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Where are the women in music? 

28 April 2010

PRS for Music Foundation & Birds Eye View ask the experts: Why is there such a gender gap?

As part of its 10th anniversary, the PRS for Music Foundation is teaming up with Birds Eye View and leading women from the music business to explore why women are outnumbered 6 to 1 amongst registered music creators and songwriters.

Speech Debelle, Mira Calix, Rachel Portman and Janis Susskind will discuss their views in a panel to be chaired by influential music journalist Miranda Sawyer. This event will take place at Kings Place on Monday 24 May, 7pm as part of Bird’s Eye View’s Sounds and Silents series.

Birds Eye View is curating this event in collaboration with the PRS for Music Foundation to demonstrate its commitment to developing and supporting women across the arts: only 7% of film directors and 12% of screenwriters are female. This gender imbalance also exists in the music business – only 14% of PRS for Music’s registered creators and writers are women.

Vanessa Reed, Co-Director of PRS for Music Foundation said “If we want women to maximize their creative talent, we need to work across the creative industries so that we can understand the barriers and to raise awareness of the current status quo. Bird’s Eye View’s Sounds and Silents series - which features live scores for film written by cutting edge female artists - is the ideal platform for this debate.”

For more information see http://www.birds-eye-view.co.uk/  

Notes on panellists:

  • Miranda Sawyer, Journalist & Broadcaster is a long time supporter of Birds Eye View and has taken part in a number of different events and discussions at the Birds Eye View Film Festival.
  • Speech Debelle, Music Creator (tbc) is the 2009 winner of the Mercury Music Award and has spoken out about the gender imbalance in the music industry.
  • Mira Calix, Music Creator is signed to Warp Records and a winner of 2009 Composer of the Year and Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.
  • Rachel Portman, Film Composer is the first female composer to win an Academy Award in the category of Best Original Score (for Emma in 1996).
  • Janis Susskind, is Director of Composers & Repertoire at Boosey & Hawkes publishers, holding the largest specialist classical music collection in the world.

About PRS for Music Foundation:

The PRS for Music Foundation (PRSF) is the UK's leading independent funder of new music across all genres. Widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRSF supports a wide range of new music activity - from unsigned band showcases to composer residencies, from commissions for new music to experimental live electronica. Over the past 9 years the Foundation has proved itself a significant force in supporting pioneering musical activity. Since March 2000 PRSF has given more than £13.5 million to over 4,000 new music initiatives. In addition to stimulating and supporting the creation and performance of new music, it motivates public debate about creative music-making through ground-breaking projects such as the New Music Award which has been billed as “the Turner Prize of new music.  PRSF is led by Vanessa Reed, named as a “Woman to Watch” as part of the Cultural Leadership Programme, March 2010. PRSF receives generous support from the Performing Right Society and is celebrating its 10th anniversary. www.prsformusicfoundation.com

About Birds Eye View:

BIRDS EYE VIEW celebrates & supports international women filmmakers.  Backed by leading lights of the film industry, Birds Eye View is a positive response to the fact that women make up only 7% directors and 12% writers in what is the most powerful medium in the world. They are concerned with women’s creative vision in film, and want to see more of it. In 2005 they launched a major UK women’s film festival. They believe that it is vital to the health and diversity of UK film that we raise role models, offer support and provide a forum for women in the industry, whilst encouraging the next generation to break new ground. Birds Eye View is led by Rachel Millward, nominated a ‘World Changing Woman' (The Guardian 21.08.06.),shortlisted for the Women of the Future Award in Media, November 2009, and a Woman To Watch as part of the Cultural Leadership Programme, March 2010.

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