Every year Sound and Music marks International Women’s day with a range of activities across our websites including, publishing our equal opportunities data and reflecting on our own commitments to equality.
As a key record of British musical history, addressing the underrepresentation of female-identifying composers across the British Music Collection is an essential issue for Sound and Music. With the collection now exceeding 3500 composers and sound artists, over 80% of which identify as male, it is more pressing than ever for us to stand with the International Women’s Day 2020 call to “fight bias, broaden perceptions and celebrate women's achievements”. Through our ongoing campaigning work, we continue to strive to develop this essential resource into a truly representative musical space.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is #EachforEqual. It places particular emphasis on the notion of 'Collective Individualism’, the idea that we are all parts of a larger whole, and that our actions as individuals impact society far beyond our immediate lives. As an ever-expanding archive of individuals, seeking to represent composition in Britain as a whole - the British Music Collection has clear potential to reflect 'Collective Individualism’ in practice.
One of the ways we hope to show this is through the return of our #AComposerADay series. We’ll be showcasing 31 women composers, sound artists and performers across the British Music Collection, from essential historical figures previously unrepresented in the collection, to those shaping contemporary sound and music today.
Our hope is that this act of highlighting individual composers will have wider reverberations on the future makeup of the archive, through highlighting the influence these individual figures have had on composition as whole. In emphasising the impact of individuals, we aim to challenge the flaws of the collection's structure, and look forwards to greater representation, celebration and recognition of female-identifying composers’ impact.
Find out more about Sound and Music’s wider International Women’s Day campaign for 2020 here, from Sound and Music CEO Susanna Eastburn's blog.
Explore the full 'A Composer a Day' list below:
Take a look back at our previous work for International Women's Day:
If you’d like to support Sound and Music’s work to champion new music and the work of all British composers and creators you can do so here.