I'm quite an introverted, private person and have never been entirely comfortable with putting my thoughts out there for all the world to see. I see this behaviour with many of my fellow composers, and yet, we live in a world where we must metaphorically shout our names and achievements from the rooftops in order to gain any recognition. With audiences saturated with an overwhelming variety of musical content, and with many of them taking the path of least resistance, i.e. mainstream commercial radio, to satisfy their music listening needs, it has become increasingly difficult for new, young and/or emerging composers to make any sort of impact without relying on some form of self promotion. For some people, this comes easy and there are many young composers who are effective at self-publicising themselves and their music. For others, such as myself, this kind of behaviour can run counter to our personality and ideologies, and requires a significant effort to engage in these activities. Hence the very infrequent updates of this blog and website!
So, I've been working on my PhD for the last year and half, though in reality, only the last 6 months have had any relevance as I proceeded to start from scratch in January of this year and focus on a topic that has a much stronger meaning and interest for me than the topics I had looked at in 2014 (plus poor health being a major disruption in the second half of 2014). So, now I am essentially doing a PhD in progressive rock, a style of music that has had a bigger influence on my development as a composer than any other. And I must say that I am extremely happy that I am able to do so, for it is an area of music that I am very engaged with and something that I will be motivated to research and write about (an extremely important thing to consider when doing a PhD!). I'm thankful that my supervisors (Dr's. Lindsay Vickery & Matt Styles and Assoc. Prof. Cat Hope) have been supportive of my new direction for the research, and even more encouraged by the responses I have had from other staff members of WAAPA through the presentation of my research proposal.
I have finally managed to get to the stage where I have completed all the requirements for research candidature (proposal, ethics etc.) and can finally begin work on the actual research. Throughout this process I am going to attempt to make more regular blog updates, if only for the fact that writing about what I'm doing and discussing what I'm doing with other people appears to be highly beneficial to my research process, and this blog affords me an opportunity to organise and structure my thoughts on my research in a coherent manner.