Why are there so few women screen composers?

Lisa Gerrard performing in Budapest, 2012. She is one of Australia’s few successful female composers for screen. Balazs Mohai/EPA

Just 13% of those composing music for screen are women, according to membership figures from APRA AMCOS, the organisation that looks after copyright for songwriters, composers and music publishers in Australia.

Female screen composers sit at the intersection of two industries – music and film – that have both been recognised as being male-dominated. To better understand the pathways and barriers for women in this field, and why women in music are underrepresented more generally, APRA AMCOS commissioned research in this area early this year (conducted by myself and Fabian Cannizzo), which has just been released.

Using surveys completed by 159 screen composers and in-depth interviews with 28 of them, our research found there was a gulf between men and women in their understanding of gender issues in the industry. (All participants in the research identified as either male or female). For instance, 67% of women participants agreed with the statement that “gender discrimination is common in the industry”, compared with only 32% of men.

In interviews, women talked about the screen composing industry as being a “boys’ club”. They perceived this as operating in many different ways, from male-dominated networks that proved almost impossible to break into, to studio cultures that were covertly or overtly misogynistic, through to actual sexual harassment.

Men, on the other hand, were more likely to talk about the industry as being a “meritocracy”, where the only factor that mattered was talent. In responses to the survey, some men were openly antagonistic towards the idea that questions should even be asked about gender issues in the first place. At the same time, the men who could see there was a problem often had difficulty articulating exactly what it was or what the effects were.

Men and women agreed that a meritocracy was an ideal goal to work towards, but men’s understanding of women’s experiences – and therefore the ways in which they might be contributing to women’s marginalisation – was limited.

Numerous other factors emerged as barriers to women in screen composing. Many of these have been identified as issues for women in a range of other careers. For example, having children had a much more negative effect on women’s careers than on men’s.

Working as a screen composer is precarious – most work on a project-by-project basis and reported “feast or famine” type schedules with little control over when work needed to be done. Factoring caring responsibilities into this mix limited or ended women’s careers in many cases.

The women who successfully negotiated this life change had often established professional partnerships that meant networks and industry knowledge could be maintained. However, in a highly individualised field, establishing such partnerships is not always possible.

The research also found there was a common perception that men and women composed different types of music. Women’s compositions were seen as more suited to the work of women directors, or to films or TV shows that dealt with “women’s issues”. Given the continued gender imbalance both behind the camera and in the stories that are told on screen, this idea that women can only compose for or about “feminine” topics makes it less likely again that they will be hired.

We also found that far fewer women than men are enrolling in higher education courses related to screen composition. Education institutions we consulted reported around one-tenth to one-third of their students were female. This appears to be related to the wider issue of women’s relationship with technology, as many of the courses related to screen composition were tech-focused.

These and other factors that emerged connect back to essentialist ideas about what men and women can or should do.

So what can be done to counteract these trends?

While we wish to avoid making this discussion “about men”, finding ways to engage men in equity initiatives seems important. With men still in the majority of decision-making roles in the music, film and television industries, making change on a large scale will be difficult to achieve without men recognising and working to combat gender inequality.

Asking men to at least think about how their practices and decision-making processes may be negatively impacting women, and to acknowledge that women’s experiences of the industry may be very different to their own is a simple starting point, but one that needs to go much further.

Other strategies such as finding ways for women to network and develop partnerships that help sustain their careers should be considered. Highlighting the careers of women who have succeeded in this area, such as Lisa Gerrard, Caitlin Yeo Amanda Brown and Bryony Marks and providing mentoring and access to role models, is a starting point here.

It is encouraging to see APRA AMCOS committing to taking actions along these lines, through establishing mentorship programs and masterclasses. It is also working to increase women’s participation across the board, from membership numbers to positions on award panels and beyond.

More research is still needed, especially to widen the focus to create a more intersectional understanding of inequality in music. However practical and measurable changes such as these are important steps in moving towards equality.

The Conversation

Disclosure

Catherine Strong undertook this research for APRA AMCOS.

Source: http://ift.tt/10p9N0X

Why are there so few women screen composers?

Lisa Gerrard performing in Budapest, 2012. She is one of Australia’s few successful female composers for screen. Balazs Mohai/EPA

Just 13% of those composing music for screen are women, according to membership figures from APRA AMCOS, the organisation that looks after copyright for songwriters, composers and music publishers in Australia.

Female screen composers sit at the intersection of two industries – music and film – that have both been recognised as being male-dominated. To better understand the pathways and barriers for women in this field, and why women in music are underrepresented more generally, APRA AMCOS commissioned research in this area early this year (conducted by myself and Fabian Cannizzo), which has just been released.

Using surveys completed by 159 screen composers and in-depth interviews with 28 of them, our research found there was a gulf between men and women in their understanding of gender issues in the industry. (All participants in the research identified as either male or female). For instance, 67% of women participants agreed with the statement that “gender discrimination is common in the industry”, compared with only 32% of men.

In interviews, women talked about the screen composing industry as being a “boys’ club”. They perceived this as operating in many different ways, from male-dominated networks that proved almost impossible to break into, to studio cultures that were covertly or overtly misogynistic, through to actual sexual harassment.

Men, on the other hand, were more likely to talk about the industry as being a “meritocracy”, where the only factor that mattered was talent. In responses to the survey, some men were openly antagonistic towards the idea that questions should even be asked about gender issues in the first place. At the same time, the men who could see there was a problem often had difficulty articulating exactly what it was or what the effects were.

Men and women agreed that a meritocracy was an ideal goal to work towards, but men’s understanding of women’s experiences – and therefore the ways in which they might be contributing to women’s marginalisation – was limited.

Numerous other factors emerged as barriers to women in screen composing. Many of these have been identified as issues for women in a range of other careers. For example, having children had a much more negative effect on women’s careers than on men’s.

Working as a screen composer is precarious – most work on a project-by-project basis and reported “feast or famine” type schedules with little control over when work needed to be done. Factoring caring responsibilities into this mix limited or ended women’s careers in many cases.

The women who successfully negotiated this life change had often established professional partnerships that meant networks and industry knowledge could be maintained. However, in a highly individualised field, establishing such partnerships is not always possible.

The research also found there was a common perception that men and women composed different types of music. Women’s compositions were seen as more suited to the work of women directors, or to films or TV shows that dealt with “women’s issues”. Given the continued gender imbalance both behind the camera and in the stories that are told on screen, this idea that women can only compose for or about “feminine” topics makes it less likely again that they will be hired.

We also found that far fewer women than men are enrolling in higher education courses related to screen composition. Education institutions we consulted reported around one-tenth to one-third of their students were female. This appears to be related to the wider issue of women’s relationship with technology, as many of the courses related to screen composition were tech-focused.

These and other factors that emerged connect back to essentialist ideas about what men and women can or should do.

So what can be done to counteract these trends?

While we wish to avoid making this discussion “about men”, finding ways to engage men in equity initiatives seems important. With men still in the majority of decision-making roles in the music, film and television industries, making change on a large scale will be difficult to achieve without men recognising and working to combat gender inequality.

Asking men to at least think about how their practices and decision-making processes may be negatively impacting women, and to acknowledge that women’s experiences of the industry may be very different to their own is a simple starting point, but one that needs to go much further.

Other strategies such as finding ways for women to network and develop partnerships that help sustain their careers should be considered. Highlighting the careers of women who have succeeded in this area, such as Lisa Gerrard, Caitlin Yeo Amanda Brown and Bryony Marks and providing mentoring and access to role models, is a starting point here.

It is encouraging to see APRA AMCOS committing to taking actions along these lines, through establishing mentorship programs and masterclasses. It is also working to increase women’s participation across the board, from membership numbers to positions on award panels and beyond.

More research is still needed, especially to widen the focus to create a more intersectional understanding of inequality in music. However practical and measurable changes such as these are important steps in moving towards equality.

The Conversation

Disclosure

Catherine Strong undertook this research for APRA AMCOS.

Source: http://ift.tt/10p9N0X

Remix some NOIZ

NOIZ is Studio Amplify’s second app, and it’s just over a year old now. Studio Amplify have updated it pretty continually since launch. This latest update, version 2.4 has added a very useful new feature, remixing. Now you can grab any track from your feed and simply remix it by pressing the button. That’s pretty cool.

Studio Amplify have been putting out great apps since their first, Junglator. NOIZ was a big shift and one that really added to simplifying music creation. KRFT, their latest app, has a very different take on modular music creation. You can certainly say that they do things differently.

 

The post Remix some NOIZ appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Source: http://cdm.link

In the kitchen

Our weekend wasn’t very eventful, unless you consider washing cabinets and drawers some kind of twisted version of excitement. And what do you do when your kitchen is feeling ultra clean and you know that with two kids under 7, it won’t remain like this for long? Take a picture, of course. Then spend the rest of the day trying to maintain its pristine condition in spite of meals and snacks for 4 people.

Also, you might remember this vintage Japanese brass spoon from the souvenirs I brought home from L.A. last month? It’s from Gjusta Goods.

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Flickr Heroes of the Week

Our new Flickr Heroes of the Week are ‘Geometria Organica‘ by Roberto Porcelli on Facebook & Google+ and ‘Beach Sunset #1‘ by Dan Khan on Twitter & Tumblr.

Geometria Organica
Beach Sunset #1

Here are some Flickr Hero Honorable Mentions for this week:

Gerbera Petals
lora
G a b i
Make a wish

If you want your photo to be considered for a Flickr Hero feature next week, submit your best image(s) to the Flickr Heroes group pool by Monday morning! Winners are announced in the Flickr Heroes Group, on the blog, and across our social media accounts!

Source: http://blog.flickr.net

Bright loft with nordic and industrial vibes

Another stylish loft situated inside of an old factory. It has a lovely scandinavian vibe which suits the place very well and complements the industrial elements that can be found here, like the old metal columns and naked bricks.

White painted wooden beams combined with the large windows provide lot of light so the owners even painted some walls in black with a great result.

source

nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style
nordic loft with industrial elements and bohemian style

Source: http://ift.tt/Pmwj8P

Toxic City Music

NYC based artist Evan Caminiti breathes life into the Dust Editions imprint with the release of Toxic City Music. Caminiti has explored electro-acoustic music since the mid 2000’s, the latest transmission being 2015’s Meridian. While that album was Caminiti’s first to omit electric guitar, he has now returned to the instrument. Here it is buried it in an electronic mist and melted down, it’s sonic fabric reshaped.

Toxic City Music was inspired by the psychic and physical toxicity of life in late capitalism. Conceived throughout 2015 and 2016, Caminiti captured the sounds of NYC’s machinery and voices before weaving them into his studio experiments. This collection of song mutations unravels in hazy plumes and serrated edges; concrète sounds mesh with disembodied strings and corrosive electronics on “Joaquin”, drones ripple under stuttering rhythms and crude synth detritus throughout “NYC Ego”. On “Toxic Tape (Love Canal)”, layers of digital degradation smear guitar clusters, dissolving into a dubby devotional-ambient space.

Recorded and produced by Evan Caminiti. Featuring Jefre Cantu-Ledesma on “Joaquin”. Additional production and mixdowns by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studios.

Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering.

Artwork by Evan Caminiti.

credits

Released March 3, 2017


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Tycho Autumn European Tour

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EU AUTUMN 2017 TOUR
19 OCT – Dublin, IE – District 8
22 OCT – London, UK – The Roundhouse
24 OCT – Barcelona, ES – Razzmatazz 2
25 OCT – Toulouse, FR – Bikini
27 OCT – Bologna, IT – Estragon
28 OCT – Turin, IT – Movement Festival
30 OCT – Basel, CH – Kaserne
31 OCT – Zurich, CH – Plaza
01 NOV – Antwerp, BE – Trix
02 NOV – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli
04 NOV – Copenhagen, DK – DR Koncerthuset
09 NOV – Moscow, RU – Izvestia Hall

Tickets here


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Spilling blood in art, a tale of tampons, Trump and taboos

Part of Jordan Eagles’s Blood Equality – Illuminations, 2017, an installation that uses imaged blood on plexiglass.

When Donald Trump said of journalist Megyn Kelly, “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever”, the American artist Sarah Levy responded by painting a portrait of him using her own menstrual blood.

Setting aside, (as if one could), the overt misogyny implicit in Trump’s comments, his views amplify the anxiety the open body creates – the destabilisation of the intact body of the viewer, a momentary collapse of self.

Artistic freedom is given so as to encourage such exploration. Art operates as a laboratory for ideas, it can be radical, political and sometimes deeply confronting; no more so than when art confronts audiences with bodily fluids most often hidden from view. To paint with menstrual blood is a provocation. It asks that we see things differently, and presents us with what is usually unseen.

But not all blood is equal. When blood is spilled it is generally presumed to be male, frequently in the name of the nation, and spent in some heroic act or another – largely on foreign shores, commemorated but rarely seen. Blood has its place – contained, controlled and out of view.

When blood escapes the body or laboratory, it is particularly disturbing and unruly. We speak of spilt blood as contaminated, infected, impure. Controlled blood-letting is a symbol of masculinity; menstruation a sign of abjection, and gay men’s blood is to be feared, to say nothing of the anxiety of intermingling blood between people, races and species. To work with blood can raise ethical issues, but is equally an opportunity to shed light on the source of many prejudices and misconceptions.


Read more: Explainer: what’s actually in our blood


The feminist art movement of the 1960s and 1970s took aim at these entrenched religious and societal norms, and presented audiences with menstrual blood: both as the subject of art works and the material with which artists worked. Feminist artworks that included blood acquired their potency because of its taboo status. Blood was dangerously out of place.

Before Tracey Emin’s blood soaked tampon appeared in her Turner Prize nominated work My Bed, Judy Chicago produced Menstruation Bathroom as part of Womenshouse (Los Angeles, 1972) an iconic feminist art installation. The bathroom contained a rubbish bin with bloodstained sanitary pads and tampons as “unmistakeable marks of our animality”. Carolee Schneeman’s Blood Work Diary (New York, 1972) consisted of a series of bloodstained tissues blotted with blood from one menstrual cycle, as a response to a male partner’s revulsion at the sight of menstrual blood.

These artists sought to make visible the quotidian blood spilling of which we do not speak, enacting the mantra of the feminist movement of the time: “the personal is political”. As Germaine Greer famously said: “If you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood – if it makes you sick, you’ve got a long way to go, baby”. As we see from Levy’s portrait of Trump, societies’ taboos continue to imbue art using menstrual blood with threatening power.

A destabilising of self

The ability of the presence of blood and the open body to destabilise one’s sense of self is often utilised by male artists to instil a sense of vulnerability. Franko B’s performance work I Miss You, in the Tate’s Turbine Hall (London, 2003), saw him naked with blood flowing from cuts to his arms and seeping into a canvas covered runway. Largely because of our long standing gendered perceptions of bodies and blood, when male artists bleed, both they and their work tend to be queered, as if “real men” do not bleed.


And so it was that the HIV-AIDS epidemic in western gay communities produced its own form of gendered crisis and diverse cultural and artistic expressions. The blood borne virus also fundamentally changed the way blood was viewed. If women’s menstrual blood was considered taboo, gay men’s blood was considered lethal.

Suddenly the metaphors of blood, pure and impure, clean and unclean, became frightening literal. The spectre of HIV-positive blood pervaded political and social conversations, and the mere sight of blood in association with the gay community set off hysterical reactions.


Read more: Restricting gay men from donating blood is discriminatory


The spectre of blood was ubiquitous during this period, yet ill-informed anxieties around the infection ensured that blood itself was largely absent in art. One exception was Ron Athey’s performance piece, Four Scenes in a Harsh Life, performed at the Walker Art Centre (Minneapolis USA 1994).

Completely fictionalised accounts of the event circulated, with one report describing HIV-positive blood being thrown at the audience. Athey is HIV+, and blood did flow, but it was that of his HIV negative collaborator, Darryl Carlton—aka Divinity Fudge. The erroneous media reactions fuelled the psychic transmission of the virus, if not literally infecting others, at the very least, creating a fear that bodies might silently and secretly be contaminated by mere proximity.

Such fears persist, in spite of scientific knowledge that the virus can only be transmitted intravenously, through sharing needles or blood transfusions, and unprotected sex. It is these phobias that the German artist Basse Stittgen addresses when he creates objects and vessels out of blood products. He challenges audiences to consider whether they would drink out of, or even hold these objects if they were made of blood from HIV or Hepatitis positive donors.

Blood Objects, Basse Stittgen (The Netherlands, Germany) Objects made from animal and human blood, 2017.
Courtesy of the artist

Mixing bodily fluids is also taboo: Andres Serrano’s photographs of semen and blood most notably made this connection between life and death in his Bodily Fluids series in the late 1980s.

After his son Lucas’s birth, meanwhile, artist Mark Quinn created a sculpture out of the mother Georgia Byng’s placenta. The work challenges us to consider where the mother and child separate, where bodies begin and end. Stelarc and Nina Sellers asked similar questions with their work Blender, which mixed both their blood and extracted fat.

But what of interspecies blood mingling? May the Horse Live in Me!, a collaborative project by Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin presents us with this very provocation. Over time, Laval-Jeantet built up an immunity to horse blood, sufficient to enable her to be injected with horse blood plasma as part of an experiment that they describe as a “foray into human/animal ‘blood-sisterhood’.”

May the Horse Live in Me! Art Orienté Objet; Marion Laval-Jeantet & Benoît Mangin (France)
Film and relics of original performance, 2011.

Courtesy of the artists

This work can also be seen as a response to the hubris of the anthropocene, the implicit assumption that humans are something other than animal. Ultimately this seems to be the common thread in these artworks: each asks questions of the ways in which humans are gendered, categorised and deemed separate from animals and from each other.

An exhibition at the Science Gallery at the University of Melbourne, Blood: Attract and Repel, addresses our ambivalent attitudes to blood. Laval-Jeantet and Mangin’s work is represented in it, as is Stittgen’s Blood Objects.

The Hotham Street Ladies (a collective based in Australia, UK and Berlin) present in the show what might be considered as an hysterical homage to Chicago’s Menstruation Bathroom. Vivid icing and confectionary is used to create menstrual murals in two toilet cubicles. There is no real blood this time but perhaps the work is all the more abject through its excess.

You Beaut, Hotham Street Ladies, (Australia, UK and Germany) Installation, 2017.
Courtesy of the artist

Blood is also absent in Irish artist John O’Shea’s Black Market Pudding. He had hoped to produce a sausage using blood drawn from a living pig, but at the time of writing this is apparently a step too far for Australia, with no farmer willing to provide a pig to be bled.

So the work has been produced elsewhere – highlighting how our industrial, legal and ethical frameworks make it easier to slaughter an animal than bleed one, but keep it alive.

Blood: Attract and Repel opens on August 2 and runs until October 5 at the Science Gallery at University of Melbourne.

The Conversation

Kate MacNeill works for the University of Melbourne with which the Science Gallery is affiliated. She has received fundng from the Office of Learning and Teaching.

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