More composers, more music, more listening opportunities

It’s the end of International Women’s Day 2018. I’ve been meaning to write this post all day. But paid work-opportunities have taken priority. Then there was a dinner party with someone who works at the Palace. Sometimes writing has to settle for a position further down on the to-do list.

IWD is an odd thing. It’s one of the few ‘occasions’ I’ve seen coming down the pipe on social media that I’ve risen to. I see the day as an opportunity to celebrate people who have helped me – the sort of Mothering Sunday I’d like Mothering Sunday to be but never really is. Because really, as a bloke, white and almost certainly privileged in some people’s eyes, celebrating the women who have helped me in life and career (all of them) is the very least I can do.

I’ve heard a lot of cynicism today on public transport about International Women’s Day. From men and women. Men goading women, women rolling their eyes at the efforts of their employers to bring more attention to the day.

That’s struck me as a bit of a shame. I’ve rather enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on the strengths of others. And I’ve also appreciated the various resolute endeavours announced today as well.

And in particular, Trinity Laban’s announcement that music by women will make up more than half of its concert programmes in 2018/19 academic year. They’ve also announced their intention to publish an online database of female composers past and present.

Like Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal College, endeavours such as this provide higher education institutions with a much-needed opportunity to amplify their brand. But more than that for me, this commitment like the Keychange Pledge announced by PRS Foundation a couple of weeks back widens listening opportunities. That means more content to discover. It also means more content to assess, judge, celebrate and embrace. And that means an even greater need for objectivity when listening.

Pictured above is Harriet Harman, staff and students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music launching ‘Venus Blazing’, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance’s campaign to celebrate music by ‘missing’ women composers.

Read more about Trinity Laban’s commitment and their new online database on the Venus Blazing website.