my practice. Not the other way around that I had assumed just four (4) weeks prior. This was a significant shift in how I had viewed my practice previously, where (for example in Praxis v4) my self was an element, but not necessarily driving my practice.
 DLP DCI Praxis v5a.20160131.P2.png
Figure III – Praxis v5a (Page 2016b)
The ten (10) elements of praxis v5a were now seen to be:
  1. Self
  2. Motive
  3. Song Mood
  4. Musical Style
  5. Reference Track
  6. Global Song Composition Style (process vs product)
  7. Likely specific song composition style workflow
  8. Technology
  9. Location
  10. Workflow

onion-layers

Footnotes
[1]I understand Haseman’s comment to be: creative practitioner’s approach in a commercially-minded way – focussed and committed as Rogers (2013) was quoted as finding in an earlier blog. I do not interpret Haseman’s point 5 to be that creative practice in the new millennia must be commercially self-sufficient.

onion-layers

This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 2a (Page 2016c). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.

 

References
Bennett, Andy. 2000. Popular music and youth culture: music, identity and place. New York: Palgrave.
Bowie, David. 2016. David Bowie quote  Accessed 3rd January, 2016.
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly and Rick Emery Robinson. 1990. The art of seeing: an interpretation of the aesthetic encounter. Santa Monica: Getty Publications.
Frith, Simon. 1996. “Music and identity.” Questions of cultural identity: 108-27.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Hargreaves, DJ, D Miell and RAR MacDonald. 2002. “What are musical identities, and why are they important?” In Musical Identities, edited by RAR MacDonald, DJ Hargreaves and D Miell, 1-20. Oxford Oxford University Press.
Hartley, John. 2005. “Creative Identities.” In Creative Industries, edited by John Hartley, pp106-116. Carlton: Blackwell Publishing.
Haseman, Brad. 2005. “Creative Practice.” In Creative Industries, edited by John Hartley, 158-176. Carlton: Blackwell Publishing.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. 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.
McRobbie, Angela. 1998. British fashion design: Rag trade or image industry? New York: Routledge.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Owsinski, Bobby. 2014. The mastering engineer’s handbook. 3rd ed. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Owsinski, Bobby. 2013. The mixing engineer’s handbook. Boston: Cengage learning.
Owsinski, Bobby. 2010. The music producer’s handbook. New York: Hal Leonard Corporation.
Owsinski, Bobby. 2005. The recording engineer’s handbook. New York: Hal Leonard Corporation.
Page, David L. 2017d. Figure II – 4th Observation image courtesy of David L Page. Created 17th May, 2017
Page, David L. 2016c. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 2a Accessed 5th February, 2016.
Page, David L. 2016b. Figure III – Praxis v5a image courtesy of David L Page. Created 31st January, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 1e Accessed 31st January, 2016.
Page, David L. 2015. Figure I – Praxis 4 image courtesy of David L Page. Created 1st December, 2015
Peraino, Judith Ann. 2006. Listening to the sirens: musical technologies of queer identity from Homer to Hedwig. Berkeley: University of California Press.
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.
Question mark image courtesy of: Cool Text Accessed 27th January, 2016.
Research image courtesy of: Research Accessed 28th January, 2016.
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.
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
Taylor, Jodie. 2012. Playing it queer: popular music, identity and queer world-making. Bern: Peter Lang.
Taylor, Jodie. 2008. “Pink noise: queer identity and musical performance in a local context.” Paper presented at the Music on the Edge: selected refereed papers from the 2007 IASPM-ANZ Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand. jaspm.org..au.
Taylor, Stephanie and Karen Littleton. 2012. Contemporary identities of creativity and creative work. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
Veloso, Ana Luísa and Sara Carvalho. 2013. “Music composition as a way of learning: emotions and the situated self.” Musical Creativity: Insights from Music Education Research: Insights from Music Education Research: 73.
Webber, Colin. 2009. “In music and in life: confronting the self through auto-ethnography.” In Music ethnographies: making auto-ethnography sing – making music personal, edited by Brydie-Leigh Bartlett and Carolyn Ellis, 261-273. Bowen Hills: Australian Academic Press.
– ©David L Page 31/01/2016
–updated ©David L Page 5/02/2016
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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