Peter Midegs - Anthology of Creative Pursuits
ถ. วิจิตรนคร ต. เมืองเหนือ อ. เ
Sisaket, Amphoe Muang Sisaket
Si Sa Ket 33100
หมู่ 6 ต. ขะยูง อ. อุทุมพรพิสัย
Amphoe Kantharalak 33110
หน้าอาคารเอดเซ็นเตอร์, Si Sa Ket
ศรีสะเกษ, Si Sa Ket
Amphoe Muang Sisaket 33000
Si Sa Ket 33000
บริษัท เอไอไฟว์ คอร์เปอเรชั่น จำกัด 157/1193-4 หมู่ที่ 6 ตำบลโพธิ์ อำเภอเมือง
Si Sa Ket 33000
ถนนเทพา ตำบลเมืองเหนือ อำเ
ถ. เทพา ซ. เทพา 14 ต. เมืองเหนือ, Si Sa Ket
ถ. วิจิตรนคร ต. เมืองเหนือ อ. เ
ถ. เทพา ต. เมืองเหนือ, Si Sa Ket
Si Sa Ket 33000
ตำบลหนองไผ่, Si Sa Ket
ถ. เทพา ซ. เทพา, Si Sa Ket
ศรีสะเกษ, Si Sa Ket
Si Sa Ket 33000
Si Sa Ket 33000
หลังสถานีตำรวจเมืองศรีสะเกษ 53 ถนนศรีวิเศษ ตำบลเมืองเหนือ อำเภอเมือง จั, Amphoe Muang Sisaket
A journey of my lifetime creative pursuits in music and photography 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲, 𝐈 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐈’𝐝 𝐠𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐫 𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐳𝐲 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞.
However, I haven’t always been able to actualise this during the entire 60 something past years, only when I’ve had time (and the energy) in-between working in ‘safe’ salaried jobs and raising a family. You could say I’ve been a 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒄𝒄𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆! Here’s the thing. During most of my careers I worked in management or accounts-related roles. Boring? Well yes, can be exceptionally dull
𝗢𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆 🧐
As a photographer who in my formative years (1993-95) studied about optics and the physics of light, I have a little knowledge in those scientific areas.
So I’m a bit bemused about what I’m seeing with my left eye, the one that just had the surgery to repair the detached retina.
That surgery involved two steps, to inject a bubble of gas into the eye’s vitreous fluid (which will dissipate over time), then using laser surgery to reattach the retina.
The graphic below shows how the eye sees normally. As with any optical lens (including a camera lens), the image is recorded upside-down on the retina (film plane). Then our brain interprets that and ‘turns the image’ right way around (human ‘magic’!). And that’s the corrected final image we perceive in our heads.
Getting back to that gas bubble in my eye. I can see it, it’s like having vision half under water and half on top, with a visible ‘waterline’. That bubble floats on the vitreous fluid in my eye. Assuming I’m looking straight ahead, it will be at the top of my eye, above the vitreous fluid, right? Well, that’s what I thought I was seeing initially after the operation, the bubble floating at the top. But as its size is decreasing, I’m bemused that I’m actually seeing it in my eyesight at the bottom of my eye! That, and only that aspect of my vision is upside-down. Any ideas? I can see it, as an upside-down image, and somehow the brain isn’t processing it, to turn it right way around. Otherwise, the small amount of blurred and streaky ‘normal’ eyesight I have via the vitreous fluid part, and also super blurred image through the bubble, everything is perceived the right way around.
The other curiosity I’ve noticed is that if I tilt my head and look straight down through the bubble, it acts like a macro lens. Hold something really close to my eye (eg 10-12cm away) the image I see is really sharp (and the right way around). I can’t be certain, but it seems that as the gas bubble gradually decreases in size, that ‘focus length’ may be extending further away.
A few nights ago, on my mobile phone I was watching a video of Bill Frisell and his band performing in concert. Experimenting a bit, I thought to tilt my head and look straight down at my phone holding it super close to my eye. Holy Dooley! Almost like a 3D viewing experience, like being there on the stage really close up and personal with the musicians! I can scan my eye across the phone’s screen for a panning closeup view. Amazing!
But let me tell ya, this is about the only upside to eye surgery I’ve noticed so far!
𝘗𝘚. 𝘌𝘹𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘩𝘰𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺’𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘱 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵.
Urgent eye operation on Wednesday night to repair a detached retina in my left eye! I guess a bit like removing the film back on a Mamiya RB67? Doc says the surgery went well and I’ll be able to see again in 3-4 weeks (currently relying on my right eye which is way overdue for a cataract op, so a bit blind atm, no driving!).
So, finally back home now after being away for 36 days – Life in a Motel Room, incl 3 days/2 nights in hospital. Yep, home-cooked meals are great!!
𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 ‘𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐲 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲’ 𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤 (𝐃𝐚𝐲 #𝟐𝟖 – 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐥 𝐑𝐨𝐨𝐦) 🤨
𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 ‘𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐲 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲’ 𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤 (𝐃𝐚𝐲 #𝟐𝟖 – 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐥 𝐑𝐨𝐨𝐦) 🤨
Well, it is Monday, yet not so stormy…the sun was shining, and the storm has passed a week ago already. The flood waters have subsided sufficiently now to commence the clean-up of our water-logged house, finally! Unbeknownst to me, Manita had already started this afternoon - tomorrow will be full-on for both of us. Its gonna be a BIG job!
I became a bit tired of trying to make my very sick acoustic guitar sound good for a video recorded in a less than optimal way (re the audio quality). So I put my mind to how I could record something using my electric guitar. It required the purchase of a couple of audio splitters, and effectively using my Boss ME70 effects pedal as a mixing console of sorts, which has an ‘Auxiliary In’ jack so I could play a backing track from my laptop. The trick was to be able hear that plus what I was playing (𝑣𝑖𝑎 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑛𝑒𝑠), while recording the audio using a ‘line in’ direct to my phone (𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑜 𝑠𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑟𝑒𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒, 𝑡𝑜 𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑙 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑇𝑅𝑆 𝑡𝑜 𝑇𝑅𝑅𝑆 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑚 𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑛𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑗𝑎𝑐𝑘). Cables and leads everywhere, but it worked out great!
I’ve never previously jammed to ‘Stormy Monday’, a blues classic. It’s a nice chord progression that allows for interesting and emotional lead guitar, with a lot more finesse than what I came up with on the spur of the moment (…𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐼’𝑣𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑜 𝑖𝑠 𝑎 𝑏𝑖𝑡 𝑏𝑎𝑠𝑖𝑐, 𝑎 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡 𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑡 𝑎𝑡 𝑗𝑎𝑚𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑏𝑎𝑐𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑘…𝑝𝑒𝑟ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑠 𝐼’𝑙𝑙 𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒). 🎸
𝗡𝗼𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗚𝗼:
𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗗𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴
𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗶𝘀𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗙𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀
By now (15 October 2022), there’s been an abundance of social media posts about the current floods at Sisaket (and the greater north-east region of Thailand). In Sisaket, most homes started to be inundated with flood waters around 28 September.
Mostly these posts show flooded areas, blocked roads, and submerged homes. Otherwise, they’re about where affected people have temporarily relocated to wait for the flood waters to dissipate. Affected residents are mostly either staying with family or friends who have homes on higher ground, or like us are staying at a hotel/motel.
What I haven’t seen thought are any posts about those destitute and unfortunate residents who have absolutely nowhere to go. Effectively, they’re out on the street. Their houses have been flooded, but they have no local family or friends who can accommodate them during the flood period, or they simply have no financial resources available to afford the cost of alternate rented accommodation at a motel, or short-term apartment.
For weeks now I’ve noticed these half-marquee roofs erected by the roadside near the bridge on the ‘Big C Road’ providing temporary accommodation to people displaced by the floods. So I stopped by to take a closer look, talked to some of the residents – they were agreeable to me taking some photos.
I also tried to get to University Road, near Sisaket’s Rajabhat University. I see these half-marquee roofs erected on that road almost every year during the rain season (so I guess there’s flooding somewhere every year). However, all the access roads to that area are currently flooded, so I wasn’t able to get there.
I did a little bit of research on this. Apparently, the local government assists these people by hiring and erecting the marquee roofs. But I don’t know if other financial assistance is provided. Perhaps there’s assistance provided with connecting electricity and a water supply. I’m guessing some of these people may be out of work due to the floods, or perhaps don't ordinarily work at all. My Thai/Isaan language skills are almost non-existent, and likewise the people I ‘spoke’ with didn’t understand English language. So while there was some level of communication, I would have like to ask them more about their situations.
As a part of my research, I also made enquiries if the Buddhist Temples provide assistance to flood-displaced people who have nowhere else to go. After all, Thai culture is steeped in religion, and frequent visits to temples, religious festivals. But what I found out was quite unexpected. While Temples do provide aid to some people (eg. provision of food), displaced people generally do not actively seek out Temples to assist with temporary accommodation. The reason for this is that they are concerned they will be coerced and ‘dragged in’ to join the Temples, to become a part of those Buddhist monasteries and pressured to study to become monks. So regular folk tend not to ask for too much assistance from Temples.
The main aspect of this temporary roadside accommodation that is confusing to me, being located directly on a busy main road with lots of traffic, fumes from vehicles, high potential for accidents to occur (as it encroaches onto part of the road, and I might add is a menace to the flow of traffic), is that ten-minutes’ walk down that road is the Sisaket City Park. There is an abundance of available space there, it’s safe from flooding, and would provide a much more congenial human-friendly environment for temporary accommodation. So why do these little temporary ‘villages’ get set up on the sides of busy roads? But then again, perhaps these people simply want to stay close to their homes, for security reasons, or for ease of access (wading, or by boat) if they need to retrieve something more that they need.
Waiting, waiting, waiting…. I understand its very unusual for flood waters to persist for so long. Our house has now been flooded four times, but it’s a first for me. My wife, Manita, tells me that during previous floods the waters dissipated within two or three days. Who knows how long we’ll be waiting this time.
𝗡𝗼𝗼𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱 (yes, pun intended 555 😅)
𝗡𝗼𝗼𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱 (yes, pun intended 555 😅)
For those who don’t understand the pun: Guitarists mucking about and playing some little riffs and licks without it actually forming a cohesive piece of music in itself is usually called ‘noodling’. In a band setting, this may include some background accompanying licks while the singer is doing their thing, typically in-between sung phrases.
𝗦𝗼, 𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝟭𝟳 - 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗹 𝗥𝗼𝗼𝗺….
In my attempts to achieve a slightly better audio quality for the videos I’ve been doing, I ended up going to the trouble of unpacking my computer speakers (𝘢 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘪 𝘩𝘪-𝘧𝘪 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘰) and plugging the guitar into that. I figured that having slightly more volume while recording may mask out the background traffic noise, which it did. Also made the guitar’s very worn ‘threadbare’ strings sound a little better (𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘢 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘳’𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘴).
Usually guitarists talk in terms of ‘reverb’ and ‘delay’ when they’re referring to added special audio effects. But my hi-fi stereo doesn’t have those built in. Instead, like almost all ‘good’ amps sold in Thailand (𝘐 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢), it has an ‘echo’ effect built in, specifically designed for singing. Thai’s LOVE echo! 😆 The amp has a two input jacks for microphones, for karaoke (𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦) which will also work with my guitar plugged in directly. These types of amps are not so ‘hi-fi’, a bit ‘lo-fi’ really (IMO) – more like an actual guitar amp’s circuitry. So my Martin acoustic guitar (𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘬) sounds quite good played through the amp.
After I finished noodling and recording this, I packed up the amp and speakers back into the box again. Our motel room is okay(ish), but not nearly enough space to set up my computer or the stereo permanently.
The good news today is that the flood level in the river and on the street near our village looks to be slightly lower, but only 2 or 3 percent down – nothing to get too excited about! The bad news is there are further storms and heavy rain forecast for tonight and the weekend. 😞
‘𝗠𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄’ (Day 16 – Life in a Motel Room)
‘𝗠𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄’ (Day 16 – Life in a Motel Room) 🏘🛌⏳🎸
‘𝗗𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗚𝘂𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗲𝘀’ (…𝘮𝘺 𝘢𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘰 𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘬, 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘢 𝘣𝘪𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘣𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦). 🎸
I’ll see if I can record something a little more eloquent in my spare time (…𝘰𝘩…𝘸𝘢𝘪𝘵 𝘢 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘵𝘦….𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 – 𝘋𝘢𝘺 14 𝘓𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘔𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘭 𝘙𝘰𝘰𝘮).
Seriously, it’s been so long since I’ve played my acoustic guitar, as it needs heaps of work done on it to restore it to its previous glory (𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘐’𝘮 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘴𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘥𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬). I can’t even remember half the stuff I used to play on it! 😆
The other problem I’m having (𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘭 𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮) is how to record the audio. After a lot of testing with various ‘line-in’ cables and other microphones I have on hand, none of which has been satisfactory, my best option is to just use my mobile phone’s microphone. A less than optimal approach as you can hear all the background noise including the traffic on the street.
Prior to the floods commencing a few weeks ago, I was immersed in my current music production project, writing/recording music based on the one-year foreign currency conversion chart (AUD to THB). That’s sounding really good – hope to finish it in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned! 🎶
𝐒𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 (𝑦𝑒𝑎ℎ, 𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑏𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑑𝑦 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑎𝑙𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡!) : 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐥 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦 – 𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏𝟐
𝗩𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗴𝘂𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿 𝗽𝗶𝗰𝗸, 𝗮 ‘𝗚𝗲𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝗻𝗻𝗶𝘀’ 𝟬.𝟲𝟬𝗺𝗺 𝗺𝗼𝗱𝗲𝗹, 𝗰𝗶𝗿𝗰𝗮 𝟭𝟵𝟳𝟵/𝟴𝟬.
𝗜’𝘃𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝟰𝟬 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 (𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹??😆) - since around the time I purchased our first house in Canberra, and prior to my time playing in rock bands in the 1980’s!
As its so thin at only 0.60mm thickness, it’s what guitarists often refer to as a ‘fairy floss’ guitar pick. Next to useless for playing riffs or solos, it flexes far too much for that (𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘴). It’s so thin you could almost floss your teeth with it!😜 (𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘴 𝘐 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 0.88𝘮𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘥, 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘯𝘰 𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘹.)
At best, a pick this thin can be used for basic lightweight strumming. This is why the top has jagged edges. The pick is quite a lot thicker in that area, and I used to hold it inverted and play with the thick edge! But that was also not so satisfactory as that area was too flat, it didn’t have a pointy part.
With that most jagged edge, I remember mucking about and using that to strum my 6-string acoustic guitar to get a quasi 12-string tone effect as the pick would strike each string multiple times.😅
The sounds of foreign currency exchange - an experimental music production project, in progress
𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 (𝗳𝘅) 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘀 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱? 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆? 📈🎵😯
𝗜’𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗾𝘂𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗮 𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗾𝘂𝗲 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁.
For the past four or five weeks I had been thinking about producing some new music but had been lacking inspiration. ‘Blank canvas’ syndrome, or perhaps a case of too many options to decide! I really want to move away from the standard-type productions I’ve done in the past, using guitar/s, bass, drums, the basic ‘rock band’ format. I have the tools and the skills to be able to produce some music a bit more sophisticated other that 12-bar blues or basic jazz (𝑎𝑡 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝐼 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝐼 𝑐𝑎𝑛!).
So over recent weeks I had been seeking fresh inspiration by listening to a wide range of musical genres including classical, modern avant-garde jazz (𝑆𝑜𝑚𝑎 𝐹𝑀/𝑆𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑐 𝑈𝑛𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡!), goth, metal, and even some current pop music (𝑦𝑢𝑘!).
However, yesterday I thought of something quite unique. Not sure how this occurred, just a momentary thought that popped into my head. The idea that occurred to me, so as to create an 𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒍 piece of music without copying or being directly influenced by another artist’s music, is to compose something based on the foreign currency exchange rate chart from the past year – AUD to THB (𝐴𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑛 𝑑𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑇ℎ𝑎𝑖 𝑏𝑎ℎ𝑡)! How bizarre! Perhaps I thought of this as I had been noting how volatile the AUD/THB exchange rate has been over the past year.
Hmmm, I thought to myself, can this even be done? Will it sound like something musical, or just a bunch of random notes? Tentatively, I started the task. But as I ended up making some good progress by late last night, I concluded that perhaps it is a worthwhile project.
My first step was to integrate the AUD/THB exchange rate chart with a music stave/staff (𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑓𝑖𝑣𝑒 ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑧𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑠𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑟𝑒𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑎 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑖𝑡𝑐ℎ, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠 𝑟𝑒𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑡𝑒𝑠 𝐸, 𝐺, 𝐵, 𝐷, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐹 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝐹, 𝐴, 𝐶, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐸). To do this, I needed to stretch out the financial chart a little and compress it horizontally. Then I worked out an approximate number of musical bars that would roughly be required. I estimated that 58 bars (𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑝𝑖𝑐 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠) should do it, although some bars/sections of music are likely to repeat in the final production. And then it’s also likely a musical ‘intro’ and ‘outro’ will be added (𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑚𝑎𝑦 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑏𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑙𝑦 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝐴𝑈𝐷/𝑇𝐻𝐵 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑡).
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝘄 ‘𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱’ 𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗜 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗹𝗼𝘁 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗠𝗜𝗗𝗜 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝘆 𝗗𝗔𝗪 (𝑑𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑎𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑜 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝐼’𝑚 𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝐶𝑢𝑏𝑎𝑠𝑒 – 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑝𝑖𝑐 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠). Pretty dreadful initially – just a boring jumble of repetitive random notes. It was clear that while I could use this financial chart as the inspiration for the music, that will roughly follow the highs and lows of the chart, a degree of flexibility will be required for the sake of creating an interesting and plausible musical arrangement.
𝗔𝗻𝘆𝘄𝗮𝘆, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗼 𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝘂𝗽 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗯𝘆 𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗻𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁. 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝟭𝟲 𝗯𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝘀 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝘁. I’ll attempt to notate the remainder of the melody line from the chart onto the midi track today or tomorrow (𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑢𝑟𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑎𝑟𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠). Once that is complete, then I’ll have a better understanding of how the final musical arrangement may sound.
For the moment, I’m using viola/violin/cello and strings for the melody line/harmonies, basic percussion (𝑘𝑖𝑐𝑘 𝑑𝑟𝑢𝑚 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑘𝑒𝑟), a synth bass, and background synth pad chords. These are all VST instruments (𝑉𝑖𝑟𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑆𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑜 𝑇𝑒𝑐ℎ𝑛𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑦) available in my Cubase DAW. However, for the time being, choice of instruments is only for the sake of the project of composing the music. Who knows what the final instruments will be. Perhaps hard-core synths and heavy-distortion guitars, thumping drums and crashing cymbals, or maybe an unassuming classical piece with violin, piano, cello and double bass. Decisions, decisions…. 😅
The attached audio video has a tempo set at 80 bpm, but this may also change in the final arrangement. And currently it’s just whole quarter notes that have been used in the melody line (4/4 time, i.e. 4 beats/notes to the bar) – there’s no need at the moment to include 8th or 16th notes, triplets, rests, etc…that’ll come as part of the refining process.
It's possible that once I complete this process, then that track is used as a musical guide to create a completely new musical project, one that’s been ‘rounded’ and better defined musically (𝑠𝑖𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑎𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑎𝑑𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑑 𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑖𝑔𝑛 𝑐𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑦 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑡).
So, this project is likely to keep me busy for the next few weeks (𝑎𝑡 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑡!). I’m keen to hear how the final arrangement will sound. Wish me luck!
🔘New guitar strings....𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆!!
𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚 (𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜).
Do you see the distinction?
I’ve been trying to understand some things about the psychology, motivation, and reasons for going to a lot of trouble to purposefully create photographic works, and then posting those images online. Now that I’ve completed my ‘𝑎𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑦’ story in posts, I am somewhat at a quandary about the future of my creative activities and indeed the future of this page.
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There are two questions I searched online the other day:
𝐐𝟏. 𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐝𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤?
𝐀𝟏. “𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐧-𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐫𝐭. 𝐈𝐭 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐝𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. 𝐀𝐧𝐝, 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬.” (𝐴𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐴𝑟𝑡𝑠.𝑜𝑟𝑔)
Okay…that makes sense.
𝐐𝟐. 𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐝𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚?
𝐀𝟐. “𝐀𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 [𝑎𝑘𝑎 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑘𝑒𝑡-𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔], 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.” (𝑊𝑒 𝐴𝑟𝑒 𝑈𝑛𝑙𝑖𝑚𝑖𝑡𝑒𝑑.𝑜𝑟𝑔)
Okay…this also makes sense,
particularly for 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥
𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐬*, which I am not
𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒, 𝑜𝑟 𝑎𝑛
𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒).
Renowned artists (𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑒𝑥𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑒, 𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑝ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑇𝑜𝑑𝑑 𝐻𝑖𝑑𝑜) do not create works simply to post on social media. Those works are in every case created for a different purpose – primarily to exhibit in galleries or other exhibition spaces. The overall aim by the artists would be to sell those artworks. They may also be included in books the artists are publishing, including the contributing to a larger social or creative narrative by multiple artists. The reason we see these artworks on social media is primarily for the purposes of promotion – to promote the artists, the exhibitions, or the books.
Why would a renowned artist publish their artworks on social media 𝑏𝑒𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒 formally showcasing the works in an exhibition space? After all, an exhibition usually has an official launch, and its purpose serves as ‘𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑟𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑎𝑙’, where the public first get to see the artworks. Posting artworks first on social media negates the logic of that process.
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It was way back around 1996, just after I graduated from studying photography at Canberra Institute of Technology. At home, in our loungeroom, I had five or six of my favourite images mounted and framed hanging on the wall. Each one of these had taken painstaking effort to photograph, even more-so to hand-craft exhibition-quality B&W prints. Given the extensive amount of time each image had taken to produce, extrapolated by a basic hourly rate, the set were probably worth thousands of dollars, not including the artistic value of the images. But really, they were worth nothing (𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑟𝑒-𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑑).
So, late on this one particular night, and a few glasses of red wine later, I was looking at and admiring these ‘𝑠𝑢𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑏’ images. Understandably, to me, I was proud of them. But I was wondering about their true value, given they were in my loungeroom, and nobody other than my immediate family could see them. Yes, I know the images were for my CIT portfolio, and in part instrumental in my graduation from those studies. But what about afterwards? What worth are they if I can’t share them more widely? (𝑁𝑜𝑡𝑒, 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑚𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑎.) It really felt to me like all those hours, days and weeks to produce these images had been, relative to the longer term, a complete waste of time, effort, and expense.
𝑮𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒉𝒐𝒕𝒐 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒕….
I’ve never had my photography extensively exhibited – in a formal exhibition space. There was the illustrious final-year CIT graduation exhibition, where many pro’s were asking me about my ‘𝑚𝑦𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠’ grain technique (𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒, 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑛𝑖𝑐𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑝𝑟𝑜’𝑠 𝑤𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟 – ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑑𝑖𝑑 ℎ𝑒 𝑑𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡?). Sometime before that, I entered some images in the AIPP National Awards as a student photographer (𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑒𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑠𝑢𝑏𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑑𝑏𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑗𝑢𝑑𝑔𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 ℎ𝑒 “𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑙𝑒 𝑙𝑎𝑟𝑔𝑒𝑟-𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛-𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑛 𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜𝑠”! LOL!!). And there was some other community exhibition in Canberra which I don’t recall the specific details other than a quite personal work (𝑎 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓-𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑡) surprisingly sold for a modest price. A lesson to me, as I didn’t really want to part with that one-off ‘𝑞𝑢𝑎𝑑𝑡𝑦𝑐ℎ’ (𝑓𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑔𝑒𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑒) – I shouldn’t have displayed it at the exhibition.
After 1996, when I stared my first photography business in Canberra, I found that I never really had the time or energy to shoot personal work (𝑖.𝑒. 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑎 𝑐𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑔𝑛𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡). Nor did I have the remotest chance of making time to enter images in any awards competitions (𝑒𝑔. 𝐴𝐼𝑃𝑃, 𝐴𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑛 𝐼𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑡𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑓𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑃ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑝ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑠). I simply didn’t have the space to do anything like that, being entirely preoccupied with gaining clients and providing my professional services. That’s what needed to happen, and that’s why my business was successful. It certainly didn’t depend on any notoriety derived from winning some AIPP award. In commercial photography, you’re only as good as your last paid assignment, and that’s the philosophy that matters in business.
I certainly didn’t want to display any photos in exhibitions that had been prepared in a hurry, cutting corners to meet deadlines, that would end up being less than ‘𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑓𝑒𝑐𝑡’. Why would I want to do that? For any artist or photographer exhibiting their work, it needs to be the best they can produce. Perfect in all respects – conceptually, compositionally, emotionally, and for photographers, printed to an exceptionally high standard. The exhibition space also needs to be well designed, allowing for suitable separation of images and artworks so that the space isn’t cluttered, so that the works can be easily viewed individually without interference or distraction from the adjoining artworks or other elements.
The viewing public attending an exhibition has the luxury of viewing each image in-depth in a peaceful and neutral environment without any distractions. They may take quite an amount of time looking at one single image, contemplating its meaning, the intent by the artist, or what was involved in its production. However, I read an article recently from a gallery (𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒, 𝐼 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑘) that provided an outline of their in-house monitoring of how long a viewer will view an artwork. Apparently, these days it’s for a lot less time than it used to be 20 or 30 years ago. (…𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘𝑠 𝑇𝑇!)
Fast-forward to current times, 2022. Does anyone still go to galleries? Well, of course they do, but I would bet that attendance numbers are way down on what they used to be.
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒅𝒐𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒆 𝒑𝒖𝒃𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒚 𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒑𝒉𝒐𝒕𝒐𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒑𝒉𝒚 𝒐𝒏 𝒔𝒐𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒎𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒂?
While once upon a time I took immense care to produce images as perfect as they could be, partly to show my skills in best possible light, and partly as a sign of respect to an audience who may view the images for a long time, the same can’t be said for publishing photography on social media.
My page has a relatively small number of followers, and only a small portion of those get to see my posts (...𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘𝑠 𝐹𝐵!). An even smaller portion of followers actually interact with my page. (𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑖𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑛𝑜 𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑠𝑚 𝑜𝑟 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑡 – 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐼 𝑑𝑜 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑙𝑦 𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑜 𝑑𝑜 𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑚𝑦 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑡𝑠.)
My point is this. Why do I do things like spend a day out taking photos, then another day (𝑜𝑟 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒) to edit the best ones, to finally post them on my FB page, for the return of a few likes and perhaps a brief comment or two. Why do I take the effort to do this when I know (𝑎𝑡 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑎 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑟𝑙𝑦 𝑔𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑎) that a viewer of an image on my page may not do much more than glance at it for half a second before making a decision to move on to the next post. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
I recall last February being out shooting late into the night for my Liminal Spaces photography series. There was one particular site where I was located – an old derelict house. It was very dark, I’m standing in the shadows of trees screening me from the street lights. It was close to midnight, and the there was nobody around, no people, no cars or scooters, and my car was parked across the road. Suddenly out of nowhere, three large dogs came galloping up the middle of the street – between me and my car. I think my heart skipped a few beats. Luckily, they didn’t notice me standing in the shadows and obviously had an urgent meeting to attend elsewhere – they continued on, disappearing off into the night. I got the photo, a 10-second exposure and spent quite some hours editing it a few days later. It’s a great moody image. Would I display it in a conventional photography exhibition? No, it was shot on a mobile phone and resolution and production quality wasn’t nearly good enough for printing. Was it a good image to post on social media? Absolutely! It was a great image for social media! And what response did I receive when I posted it, to this photo that took me around 5 or 6 hours to produce? I got 6 likes (𝑦𝑎𝑦!), and the following day it was forgotten on social media. 𝑺𝒐 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕’𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒈𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒃𝒍𝒆?
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝑾𝑰𝑳𝑳 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔…
Even though my page has around 163 followers, my posts are shown only to a small number of those followers, unless I want to start paying FB to promote my posts! And I’m not about to do that for a FB page that amounts to nothing more than a hobby, with the ‘𝑎𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑦’ story purely for the benefit of friends and family, to tell them about my ‘𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒’ (𝑖𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡).
In the comments on this post, I’ll add a table showing typical post circulation for the last 20 posts I’ve published – you’ll easily see why I’m annoyed at FB for essentially wasting my time.
It’s often said, a creative person should create for themselves first. They need to believe in what they are doing, and need to be comfortable with it, even if nobody else can appreciate what’s being produced. That’s true….but! There’s a problem with those words “𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑓 𝑛𝑜𝑏𝑜𝑑𝑦 𝑒𝑙𝑠𝑒”, as that implies the creative product gets shown to a broader audience. How? Surely social media isn’t the answer. Speaking for myself, and relative to my own personality, I have to say this. Do I enjoy doing photography? Hmmm, probably not as much as I once did. Once upon a time my photography had a real purpose (𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝐼 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑐𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠). Would I continue to do photography if nobody sees it? Probably not – why would I do that?
And, it’s not about ‘𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒𝑠’ on social media. However, by definition, that is how social media is set up for viewers to provide their feedback. To be honest to myself, if nobody much is seeing my posts, then my needs for sharing my work aren’t being met. Given that some images take substantial effort to produce, if I can’t share them adequately (𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑓𝑦 𝑚𝑦 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑𝑠), then why should I bother?
But this raises another dilemma. If I stop doing photography, what will I do with my time? The world is still very much affected by the pandemic – there is still nothing much to do, and no place to do it. 𝑂ℎ, 𝐼 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝐼’𝑙𝑙 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑔𝑜 𝑏𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒𝑑!
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Social media must be 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐱𝐡𝐢𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐲 𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤. Given that most people look at SM on their mobile phones, what appreciation can they possible derive from looking at a photo where, for example, the photographer has spent ages ensuring all the intricate shadow detail is visible. Would they even notice this in the 1.5 seconds they look at the image on their screens? Personally, I’ve shot many photos that I’ve later looked at on my mobile, even have done quick '𝑡𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑠' on my phone to see roughly how the final image will appear. Looking good! Then I load up the images to my computer screen and, shock horror, they look absolutely dreadful! Delete!
Then on social media, there are all the distractions – photos of FB friends, advertising, notifications, '𝑃𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑚𝑎𝑦 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤', '𝑃𝑎𝑔𝑒𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑚𝑎𝑦 𝑤𝑖𝑠ℎ 𝑡𝑜 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑤', '𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑝𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑚𝑎𝑦 𝑤𝑖𝑠ℎ 𝑡𝑜 𝑗𝑜𝑖𝑛', oh…there’s a message come though – better look at that. And then there’s the absolute flood of trivial meaningless posts. It really is no wonder people skip through their newsfeeds allowing only half a second for most posts.
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Ever since about two-and-a-half years ago, when I started this FB page, I’ve often felt pressured to maintain a regular posting regime. This has at times been stressful to uphold. And then, if too much time passes, I get the reminder notifications from FB itself to create new posts (𝑦𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑢𝑚!). While I expect to again publish further posts in the future, they will be far less frequent and in my own time. It’s my feeling that I’m entering into a phase of music creation – that’s what presently seems to be my primary creative motivation (𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑝𝑖𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑠 𝑎 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟). So in the foreseeable future, you may see some posts relating to music production rather than photography. But who knows? Maybe I change my mind next week!
𝐶𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡: 𝑃ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝑜𝑓 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑝ℎ𝑦 𝑒𝑥ℎ𝑖𝑏𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 – 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑡𝑒𝑠𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝐷𝑒𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑖𝑡 𝐼𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑡𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝐴𝑟𝑡𝑠
About: Peter Midegs Anthology of Creative Pursuits
Really, I think I’d go stir crazy if I didn’t have an artistic creative element in my life. However, I haven’t always been able to actualise this during the entire 60 something past years, only when I’ve had time (and the energy) in-between working in ‘safe’ salaried jobs and raising a family. You could say I’ve been a consistently occasional creative!
Here’s the thing. During most of my careers I worked in management or accounts-related roles. Boring? Well yes, can be exceptionally dull and routine - same same every day, every week, every year. There was the need to occasionally (or at times regularly) balance this by immersing myself is some artistic creative pursuit. The exception was a 13-year career as a commercial photographer – initially full-time, going to part-time after the tragic events of 9/11 basically shut down the market for commercial photography services for a very long time.
I sometimes ponder, where does a person’s artistic creativity originate? Is it innate? Is it a case of it being stimulated by inspiration, or is it something that develops purely as an interest? Everyone possesses creativity, but not everyone has the inclination towards artistic creativity. Why are some people interested in art, while others are not?
Back in 2005, during a void period in my personal creative pursuits, I decided to put my hand up for a committee role, membership officer, with the Sydney Blues Society. What I really would have loved to be doing is to be up there on the stage jamming with other ‘active’ members, the musos. Alas, at that time I didn’t feel the confidence, so settled for a role as SBS’s membership officer – yep, another administrator role albeit associated with creative live performance!
ช่างภาพศรีสะเกษ อุบล รับถ่ายภาพ ถ่า?
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