as much beautiful things i encounter in music schools- growth, hope and trust, though rare, there are moments that makes me question what drives people insane. a common occurrence would be signing of declaration forms.
many students and young professionals go on from undergrad program to further graduate studies and competitions. it is common for the first round of these applications to include recording samples. we do many of these during late november and early december. people work hard- as these projects usually take at least six months to couple of years to prepare for. they book the hall, practice, make notes and make the recording.
often, engineers are asked to sign the declaration form(s) to accompany these recordings. there are two usual reasons for it:
1. to verify that the recording is of said performer,
2. that it has not been edited.
editing culture is so prevalent in music industry- most of people are shocked once they register the difference of live performance and recorded product; but with technology so easily available, most commercial recordings are now heavily doctored, just like photoshopping visuals. however, this creates further problem: that people do not want to accept their own live performances and requests editings- often in fairly insane amounts.
if a movement (let's say, 12 minutes) requires 10+ edits, that means you could hardly play through the movement. literally, almost every minute contains a mistake that is unbearable to the listener (in this case, applicant). i understand that one may run out of time. if this is a commercial release, actually (and sadly) this is not an uncommon practice.
however, it is incomprehensible to me that people would request these heavy edits, then
usually, there are waves of applications for particular events in these recording projects in school environment. and as engineers are aware of the reasons behind it, we are not totally left in dark- we do know why the applicant needs that signature.
but asking for signature for declaration after such editing sessions- you are asking us to drop our professionalism, drop the trust that has been given to us from the fellow competitors and the competition/schools/institutions.
not only you are lying and compromising your own integrity, you are asking us to be part of it.
so the answer is no. such things are academic violations and since ( i ) work at an academic institution, in worst case scenario, my academic degrees may be evoked (true story). it is not worth it for (me) to take such risks. ( i ) cannot afford to.
and i wish to ask further question:
is this really the truthful representation of who you are?
it is so easy to cheat and lie. one may not even think twice about it. but that does not make it right. often, in such situations, i tend to 'search' the internet together to 'verify' the fact that recordings CAN be edited. but i do not like doing that. i do not need to be a mirror for an action that may have been made without real consideration. cheating is so easy. sadly, when such declaration request is rejected, people often take the next action: forgery. i suppose desperation and momentary blindness for possible success do blind people from seeing the truth- but that still is not 'right.'
before you cheat yourself and others, do have a think: is this who you really are?
the answers may disappoint even oneself.
your integrity, like virginity (haha), once dropped, cannot be fixed.