This is a delightful and informative piece featuring female musicians onthe London Improv Scene who talk about what improvising is to them, how they began and their careers and lives in London - really refreshing piece of writing. Thanks to Women in Music UK member Alison Blunt who tweeted this and drew our attention to it recently. Good to see her included alongside others like Caroline Kraabel (who played at the Chard Festival of Women in Music some years back ), Sylvia Hallett, Maggie Nicols and Kay Grant. The initial information was drawn from entries in the British Music Collection site. Thanks to Julie Kjaer of Sound and Music for this piece/exhibition.
Debbie Golt WiM Chair adds that she will put a link up soon to a discussion she led with some other female improvisers that was broadcast on Resonance FM a few years ago to mark International Women's Day . It's an important area of music to fully explore and one where women are quite prominent these days.
Do encourage others to read this blog. And do add your what's on info to www.womeninmusic.org.uk - swift turnaround for entries usually.
THis will be wonderful - it starts off at Shambala Festival (sold out) but fear not it tours widely including London, Hull, Festival 6 and will be well documented, It's In Place of War's brilliant and timely all women Voices of the Revolution tour led by Women in Music's own Errollyn Wallen MBE - leading composer and animator of marvellous things
So proud of Errollyn and In Place of War for collaborating on this! Many of the musicians are in UK for the first time invited by IPOW from places of conflict to collaborate with UK based women of similar backgrounds. Both known and bubbling up artists are involved:
An event in London on 12th September that some of our followers may be interested in.
Nikki Yeoh is a brilliant London based pianist composer whose music spans jazz into improv and more. She has recieived many commissions for her own compositions and her band Infinitum and has played with musicians like Roy Ayers, Ernest Ranglin, Jean Carne and many more on both mega and intimate stages. Her debut album is called Solo Gemini on her Infinitum records and is distributed by Proper Music. The album is released on June 10th and there is a launch event at The Vortex in London on June 19th.
The album has been 25 in the making in that over this time Nikki has created music that at last she is happy to share with the world. The launch date information is here: www.vortexjazz.co.uk/event/nikki-yeoh-gemini-album-launch/
This event will be included in the Women in Music website www.womeninmusic.org.uk What's ON - do remember that you can submit all your events with women composers and musicians for inclusion and there is a swift turnaround after you have sent your info. It's a great way to let people know. Remember also you can follow Women in Music on Twitter @WomeninMusicUK and often retweet news when we are included.
Sending out a few posts at once today as there is a lot to share ....
Every year Women in Music surveys the BBC Proms in London to see how well - or not as is often the case - women composers, conductors and lead players represented and included. You can see this year's ratings on the Women in Music website at this link:
These statistics are respected as a vital resource by many people including journalists and leading publications. We have contacted programmers from time to time to make our views known on how vital it is to include many more women. It remains a mystery how BBC Radio 3 can have a wonderful array of composers on International Women's Day and a major resource list of same on their website and still the Prom programmers in their name appear to have difficulty including significant numbers in the proms. Anyway this year shows improvements in some areas - it can't be hard! For example there are 5 instead of 2 women conductors ... And not in others. Still a long long way to go.!
You are welcome to quote the stats however we ask that you always quote the source of course.
You can access the full BBC Proms programme HERE
Follow this link to find out more about a great opportunity to become one of 5 Composers in Residence with Streetwise Opera !
You have until 8th June at midnight to apply and you must be available for interview on 16th June and there are some designated training days. The residencies will take place in each of the 5 different cities where Streetwise Opera have bases. The company gives homeless people a voice through participation in opera. This is focused on 'Mid-Career' composers of any age for whom this would be a 'significant' breakthrough opportunity
Here are more details. Follow the link for information on how and where to apply
Streetwise Opera is offering an opportunity for five composers to become the company’s Composers in Residence with their groups in five cities across England, supported by PRS for Music Foundation.
The residencies provide rich professional development opportunities for emerging or mid-career composers with a keen interest in opera. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to gain broad experience of the life of Streetwise Opera, an award-winning commissioning and producing opera company that works with people who have experienced homelessness and other members of the community.
Each Composer in Residence will develop a short (3-5 minute) operatic chorus for performance in early 2017. We will appoint one composer for each city we work in: London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle/Gateshead and Nottingham.
The texts for the commissions will be written in collaboration with our performers through a process of experimentation and exploration, allowing them to make creative decisions and feel a sense of ownership over the final piece. Streetwise Opera’s professional workshop leaders will help facilitate the process.
The vocal abilities of each group should be taken into account to allow our performers to fully express the text and shine in their delivery. Generally speaking, broad vocal lines work better than angular writing. Vocal writing can be in unison throughout or include two-part harmony and short episodes for solos.
Each commission needs to be devised, written and rehearsed during the period of July 2016 to January 2017, before being performed in an informal regional Opera Hour in early 2017. During the summer of 2017, all five commissions will be performed in an event to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Streetwise Opera and the achievements of our performers.
Who will this suit?
For this set of commissions, we are focusing on emerging to mid-career composers of any age, for whom this would represent a significant and demonstrable development opportunity. We are particularly interested in composers who live and work in or near the cities in which we are based – London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle/Gateshead and Nottingham. We are looking for composers with a keen interest in writing for voice and opera. We are interested in hearing from people who may not have worked in community settings or with non-professionals before, as well as those who may have some experience in these areas.
A great article by Esther Jones in last month's Music Teacher magazine on the status quo and ways forwards for women conductors, drawing on analysis by Women In Music of last year's BBC Proms programme.