The Oscar-nominated musician breaks down his exhaustive collaboration with director Damien Chazelle.
A little over two years ago, the William Penn Foundation announced funding cuts to Philadelphia’s dance organizations. And while the reaction among the dance community was understandably swift and strident—”It’s like cutting off the legs and cutting out the heart,” said choreographer and dancer Melanie Stewart—the cuts also underscored the degree to which an entire city’s arts sector can be reliant on a single funder.
Fortunately, the pendulum sometimes swings both ways. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently made an unprecedented $2.5 million multi-year grant to the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth (PMAY)—a consortium of music education organizations serving students all over Greater Philadelphia.
Overnight, the grantmaker has become one of the preeminent funders of the city’s music organizations. Its goal: Remove barriers to music mastery for young instrumental musicians from underrepresented communities.
To that end, the grant will prepare the most committed young musicians in the area, ensuring that they possess the “necessary skills and talents to excel in conservatory, college, or university settings.” The newly funded program—known as the “PMAY Artists’ Initiative”—will start this spring with musician recruitment, and the first group of around 75 student participants will be chosen by the summer. Each student will benefit from tailored plans to set them up for future successes as they pursue future music schooling.
Add it all up, and the gift is classic Mellon. The grantmaker is deeply committed not only to the preservation and reinvention of classical music, but also to the idea of creating a career roadmap for aspiring performers.
The gift also dovetails with Mellon’s goal of boosting diversity in the classical sphere. African-Americans, for example, make up 43.4 percent of Philadelphia’s population, and when viewed through this lens, the gift bears a striking resemblance to Mellon’s recent gift to the Memphis Symphony Orchestra (MSO) to develop a “musician diversity fellowship program.”
We’ve seen Mellon award classical-focused grants to individual symphonies and organizations before, but never on this scale. Indeed, according to Christopher Spangler, a spokesman from PMAY member Settlement Music School, Philadelphia is the “first city in the nation to receive funding at this level” from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the future of young musicians.
I’ll let Maud Lyon, president of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, have the last word: “This transformative grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a strategic, long-term investment that ensures that talented young musicians, regardless of their resources or background, will have access to the incredible array of arts education opportunities that these organizations provide.”
Spend the summer in Miami studying and performing with world-class faculty! Miami Music Festival is accepting applications with programs in Orchestra, Piano,Conducting and Opera . Highlights include master classes, lessons, symphonic concerts, recital and chamber music, and a Concerto Competition granting winners from all institutes a solo performance in concert with the MMF Symphony Orchestra. Faculty highlights include Alessio Bax, Joel Smirnoff, Roberto Diaz, Andres Diaz, Vincent Penzarella, and many more from leading orchestras around the world. Fellowships and scholarships available.
The 2017 Medallion Concerto Competition is open to all ethnicities, and nationalities from all countries. There is no age limit. This competition is open to the following instrumentalists: voice, piano, strings, winds, brass, and percussion. Participants are required to submit video links for the audition. After preliminary video screening, 10 participants will be invited to audition live.
The Medallion Concerto Competition bestows one medal – GOLD.
$2,500 Cash Prize and Performance with Orchestra Noir during the 2017 – 2018 Concert Season
(Travel stipend and hotel accommodations included for the duration of the rehearsals and concert).
How to Apply
To apply for the Competition participants must submit:
Submission of application materials will be closed on March 28, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Application Fee is $100. Application Fees are non-refundable and are to be made via PayPal (See bottom of this page). Application is not complete until fee has been submitted.
Audition Process & Competition Rules
Repertoire Requirements. Applicants must submit link to video recording of:
One movement of a Concerto from the Standard Repertoire (Baroque, Classical, Romantic and early 20th Century).
Video recording for instrumentalists may be performed unaccompanied, omitting tutti and orchestra -only sections.
Vocalists should perform an opera aria or folk/traditional work. Selections must be performed from memory with piano accompaniment.
Only unedited video can be accepted for the preliminary round (parts of video connected together or video clips are not acceptable). Video should be a fair representation of the Contestant’s abilities, but need not be of a professional quality.
Links must be labeled – piece and composer. Contestants must perform from memory.
The decisions of the Judges are final and cannot be appealed. Applicants invited to the live audition may request comments from the judges following the competition.
Participates invited to the live audition will be listed on the Orchestra Noir website (www.OrchestraNoir.com) on April 17, 2017.
Invited participates who are unable to audition live for any reason will be disqualified, allowing their invitation to be handed on to another qualifying participate.
Participates invited to audition live must perform audition piece (one movement only – this piece may be a different piece than the video audition) from memory, unaccompanied by piano with omission of orchestral tutti sections. Vocalists must perform with piano accompaniment. For out of state or international vocal participants,we assist in securing an accompanist if needed.
The live audition will be held on June 17, 2017 at Piano Works located at: 2805 Buford Hwy, Duluth, GA 30096.
All participants are responsible for their own expenses (travel, housing accommodations, etc.).
Before the music world had even heard of streaming and downloads, sound recordings were etched onto wax cylinders or even captured by the smoke from an oil lamp. Some of these recordings still exist today…
1890: Tchaikovsky speaks
In 1890 a group of musicians got together in Russia to marvel at some state-of-the-art technology: the Edison phonograph cylinder. Among them were composers Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Anton Rubinstein, pianist and conductor Vasily Safonov and music-loving businessman Julius H Block.
And what does he do when faced with this early example of technology that would revolutionise the music world? He does what anyone would: talks rubbish and makes silly noise.
The recording is held at the Tchaikovsky House in Russia
1860: the human voice recorded in smoke
An oil lamp helped capture the first recording of the human voice known to exist. Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville created a device called a phonautograph, which etched visual sound waves onto paper covered in soot and smoke from a burning oil lamp. The inventor never intended to playback the recording, but one-and-a-half centuries later, the etchings have been deciphered and digitised.
1889: Brahms plays his Hungarian Dance No. 1
As audio treasures go, this is perhaps one of the most precious available to any music lover. In 1889, the great Johannes Brahms was recorded on a wax cylinder playing one of his Hungarian Dances. There’s much debate as to whether the voice heard on the recording is that of Brahms himself, but it’s definitely him thundering out his composition on the piano.
1888: ‘The Lost Chord’
This is the earliest recording of music known to exist. In 1888 a recording of Arthur Sullivan’s song ‘The Lost Chord’ was etched onto a phonograph cylinder. Sullivan was astounded at this new technology, but had his reservations too. At the time he said “I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at the result of this evening’s experiments: astonished at the wonderful power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music may be put on record forever.”
1904: The Last Castrato
The practice of castration was outlawed in Italy in 1870, but luckily/unluckily Alessandro Moreschi made the cut (sorry) and has since become known as ‘the last castrato’. He enjoyed a long career and in the 1900s he made a few recordings: however, Moreschi was a bit past his prime when this was captured on wax. But it’s a fascinating insight into a now long-lost voice type.
India’s southern Indian city of Chennai (Madras) is witnessing a musical revolution of sorts.
Leading the way is celebrated classical musician and Ramon Magsaysay award winner TM Krishna.
The Carnatic music vocalist has critiqued the south Indian classical music industry for being under the dominant preserve of the upper-caste Brahmin community. He wants to create more inclusive egalitarian spaces where the arts of all communities come together in the city.
To that effect Krishna has been seen across Chennai, on various platforms, taking his music outside the hallowed portals of the city’s prestigious sabhas or music halls, setting a personal example.
Krishna took his music, spoken of in sacred terms by most performers, to a fishing village on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in Chennai.
Open to the sky and sea, the entire village served as a concert hall for the alternate festival, the Urur-Olcott Kuppam Vizha that “celebrates oneness” this month.
Krishna has joined hands with Nityanand Jayaraman, a prominent social activist, to make the village a venue for holding open-air concerts with the aim of “bringing down barriers, equalising spaces and de-classing the arts”.
“Krishna is using art to heal differences and break stereotypes and liberate the art to new spaces,” says Mr Jayaraman.
The festival included a coming together of different forms of music and art alongside Carnatic music.
The music of the marginalised – devotional music by a community of transgender people and dirges of Chennai’s slums, for example – are being taken to “a concert space for the first time,” says Krishna.
He has even hosted “concerts in spaces symbolic of day-to-day life”, such as in crowded public buses and and railway platforms across Chennai.
Krishna believes that this effort is an important step “in addressing many cultural and artistic hegemonies and hierarchies”.
Krishna is an unusual Indian maestro who has taken the traditionally upper-caste classical music to the lower-castes and disprivileged.
He has travelled to war-ravaged Jaffna in Sri Lanka to perform and engage with Tamil students.
And back home, he has engaged in unconventional activities, like setting the lyrics of song by a local alternate rock band called Kurangan to Carnatic ragas (The basic musical modes which denote “moods” in Indian classical music) and releasing a video to highlight the environment degradation unfolding in a local creek.
“Such collaborations from the traditional world of Carnatic music with other genres and current issues make it more accessible”, says Kaber Vasuki of Kurangan.
Coming from the orthodox traditions of the south Indian classical music world, Krishna’s outreach programmes are, many believe, a first of its kind.
David Shulman, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the languages of India, writes of Krishna as one, “for who music is a medium for public moral statement and an instrument for making peace”.
Krishna’s Magsaysay award citation read that Krishna saw Carnatic music “was a caste-dominated art that fostered an unjust, hierarchic order by effectively excluding the lower classes from sharing in a vital part of India’s legacy.
He has questioned the politics of art and made an active effort to widen his knowledge about the arts of the Dalits (formerly known as untouchables) and non-Brahmin communities.
Moved by the persecution of Tamil novelist Perumal Murugan whose writings on caste angered Hindu groups, Krishna set to music and sang an evocative poem of the writer.
Carnatic music, traditionally set to songs composed by Hindu devotional poets of the 17th Century and beyond, is a genre associated with southern Indian classical music.
Dated more than 2000 years ago, it evolved from the devotional canon of hymns and verses set to tune as musical prayer offerings in temples across southern states.
From the temples it found its audiences in the courts of kings and by talented performers.
Later it moved to concert halls across the southern cities. Chennai’s famous Carnatic music “season” – held from December to January – is a century old.
Musical concerts are held across Chennai and these concert halls are frequented by the upper castes as patrons and with predominantly Brahmin performers.
A century later Krishna is calling out his community of classical musicians to make their music more meaningful by sharing its beauty with all kinds of people.
By Sudha G TilakDelhi
Once your EPK is ready to send, check out this advice on approaching venues and promoters.
If you have never had one before, an Electronic Press Kit (or EPK, for short) is a document that should showcase what your band is all about. It should have clear links to your music, website and social media, acting as a central point for you to introduce your band and what you’re about.
The most important thing to think about when creating an EPK is how it is going to be viewed from the other side of the fence. Put yourself in the position of a promoter, potential manager or agent… what information would you want to see?
Soundcloud, YouTube, Spotify – Wherever your music is, make sure it is listed in your EPK. Promoters and agents (before anything else!) are going to want to hear what you sound like. If you’re an original act, you should prioritise your latest single, or whatever you are trying to book shows to promote. It’s worth remembering that some acts actually offer a free download as part of their press kit.
Make sure to include clear links to your music on YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud or anywhere else
Professional pictures of your band are essential for any EPK. Promoters will use the images for posters and on any entertainment agent’s roster.
When coming up with a concept for a photo-shoot, try and think of something distinctive. While there are certain “Classic” themes that will always work (shots of rock bands looking moody up against a graffiti wall is a good example), far better to try and come up with an original concept. Hiring a professional photographer will really help with this.
It’s also a good idea to include a PNG image of your band logo that promoters and venues can use on promotional materials for an event.
Your website should offer additional, in-depth information that clients or potential managers can read, so make sure it is listed in your EPK. Any and all social media links should also be included and remember to keep them updated regularly. Promoters and agents love to use social media to keep a track of how hard-working, busy and popular bands are.
While having a lot of Facebook likes or Twitter followers may look impressive, the most important thing to have on social media is an audience that engages with what you post and is likely to turn up to your shows. For this reason, resist the temptation to buy “Fake” likes. No promoter is going to be happy if they book a band with 122,000 Facebook likes when they can’t even get 10 people to their hometown show on a Saturday night!
A big following and great engagement on social media can boost your chances of a booking.
Your biography should act as the main text block for your EPK. List your band’s achievements and recent shows at notable venues. Talk about bands you’ve supported and any endorsements you have, while giving some general background on the band and it’s members.
It’s always a good idea to start a biography with a recent press quote, if you have one. General advice always says that you should have both a large and short biography prepared – Your EPK should contain your long version.
This is a very important bit of reading for anyone who wants to know about your band, so make sure to check spelling and grammar and get it proof-read to make sure it looks and sounds professional.
If you have any favourable reviews to hand, make sure to include a select quote from each one (linking to the source). Any testimonials from other figures in the industry are also a good thing to include. If you are a function band, it is also really important to have some quotes from previous clients. Anything along the lines of the (example) quotes below:
“Putting on a raucous show from start to finish, this band are
definitely ones to watch for 2017”
The Local Gazette
“I really want to thank the band for putting on an amazing show at our wedding, people
have been talking to us about them ever since!”
Tom Groom, 2016
Positive press quotes can catch the eye of a promoter, but always back them up with links.
A great way for original acts and function bands to get more shows is to have some high-quality video footage.
For function bands, this consists of a promotional video. Some shots of you performing live, with some overlaid information about your band is typically the traditional way to go, but the more original, the better. Any potential entertainment agent will want to see an eye-catching promo video.
For original acts, while storyboarded music videos can look fantastic, when it comes to your EPK, a live video of you performing will be of much more use to any promoter or potential manager.
Links to YouTube videos are absolutely fine.
While it is important to include up-to-date contact details for all band members, agents & managers, make sure to specify at least two which are to be treated as the preferred point of contact.
Once you’ve completed your EPK, you have to make it available. Try creating a Dropbox link that you can send, or have a function to make it downloadable from your website.
Do you have any questions about creating your band’s EPK? Or some more advice on putting together a press pack for your fellow musicians? Let us know in the comments and make sure to share these tips!
LastMinuteMusicians.com is the UK’s leading live entertainment portal. More than just a directory – it’s the most convenient way to match clients with the entertainment they love.
Visitors can browse profiles, read reviews, listen to audio, watch videos and choose from a rapidly growing selection of the best musicians, bands, entertainers and related companies.
For musicians, signing up to Lastminutemusicians.com is an easy way to secure bookings, without having to worry about paying commission.
It is NOT illegal to busk in the UK, as long as the performer is aged 14 years or older. However, some local councils may have byelaws that prohibit street performers.
Different regions have different rules for buskers. You may need to apply for a busking licence in certain areas, for example, on private land including tube, bus and railway stations.
The quickest way to find out whether or not you’ll need a busking licence in your area is to visit the UK government’s official busking licence page and enter your postcode. Here you’ll be able to find out if you need a licence based on your region.
You’ll most likely need to contact your local council in order to obtain a busking licence for your area. You might be able to apply for one through the council’s website and there may also be a fee to submit your application. Remember, you’ll usually need to make sure your licence is visible while you’re performing.
As long as you hold a valid buskers licence for your area, you can accept voluntary donations from the public. However if you are collecting money for a charity, you will also need to get a street collection licence.
Due to street trading laws, buskers cannot sell their merchandise on the street without obtaining permission first and applying for a street trading licence. But if you’re feeling generous, it is perfectly legal to give away your CDs and other merch for free!
Good luck and most importantly, have fun busking!
Want to get a blue tick on your Twitter profile? Here’s how to get verified on Twitter.
1. Invite ‘likers’ of your Facebook posts to like your artist page
This isn’t a widely known function on Facebook (though it is a very valuable one!). It enables you not only to grow your followers, but also make sure that the people that you do invite have already shown an interest in you; meaning it is much less of a ‘cold-calling’ approach.
Acting as your artist page, simply go to a previous (well-performing) post, click on the ‘likes’ and you will be shown a list of all those who people who interacted with the post. If some on the list do not already like your page you can then simply click on ‘invite’. If you weren’t aware of this function before it might be worth spending a bit of time going through all your old posts!
2. Use Twitter lists
Not only are Twitter lists a sensible way of keeping your chaotic life as a musician, manager and PR person a little bit more in order, but they also help you quickly locate the people you want to reach AND help you start and nurture relationships.
If you haven’t explored lists already, the initial process takes a few hours. But it is totally worth it. Go through all the people you follow on Twitter and start adding them to custom lists. They could be producers, labels, music blogs, PR companies etc. It really is empowering to be able to tailor your Twitter feeds depending on what you are looking for at that time.
But the best thing? When you add someone to a list they receive a notification. This is your chance to give them a bit of love and make them aware of you! So when curating your lists you can name them things like ‘Producers I’d love to work with’, ‘Great taste blogger’, ‘Sick bands’ etc. This will definitely encourage who you add to take a look at your page, which is why the next couple of tips are so important…
3. Don’t waste valuable space on your social media profiles
This applies to all the artist pages you have (and for even better exposure why not your personal ones?). We’re talking about header images. This is one of the first things people see when they discover your profile, so make it count. Not only should it look nice (and I’m sure it does..) but this is free advertising space!
If you have a tour coming up you should have a well-designed header image with your dates on, or if you have a new release; you should be pushing it here. And don’t forget to have your artist’s website / landing page or a ‘Call To Action’ on there too. Changing your header image regularly is also a good way of getting some engagement from your followers. As everybody has a social media profile of their own, they know that changing your header and then it showing up in their feed is not necessarily “your fault” (ie. you are not intentionally advertising), so they are more likely to throw you a like (try it!).
4. Make use of your pinned posts
This tip is in keeping with the above, and it is amazing how few people actually pin a baller post to their page. If you’re anything like most people on social media, then you probably post a lot of stuff; some good, some bad, some that has high engagement, some that has none. That is only natural.
But when an A&R person, or prospective future fan visits your page (maybe they got notified because you added them to a list?..) what do you really want them to see? Choose the post that best represents you as an artist and pin that to the top of your page. I would suggest this should be an embedded music video with a link to your landing page, and not that picture of you wasted you just posted at 4am that got no likes because everyone else was in bed.
5. Write blog posts
This isn’t as difficult as it sounds, or as it used to be. You don’t need to be a master of WordPress. Use an online program such as medium.com to quickly and easily knock up a blog post. It doesn’t have to be long; it could be just a collection of photos and a bit of text documenting your time in the studio, or about the gig you played last night. Not only does it look good on your profiles but it gives you more opportunities to extend your network and reach by including others in your articles.
Did you play on a killer line-up at the weekend? Write about the show, include some pictures, give the other bands, the sound guy, the photographer, the venue and fans a shout out by linking out to their pages too. Send the post to whoever features in it and you might just find they share the blog post too, which, if you’ve been clever, will also heavily feature plenty of content about yourself such as an embedded video, tour dates, or a link to your landing page. Not only is medium.com a great platform in itself for networking and sourcing interesting stories, you also of course have some great content for your own social channels too!
6. Google Alerts
Google alerts are so easy, so valuable and so underused! Set up a dedicated Gmail account (don’t use the one you may already have, as you will be getting a lot of daily alerts!). This can be used for two very important functions for you as an artist:
* You can set alerts for your band or artist name and the names of your singles, EPs or albums, which means whenever you’re mentioned anywhere on the web you will be notified. For instance, this could be a blog from the other side of the world you’ve never heard of picking up your latest release (always good to know!). Getting these alerts not only provides you with something cool to post (and tag the writers in), but makes you feel pretty good too!
* You can set alerts for interesting 3rd party content you think would entertain YOUR audience, so your feed isn’t just all “me, me, me”. This could be news about bands that you and your fans love, articles about your political persuasion, ‘funny’ posts (dank memes are still the most engaging content out there, I’m afraid…) or just general interest stories. If your audience trusts you as an authority of cool content distribution they are much more likely to engage with your own self-serving posts.
7. Use inbound advertising
Sounds technical? Not at all. Basically, inbound advertising just means driving people that visit you at a certain touchpoint (in this case your social media posts) back to your landing page. As mentioned above there are opportunities to do this (by posting your own blog content and providing plenty of opportunities to send the reader to your website) but I also wanted to touch on a great free online tool called snip.ly.
Using this you can take 3rd party links (remember how you set up Google Alerts to get them?) and embed your own ‘floating ad’ that links the reader back to your landing page of choice. You can add a custom tagline and a Call To Action button. So if you were, for example, posting an article about Green Day, you could create a banner that says “Like Pop-Punk music? Check out this new band” that links to your site. Another bonus is that you are provided with all the statistics about how your posts perform, so you can see exactly what content is getting you the most engagement and fans.
8. Landing Page
This is a phrase I have already used a lot in this article and you may be thinking “what does he mean, landing page?”. Basically, this is the page you want your audience to land on. This would, ideally, be a page on your website where your audience can hear (and purchase!) your music. Make sure all your social posts have a link to this one page.
This would, ideally, be a page on your website where your audience can hear (and purchase!) your music. Make sure all your social posts have a link to this one page. On this page you can also have links to connect to your social profiles! (like on Facebook, follower on Twitter etc.) You can also embed your streaming profiles and live Twitter and Facebook feeds on your landing page.
9. Check out the #TrendingHashtags of the day
You don’t have to do this religiously, and should probably avoid specifically tailoring your content to suit the trending topics. But before you post, take a look at the trending hashtags. If your content is somehow related to one of the hot trends of the day (or can easily be adapted to include the hashtag) give it a whirl!
This can put you in front of a whole new audience. If you can create something original and clever that stands out from the crowd you will see a lot more re-tweets, which creates a snowball effect and makes you more visible to a LOT of people who never previously knew you existed.
10. Don’t cannibalise your Facebook posts
This means; don’t make your posts compete with each other, or allow them to affect each other negatively. If you’ve made a great post that has your audience really engaged, make sure you follow up with something well thought out to capitalise on your recent victory.
The way Facebook’s algorithms work means that if people are actively engaging with you, your posts become more visible in your fans’ newsfeeds (yes, you get ‘rewarded’ for your content’s performance!). On the flipside, if you are posting regularly and not getting any likes or shares, you will be a lot less visible full stop.
With this in mind try to be aware that the content of your Facebook posts really does matter, and if you can, try to make them as valuable to your fans as possible and don’t just throw out whatever. I like to think of it like getting a strike in bowling, and then throwing a gutter ball on your next go – it’s almost like the strike counted for nothing and now you’ve got to get another strike.
An extra tip to increase engagement on your posts – TAG TAG TAG! Tag all the people who are involved in your pics or videos and any companies or establishments (venues etc.). This will increase the reach of your posts by appearing on the newsfeeds of the friends of those you have tagged.
Lee Jones is a social media specialist, freelance blogger on music and tech-related subjects, a music producer and the Creative Director of his own start-up: TAD: An iOS cover-art app for DIY musicians.
Women in Music, was born in 1978 as a movement promoting and presenting music composed and created by women worldwide, of all genres and in all times. “Equal Opportunities for Women in the Arts and Music” is at the heart of the mission and advocacy undertaken by the Adkins Chiti: Women in Music Foundation, an Italian cultural organisation, partner within cultural agreements undersigned by the Italian Foreign Ministry, member of UNESCO’s International Music Council and the European Music Council, internationally recognised for its activities to obtain recognition and visibility for women in the cultural sector. The Foundation collaborates with the EUC for research projects. Its work has the patronage of UNESCO and the Arab Academy (network of cultural organisations within the Arab League).
How many women composers and creators of music are included in textbooks and encyclopaedias? Far too few. Those present are there because other women – musicians, scholars and historians – have wanted to celebrate their contributions. If music is not performed, it is not perceived to exist; women’s music is a tangible and intangible part of world heritage. Making it known is the mission of Women in Music.
The Foundation has a network in 111 countries made up of “Women in Music Organisations”, individual composers, researchers, musicologists, performers and teachers. This network also includes 77 affiliated organisations in 44 countries (associations, conservatories, academies, universities) working on behalf of Women in Music. In December 2003, with a Decree from the State Archives and Heritage Ministry, the Library and Archives of the Foundation containing over 35 thousand scores of music by women were officially declared to be “historically relevant for the State” and “essential for the study of women’s history”.