By The Diversity & Inclusion Committee
After partnering with Black Lives in Music this year, the GMS recently ran two invaluable anti-racism workshops for its members, led by BLiM Director of Operations, Roger Wilson. Roger has many years of experience on both sides of the stage as a musician, educator, tour manager and administrator, and runs BLiM alongside Chief Executive Charisse Beaumont.
Last month also saw the release of the first ever BLiM survey report, ‘Being Black In the Music Industry’, understanding the issues of diversity in the music industry. Roger kindly shared his time with us to reflect on the report findings and what it says about the music industry at large.
BLiM have released the results and findings of their survey which set out to capture data on the experience of music industry executives and creators.
The evidence is irrefutable: “…near two thirds, (63%) of Black music creators that have experienced direct / indirect racism in the music industry and the nearly ¾ of respondents (71%) that have experienced racial microaggressions. 35% of Black Music creators have felt the need to change their appearance because of their race / ethnicity, rising to 43% of Black women.” (Roger)
As Roger emphasises: “To be clear, I do not believe these stats and facts are surprising to Black people – the report confirms that this is the experience for the majority of Black people in the industry.”
And we need to do something about it.
When asking Roger about their hopes for the impact of the report, he continues: “As my esteemed colleague, friend and BLiM co-founder Charisse Beaumont would say; data rules supreme. Data gathering underpins a key part of the BLiM model. There will be more reports on the Black experience but also on corporate efforts to diversify. These will provide opportunities for benchmarking progress and to give us a better understanding of the direction of travel, year on year.
“…[We] hope that the report will galvanise the industry into working collaboratively to kick out racism and support the ecology with equality of opportunities and support for wellbeing – it’s not a pipe dream, we can do this, but we need to be brave, both individually and collectively while working together.”
It only takes reading Caroline Criado-Perez’s book, ‘Invisible Women’, to reflect on the impact that a lack of representative data can have on societal infrastructures and decision-making, so let’s make sure these stats do not go unheard. This intersection of race and gender is also reflected in the statistics.
Roger: “Looking at the orchestra sector, in 1970 4% of the population of the world’s professional orchestras were women, this rose to 12% in the early 80’s and now currently stands at over 40%. This direction of travel is thanks to a concerted attempt to address gender inequality in the classical sector. We need to adopt the same approaches to supporting Black women in the industry. We need to be honest about where we are with the intersection of race and gender – evaluate, acknowledge, discuss and act. The sector needs to provide transparency in data on pay as a way to start addressing the issue of pay disparity.”
Moreover, the pay statistics in the report reveal that: “White music industry professionals earned more than Black professionals for their work within the industry pre-covid (£2,459 vs £1,964 per month). Black female industry professionals earned £1,811 per month compared to white women industry professionals who made £2,270 (£459 more per month) pre-covid.”
So how can we as an industry make a difference?
Amongst many projects, Roger comments on BLiM’s involvement with the PRS Foundation, through which BLiM has “helped young musicians with performance opportunities, unemployed talented people of colour to get exciting jobs, organisations to recruit a diverse team at governance level and we have supported individuals with their spiritual and pastoral needs – they’re all success stories!”
Moreover, BLiM held round tables inviting initial responses from the industry, which they feel have been positive.
“In terms of informing our future vision and aims, I think it’s safe to say that the warmth in the room has given us real encouragement to dream big and aspire to help our industry colleagues to bring real and discernible change in the industry.”
As a starting point for progress in the next five years, Roger outlines just a few of their hopes for the industry:
So where can we go from here?
Roger: “Self-education is really important. Being on the front foot in the fight against prejudice and not being content with passive behaviour.”
What You Can Do
If you’re interested to know how you can get involved, please reach out to the
GMS Diversity & Inclusion Committee at email@example.com
For mental health resources and therapy: Black Minds Matter
The UK and European Guild of Music Supervisors
By The GMS Team
This month we had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Open Up Music to discuss their organisation further, we touch on initiatives, accessibility, Open Orchestras, The National Open Youth Orchestra, Clarion and More.
Open Orchestras helps special schools set up accessible orchestras so that hundreds of young disabled people get first access to music education every year.
– Can you tell us more about what this entails and how you started developing this?
We initially piloted Open Orchestras in 2013-15. At the time, there was a clear lack of ensemble music-making opportunities for young disabled people. Most mainstream schools had a school orchestra. None of the special schools we spoke to did. Fast forward to 2021 and Open Orchestras is behind the largest community of inclusive youth orchestras in the UK. We work with special schools, Music Education Hubs and arts organisations to create equal opportunities for young disabled people to learn an instrument and “be part of the band”. By the end of their first year in the programme, most Open Orchestras are ready to share their music. That first performance is often a revelation for everyone on stage and in the audience!
What Open Orchestras does is create a space for music as a creative subject – not just therapy. Through the orchestra, we introduce weekly rehearsals, train and mentor staff to work with a diverse group of musicians, also sharing teaching resources and adapted music that every young person can play. For previously isolated young people, this could be their opportunity to shine and through music, make friends. Some musicians play acoustic instruments, others accessible instruments – such as the Clarion, our innovative electronic instrument that can be played on iPad or PC with any part of the body.
Once their orchestra is established, schools can run it sustainably year after year – the oldest has been with us since the beginning. This year, there are 41 Open Orchestras around the country, each supporting 8-18 year old disabled musicians to make their own music, play independently and expressively. Open Orchestras is also a community that’s really supportive, and endlessly creative. Because our repertoire comes in “building blocks” that can be arranged flexibly according to participants’ playing styles, no two orchestras will play our music the same way!
The National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) is the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra. It pioneers an inclusive orchestra model where talented disabled and non-disabled musicians rehearse and perform together.
— Perhaps you can touch on the NOYO and Friends event discussing this?
“I like the word influential to describe NOYO because there aren’t other orchestras, youth ones, who are as passionate about showing disabled people can play on the same stages as non-disabled people.” Holli, NOYO harpist
We launched the National Open Youth Orchestra in 2018 to provide a progression route for talented young disabled musicians. Through it, we’re hoping to create the conditions for them to shape not only their own future, but also the future of orchestras.
At the heart of NOYO are partnerships with leading arts organisations who deliver NOYO regionally: Bristol Beacon, Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Midlands Arts Centre, B:Music and Services For Education. Together, we’ve started building this ecology of organisations working collaboratively to create accessible opportunities in music.
In the coming years, this ecology needs to grow and engage as many music organisations as possible, so that young disabled people nationwide:
We hope you can be part of this ecology. A starting point could be joining us as a guest speaker for a “NOYO and Friends” session. They’re informal Zoom get-togethers for NOYO Musicians to find out from the professionals about working in music. Past guests have included Mark Bowen from the Idles and Lloyd Coleman from the Paraorchestra … Please email our Pastoral Support officer if you’d like to take part firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that Open Up Music has also developed the Clarion. an innovative accessible instrument that can be played expressively with any part of the body, including eye movement. An incredible development! –How did this idea come to be? I noticed that this also is used through the Open Orchestras, when did you realise or decide this was something you wanted to share further and develop into an application? How does this help disabled musicians?
Conventional instruments can be disabling due to their shape, size or the need to bow, pluck or blow them. Clarion was developed with young disabled people and their teachers to remove those barriers. Available on iPad and PC, it can be played using mouse or finger touch, but also head movement or eye movement. It works seamlessly with assistive technology like Eyegaze or Infrared head trackers.
It’s currently played by Open Orchestras and National Open Youth Orchestra musicians. We’re working on ways it could be shared more widely.
There needs to be a greater representation of disabled people in music. The development of Clarion can support this, giving talented disabled musicians an instrument they can show prowess at. Starting to play Clarion doesn’t require musical skills, but like all good instruments, it takes practice to play well.
It’s expressive – the sound it makes is down to how each note is hit, and it can be customised to meet a musicians’ needs with a variety of sounds and settings to choose from… But a lot more can be done, like giving it its own sound.
Our ambition is to make Clarion a professional-grade orchestral instrument, comparable in its range to traditional instruments. We’re hoping that in the future, through alliances with disabled musicians, tech specialists, professional orchestras, composers and accreditation bodies, we can develop an accessible instrument worthy of disabled musicians’ passions, abilities, and hard work.
What does Open Up Music see as some of the current barriers to inclusivity and how are you striving for greater accessibility in this industry?
Before starting NOYO, we commissioned a feasibility study from Sound Connections, which highlighted a number of key barriers that might prevent talented young disabled musicians from fulfilling their potential. Barriers identified included:
Instruments – for example, musicians who may not be in a position to play traditional orchestral instruments are excluded by the four conventional sections of an orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion)
Fixed repertoire – disabled musicians may require more flexibility (reasonable adjustments) in certain aspects of their music-making. The inviolable nature of much orchestral repertoire also limits the potential diversity of instruments that orchestras might otherwise include.
Entry requirements: many young disabled musicians haven’t benefited from a music education that can equip them with musical qualifications.
Low expectations: a lack of disabled musical role models hampers the expectations of young disabled people, their families and teachers.
Recently, NOYO musicians contributed to the Youth Music Reshape Music report, “which illustrates in very stark terms that the views, lived experience and expertise of Disabled people are still absent in the planning and delivery of music education and music-making.”
At Open Up Music, two values that guide our work in driving change are “Community” – we believe in collaboration and supporting each other to make positive change happen, and “Influence” – working alongside young disabled musicians to influence and challenge preconceptions of what they can achieve in music.
What is Open Up Music’s experience when you have worked with composers on commissions in the past?
Creating exciting new music is central to the work we do with the National Open Youth Orchestra. When in 2018, Liam Taylor-West won a British Composer Award for ‘The Umbrella’, our first major commission, he credited the young musicians: “Our fine-tuning in rehearsals gave the whole piece a truly collaborative feel. Thank you for helping me decide which bits to leave in, and which to chuck!”. The opportunity to feed into how music is composed and played is what makes NOYO “more enjoyable” and “more creative” according to members.
For a composer, working with NOYO involves embracing a certain degree of flexibility. If music is going to benefit from the injection of creativity that diversity can bring, we need to be more adaptable in approaching the music we play, more flexible about which instruments this new music is composed for, and more open to rearranging existing repertoire for different instruments and musicians.
Next year, NOYO will premiere What Fear We Then?, a new piece by Alexander Campkin co-commissioned with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Alexander visited NOYO rehearsals in London, Bournemouth and Bristol over a year, workshopping with the young musicians, and also learning about the electronic instruments played by the orchestra such as the Linnstrument, Seaboard Rise and Clarion.
Diversity can act as a catalyst for being innovative with music. After all, Beethoven and Mozart were at the forefront of experimenting with new instruments and repertoire in their time!
What can our GMS members do to support Open Up Music?
We’d love to see you in the audience for the first NOYO concerts next summer – ticket sales will be announced on our website at noyo.org.uk, and through our newsletter (please subscribe). Follow us on social media, on twitter and instagram.
Find out more about our programmes at openupmusic.org. None of this work is possible without our partners and supporters, so please donate if you’re in a position to do so. Every gift helps to open opportunities.
By The GMS Team
The full festival program has been announced for the 65th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express, with a multitude of feature films from some of the world’s greatest filmmakers and emerging talent.
We would like to take this opportunity to highlight and celebrate all the music supervisors and composers who have been involved in the making of the movies that are showcased at the 2021 LFF. Congratulations!
|Projects||Year||________||Country||Music Supervisors||Music By|
|7 Days||2021||US||Amanda Delores / Patricia Jones|
|Ali & Ava||2021||UK||Connie Farr / Dom Farley||Harry Escott|
|All Is Vanity||2021||UK||Tristan Seewer|
|All My Friends Hate Me||2021||UK||Claire Freeman||Will Lowes / Joe Robbins|
|The Alleys||2021||Jordan||Nasser Sheraf|
|The Ape Star||2021||Sweden / Norway / Denmark||Tania Naranjo / Minna Weurlander|
|As in Heaven||2021||Denmark||Kristian Leth||Kristian Leth|
|Azor||2021||Switzerland / France / Argentina||Paul Courlet|
|Babi Yar. Context||2021||Ukraine / Netherlands|
|Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn||2021||Romania||Jura Ferina / Pavao Miholjevic|
|The Bang Straws||2021||UK||Aaron Cupples|
|A Banquet||2021||UK||Cj Mirra|
|Becoming Cousteau||2021||US||Danny Bensi / Saunder Jurriaans|
|Benedetta||2021||France / Netherlands||Anne Dudley|
|Benediction||2021||UK / US||Ed Bailie / Abi Leland / Letizia Pacchioni|
|Bergman Island||2021||France / Belgium / Germany / Sweden / Mexico||Raphael Hamburger|
|Between Two Worlds||2021||France||Rebecca Delannet / Astrid Gomez-Montoya||Mathieu Lamboley|
|Boiling Point||2021||UK||Aaron May David Ridley|
|The Box||2021||US / Mexico||Mauricio Gonzo Arroyo|
|Bull||2021||UK||Carmen Montanez Callan||Raffertie|
|Captured||2020||Hong Kong||Rob Hurry / Wayne Hurry / Anna Kotousov-Buntovnikova|
|Citizen Ashe||2021||UK||Jongnic Bontemps|
|Clara Sola||2021||Sweden / Costa Rice / Belgium / Germany||Ruben De Gheselle|
|A Cop Movie||2021||Mexico||Javier Nuño / Joe Rodriguez|
|Cop Secret||2021||Iceland||Kristján Sturla Bjarnason|
|Costa Brava Lebanon||2021||Lebanon / France / Spain||Nathan Larson|
|Diseased and Disorderly||2021||UK||Jem Finer|
|The Divide||2021||France||Robin Coudert|
|Dopesick||2021||US||Amanda Krieg Thomas|
|Drive My Car||2021||Japan||Eiko Ishibashi|
|ear for eye||2021||UK||Iain Cooke / Estera Dabrowska|
|Earwig||2021||UK / France / Belgium||Warren Ellis||Nicolas Becker / Warren Ellis / Augustin Viard|
|Encounter||2021||UK / US||Phil Canning / Jed Kurzel|
|Les Enfants Terribles||2021||Turkey / Germany / France||John Gürtler / Jan Miserre|
|The Feast||2021||UK||Samuel Sim|
|A Film about a Pudding||2021||UK||Madison Willing|
|The French Dispatch||2021||US / Germany||Randall Poster||Alexandre Desplat|
|The Good Boss||2021||Spain||Lourdes Hernández||Zeltia Montes|
|The Gravedigger’s Wife||2021||Finland / Germany / France / Somalia / Qatar||Andre Matthias|
|The Hand of God||2021||Italy||Lele Marchitelli|
|The Harder They Fall||2021||US||Michelle Silverman|
|Hinterland||2021||Austria / Luxembourg||Kyan Bayani|
|The Hole in the Fence||2021||Mexico / Poland||Fernando Heftye|
|Inexorable||2021||Belgium / France||Vincent Cahay|
|Juju Stories||2021||Nigeria / France||Philippe Razol|
|King Richard||2021||US||Susan Jacobs||Kris Bowers|
|Lamb||2021||Iceland / Sweden / Poland||Þórarinn Guðnason|
|Language Lessons||2021||US||Gaby Moreno|
|Last Night in Soho||2021||UK||Kirsten Lane||Steven Price|
|Leave No Traces||2021||Poland / Czech Republic / France||Ibrahim Maalouf|
|Lingui, the Sacred Bonds||2021||France / Germany / Belgium||Wasis Diop|
|The Lost Daughter||2021||US / Greece||Dickon Hinchliffe|
|Love, Dad||2021||Czech Republic / Slovakia||Viera Marinová|
|Luzzu||2021||Malta||Blake Jessee||Jon Natchez|
|Martin and the Magical Forest||2021||Czech Republic / Slovakia / Germany||André Feldhaus / Carsten Rocker|
|Marx Can Wait||2021||Italy||Ezio Bosso|
|Mass||2021||US||Kevin Seaton||Darren Morze|
|Maya and the Three||2021||US / Mexico||Tim Davies|
|The Medium||2021||Thailand||Chatchai Pongprapaphan|
|Memoria||2021||Colombia / Thailand / France / Germany / UK||César López|
|Memory Box||2021||France / Lebanon / Canada / Qatar||Charbel Haber / Radwan Moumneh|
|Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon||2021||US||Joe Rudge||Daniele Luppi|
|Money Has Four Legs||2021||Myanmar||Lone Lone Kavan / Ko Ko|
|Mothering Sunday||2021||UK||Rupert Hollier||Morgan Kibby|
|Mothers of the Revolution||2021||New Zealand||Karyn Rachtman||Lachlan Anderson|
|Munich – The Edge of War||2021||UK||Isobel Waller-Bridge|
|Natural Light||2021||Hungary / France / Latvia / Germany||Santa Ratniece|
|The Neutral Ground||2021||US||Sarah Bromberg||Sultana Isham|
|Nitram||2021||Australia||Jemma Burns||Jed Kurzel|
|Nudo Mixteco||2021||Mexico||Rodrigo Castillo Filomarino||Ruben Luengas|
|Odd-Job Men||2021||Spain||René-Marc Bini|
|Our Men||2021||France / Belgium||Angele Monchaux|
|Paris, 13th District||2021||France||Pierre-Marie Dru||Rone|
|Passing||2021||UK / US||Alexandra Eckhardt||Devonté Hynes|
|Petite Maman||2021||France||Jean-Baptiste de Laubier|
|Petrov’s Flu||2021||Russia / France / Germany / Switzerland|
|The Phantom of the Open||2021||UK||Phil Canning||Isobel Waller-Bridge|
|The Power of the Dog||2021||UK / US / Australia / Canada / New Zealand||Andrew Kotatko||Jonny Greenwood|
|Prayers for the Stolen||2021||Mexico / Germany / Brazil / Qatar||Fernando Heftye||Leonardo Heiblum / Jacobo Lieberman|
|Queen of Glory||2021||US||Rico ‘Superbizzee’ Washington|
|Red Rocket||2021||US||Matthew Hearon-Smith|
|Rehana||2021||Bangladesh / Singapore / Qatar|
|Robin Robin||2021||UK||Benedict Please / Beth Porter|
|Ron’s Gone Wrong||2021||US / UK / Canada||Henry Jackman|
|The Sea Ahead||2021||Lebanon / France / Belgium / US / Qatar||Joh Dagher|
|See for Me||2021||Canada||Joseph Murray / Lodewijk Vos|
|She Will||2021||UK||Phil Canning||Clint Mansell|
|Small Body||2021||Italy / France / Slovenia||Fredrika Stahl|
|The Souvenir: Part II||2021||UK||Ciara Elwis / Maggie Rodford|
|Spencer||2021||Germany / Chile / UK / US||Nick Angel||Jonny Greenwood|
|Stiletto: ‘A Pink Family Tragedy’||2021||Turkey / Germany||Uran Apak|
|The Storms of Jeremy Thomas||2021||US||Estera Dabrowska|
|Sundown||2021||France / Mexico / Sweden|
|A Tale of Love and Desire||2021||France||Martin Caraux||Lucas Gaudin|
|Titane||2021||France / Belgium||Séverin Favriau / Jim Williams|
|The Tragedy of Macbeth||2021||US||Carter Burwell|
|True Things||2021||UK||Connie Farr||Alex Baranowski|
|Tulip||2021||US||Peter Michael Davison|
|The Velvet Underground||2021||US||Randall Poster|
|What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?||2021||Germany / Georgia||Giorgi Koberidze|
|What We Shared||2021||UK||Timothy Nelson|
|White Building||2021||Cambodia / France / China / Qatar||Jean-Charles Bastion|
|Wild Indian||2021||US||Gavin Brivik|
|Wood and Water||2021||Germany||Brian Eno|
|The Worst Person in the World||2021||Norway / France / Sweden / Denmark / US||Goran Obad||Ola Fløttum|
In our second instalment of our interview series, we speak to Jay Phelps, Founder of SoulEndvr. Not only a renowned trumpeter, composer and band leader, Jay is the Founder of casting agency and production company SouldEndvr, specialising in providing the UK’s best black and ethnic minority musicians for Television, Film and Advertising.
SoulEndvr was founded in response to the lack of diverse representation for musicians and composers in our industry. Jay recounts: “I have been working within the industry for over twenty years and have come across the same questions being asked time and time again by production teams and / or music supervisors. “Do you happen to have any other Urban friends for the role?” Or “Could you recommend any other black musicians?” For years I’ve been happy to put my friends forward for work but there comes a time when the question has to be asked: why are we not permanently on their books?”
“This is coupled with my initial filming experience on the TV set of Stephen Polliakoff’s ‘Dancing on the Edge’, where I was in an all black band on-screen, miming an all white band who did the recording. Myself and the other trumpet player from the on-screen band were the only ones offered to do some of the recording session because of the obvious solo sections for our characters. As a young musician in his 20s, it astonished me that the producers chose black musicians solely for our image, yet didn’t think we were competent enough to record the parts we were going to be miming.”
Although we see a more conscious effort being made when casting decisions are visible, it’s those with the responsibility to make decisions behind the camera who also need to step up to increase representation. Jay echoes: “The barriers or parameters have always been set by those actually doing the casting / fixing. When you know a job will be done correctly and precisely by individuals you’ve worked with before, why change anything? Though it is a fair statement to say “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”, but…what if you’re unable to see what is broken in the first place? It’s simply a fact that white casting agents and music supervisors far outnumber those of ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK (far exceeding the percentage in relation to the population) and though the black image is utilised now more than ever on-screen, off-screen we are not seeing many changes, especially in music. There has just simply not been enough diversity amongst the casting agents and music supervisors to leverage from a diverse contacts list of musicians and composers.”
As in other sectors too, it’s clear that more can be done at an earlier stage in young people’s careers, to improve accessibility and awareness of music careers. “We can’t expect people of different backgrounds to just come from thin air and into the industry at a professional level. Much has to be done at the foundational level before we see any tangible change. More thought needs to go into programs designed to help those who typically cannot afford to seek out a passion in the arts. I would eventually like to create a scheme that aids those who want to get involved in music management, music supervision or as casting agents from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.”
But he does have hope for how the music industry can do better when it comes to representation and inclusion. “As someone of colour I have always taken it upon myself to lead and book bands that are as diverse as possible. My reason being that I feel the music is at its best when there’s a multitude of stories to tell. Here in London like no other place in the world, there are millions of stories being told by a plethora of different cultures and the bar is being set and reset daily. All it takes is some effort and investigation, because you’ll be surprised what you find when you really want to know.”
The SoulEndvr roster continues to develop and expand in to other areas. Looking for an orchestra? In an exciting new development, SoulEndvr has also recently put together an orchestra to add to their roster, hand-picked from the finest ensembles in the country. These musicians have all worked with each other and bring together years of session and concert experience. As Jay describes: “A healthy addition to the session world”.
In conclusion, what’s important to Jay is the focus on talent. “The directors of the company, Tara Wakefield, Pritpal Ajimal and myself are all ethnic minorities, although I don’t want SoulEndvr to just be seen as the go-to casting agency for black and ethnic minority musicians and composers. I’d rather we are looked upon as an agency that can book great talent across the board. This means to utilise our service for any job is a way of supporting a black-owned business. We have white musicians and composers on our books too and when we say we specialise in black and ethnic minorities, this is to represent and further emphasise the necessity for representation within the industry… We can now accommodate for pretty much any role, including black and ethnic minority hair and make-up artists.”
They also produce live events, namely ‘OST’ (Original Soundtrack), where they show short films with a live band improvising throughout, formed of the who’s who of the
London jazz scene.
The GMS recognises the existing diversity gap in our sector and the part we can all play in affecting change. Our new interview series will highlight organisations and communities that enable greater inclusion and access in our industry.
Through our conversations we will reflect on some of the barriers to our sector, highlight existing career-access programmes, thus encouraging new initiatives and partnerships to create lasting impact. We hope that these conversations will inspire, educate and provide a catalyst for new collaborations to work towards greater inclusion and representation in our Supervision / Sync sectors, as well as the sectors with which we intersect.
For our first spotlight in the series, we speak to Natalie Wade, CEO and Founder of Small Green Shoots, the hugely impactful organisation offering unique career-entry programmes and opportunities in the entertainment and creative industries. Notoriously difficult to infiltrate, the barriers to the music industry become near-on impenetrable for young people facing difficult life circumstances.
Natalie concurs; “The industry tends to employ people they know, employ within their own network and connections and the only way to get in is often through being a part of the social scene or through unpaid work experience. You’re also expected to be confident and out-going and a lot of young people I worked with aren’t privileged. They don’t feel entitled, and this often means they don’t feel confident enough to put themselves forward. At Small Green Shoots we give them responsibilities to help them realise their potential and help grow their own confidence.”
One of Natalie’s main motivations for founding Small Green Shoots was “[the] lack of diversity in executive positions within the music / entertainment industry.
“Where I grew up [there were] loads of people passionate about music but no one had connections… I wanted to level the playing field.”
Small Green Shoots helps and supports young people (the “Shoots”) by offering an alternative to the conventional system for education, training and entry in to these industries. The programmes involve paid classroom learning, vocational training, internships and access to creative grants, allowing the Shoots to build a career as opposed to just seeking a job.
One of the current Shoots, Erin, gives her own perspective on how this practical experience has supported her personal development, as well as the importance of SGS as an organisation: “Small Green Shoots has been key to my professional development but more importantly integral to helping me to navigate the start of my career. I started at SGS with little to no confidence in myself and where I was going after graduating from university. From my first day at SGS, I have been learning through doing which is something that university could not offer me… There is truly no other place like SGS, it needs to be supported and protected if we are to help more people like myself to figure life out.”
Not only is this an opportunity for the young people, but an opportunity for our music and creative businesses to diversify our workforce and benefit from a wider pool of talent. For Natalie, this means digging deeper to open up hiring practices: “The music industry can do better by NOT employing people that are just like themselves and dig a little deeper to find diversity. Not just in income, race or culture but personality. There are a lot of extremely skilled young people out there and once you spend the time getting to know them you will notice this.”
Despite the obstacles that currently exist, there are impactful means of countering some of the barriers from within the industry. In Natalie’s view, practical experience goes a long way. “Secondments are vital as the young people get to understand a different working environment, and how departments within organisations work alongside each other. They learn how to perform in different environments and also get the chance to develop their own network. It also gives employers and line managers a chance to get to know the young people beyond an interview and CV.”
Lorita spent her secondment on a TV series with Leland Music: “I asked myself a question many people in my position have asked themselves: how do I become / learn to become a music supervisor if I’m not equipped enough to have a job as a music supervisor? There are no music supervision courses I can take, so what’s the next step? And that’s where secondments like these take their place. Having an opportunity like this with a company like Leland Music is one-in-a-million. It will allow me to gain all the skills I need to become a full-time music supervisor with firsthand experience. It will bring me one step closer to achieving my dream job. I can’t thank Small Green Shoots and Leland Music enough for creating the space for more secondments and work placements in this industry.”
Moreover, following an initial three month internship at Concord, young Shoot Amber is now staying on for a further six months. Amber said about her time: “Working alongside Concord has been a great experience for me. Not only is it such a supportive environment, but I’ve also gained so much knowledge into the publishing side of music [and] what happens behind the scenes within sync… Small Green Shoots has also been offering extra support and checking in on me and my progress which I really appreciate.”
Sara Lord (Concord): “I could go on for hours about how great Small Green Shoots are. Suffice to say that Natalie and the team there provide an incredible service, not only to us, the companies who are looking for interns, but more importantly to their Shoots – young people who want to get into the creative industries. Natalie paired us with Amber… she is so amazing, I’m sure she will be running the show one day very soon.”
There are several ways that you can help to support Small Green Shoots and provide opportunities for young people. In addition to secondments, you can sponsor a Shoot through the Young Shoots Programme and also offer shadowing opportunities. If you just want to chat through an idea or see how it might work for your organisation, please reach out to email@example.com.
The UK and European Guild of Music Supervisors
The UK and European Guild of Music Supervisors recognises the existing inequalities, prejudices and diversity gap in our sector and the part we can all play in affecting change.
In response to the events of last year and the ongoing inequality in our sector, the GMS has formed a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to not only address the issues in our community but to help to educate, support and assist where we can be a catalyst for change.
Our community needs us to find ways together towards a more inclusive industry. As a committee, we are dedicated to education and making the necessary changes, in turn inspiring our community to do the same. It is our aim to initiate new opportunities to break down the barriers to entry for minority groups and create a lasting impact. We are an open, collaborative committee and we hope to encourage our community to be part of the solution both together and in our independent work and lives.
As an initial step, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Black Lives In Music through which we hope to start conversations and build relationships to expand the opportunities for people of colour in the music industry. Black Lives in Music is made up of a number of partners who are all working towards a joint goal of dismantling structural racism in our industry and providing better professional opportunities.
Read the Black Lives in Music Charter here. More on our partnership to come.
You will be seeing more from the committee as we roll out our initiatives working towards our goals.
And if you’re inspired to do something today: reach out to people in your community and see how you can help.
Follow Black Lives in Music to read, listen and share their work.
Finally, if you wish to find out more or get involved yourself, please always feel free to reach out to the committee at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read: Black Lives Matter UK
Read: Guide to Allyship
Read: Why Are There So Few Black Music Supervisors?
by Jumi Akinfenwa
Read: The Year of Performative Allyship
by Aisha Nanor Martin
Read: Me and White Supremacy
by Layla F. Saad
Read: Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire
by Sathnam Sanghera
Read: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Listen: About Race Podcast
by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Read: How to Be An Anti-Racist
by Ibram X. Kendi (plus upcoming podcast ‘Be Antiracist’)
Listen: Intersectionality Matters podcast
with Kimberlé Crenshaw
Watch: Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop and Power
The UK and European Guild of Music Supervisors
We would like to announce that we are decreasing the price of our provisional membership.
After recent discussions here at GMS, we have decided to lower our provisional membership to £35/€45 from our old price of £100/€110.
If you already have a Provisional Membership, your next renewal will come to the updated price.
More about the membership:
Provisional Membership is for individuals who are at the start of their supervision career i.e. studying a relevant course or undergoing work experience. The applicant will be in the process of building their supervision credits. It is also open to individuals wishing to pursue a career in Music Supervision but who have not yet had access to relevant courses or work experience placements
We encourage applications from people who are currently under-represented in the digital and creative sector. This includes women, people who are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, D/deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent people, people from the LGBTQ+ community, as well people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. If the membership fee is prohibitive then please contact email@example.com
By The GMS Team
We would like to take this opportunity to highlight and celebrate all of the Music Supervisors and Composers who have been involved in the making of the movies at the 2020 BIFA’s. Congratulations!
Music Supervisor: Sarah Bridge
Composer: Nainita Desai **** Nominee for Best Music
Music Supervisor: Connie Farr **** Nominee for Best Music
Assistant Music Supervisor: Dom Farley
Composer: Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch **** Nominee for Best Music
Music Supervisor: Guillaume Clément
Composer: Ludovico Einaudi
Composer: Roque Baños **** Nominee for Best Music
Composer: Paul Corley **** Winner for Best Music
Music Supervisor: Abdullah Al-Wali
Composer: Dickon Hinchcliffe
Music Supervisor: Jen Moss
Composer: Adam Janota Bzowski **** Nominee for Best Music
Music Supervisor: Jen Moss
Composer: Ludovico Einaudi
Composer: Hutch Demouilpied
Music Supervisor: Phil Canning
Composer: Terence Dunn
Music Supervisor: Dom Farley
Composer: Blanck Mass
Music Supervisor: Phil Canning
Composer: Jo Paterson
Composer: Tim Morrish
Composer: Natalie Holt
Music Supervisor: Phil Canning
Composer: Nascuy Linares
Composer: James Pickering
Composer: Abel Korzeniowski
Music Supervisor: Kle Savidge
Composer: Jack Halama, Natalie Holt
Composer: Richey Rynkowski
Composer: Philip Achille, Tony Coote
Composer: Baba Adefuye, Thomas Farnon
Composer: Cato Hoeben
Composer: Pascal Babare, Thomas Rouch, Cornel Wilczek
Music Supervisor: Leyla Varela
Composer: Roger Goula
Composer: Daniel Pemberton
Music Supervisor: Gary Welch
Composer: Aisling Brouwer
Music Supervisor: Connie Farr
Assistant Music Supervisor: Dom Farley
Composer: Amanda Brown
Music Supervisor: Jess Moore
Composer: Pink Noise
Composer: Julia Holter
Music Supervisor: Maggie Phillips, Christine Greene Roe
Composer: Volker Bertelmann, Dustin O’Halloran
Music Supervisor: John Boughtwood
Composer: Dario Marianelli
Composer: Wojciech Golczewski
Music Supervisor: Sarah Bridge
For a full list of 2020 BIFA winners and nominees, head to the website HERE
By The GMS Team
On February 11th AIM (The Association of Independent Music) continued their innovative way of hosting the third annual AIM Sync by going Virtual once again. A huge thank you to AIM for giving the opportunity for our GMS members to join the day for free.
There was an amazing turnout with over 8,000 viewers from 70 countries taking part in the event, thank you for tuning in and submitting your questions for the panellists!
The day started with an opening speech from AIM CEO, Paul Pacifico who talked us through what was to come in the day and highlighted the resilience of those in the Sync community over the past year.
We were thoroughly entertained by each panel throughout the day which has been insightful and vital to covering varied sync topics. From discussing the current Sync market to masterclasses in negotiations & clearances to music in gaming to fun discussions on TV shows.
As well as this, there were a number of useful Listening & Networking sessions! These booked sessions gave you the opportunity to discuss your work as well as gaining tips and insights into all you need to know about Sync & Music Supervision by a handful of professional delegates all experienced in Sync.
A huge thanks to each panellist for sharing your experiences and answering our avid questions. Especially to our own board members for taking part in some of the informative and inspiring featured panels, including Matt Biffa & Ciara Elwis on the ‘I May Destroy You‘ panel and Ed Bailie on the ‘Small Axe‘ panel, and Iain Cooke on the ‘Soundtracking a Drama Series‘ panel.
The end of the conference saw the second AIM Sync Awards, presented by AIM’s new Chair, Nadia Khan, Founder of Womxn In CTRL and independent music entrepreneur.
The awards saw many excellent and talented nominees, but we would like to say a huge congratulations to each of the Winners!
‘Music Supervisor of the Year’ was awarded to Zoë Ellen Bryant & Pete Saville from Carbon Logic!
‘Independent Sync of the year’ has been awarded to Ninja Tune for their Sync placement of ‘Witness (1 Hope)’ by Roots Manuva in IKEA’s ‘The Hare’!
Congratulations to each of you!!
A huge thanks to everyone who took part in the third annual AIM Sync conference and thank you to AIM for asking us to be partners with them for this event, we were absolutely delighted to take part again!
From all of us here at GMS, we hope you are all keeping safe and well and we hope to see you face to face soon!
By Vicky Bennett / GMS Administrator
Released in December 2020, Documentary, Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, follows the life and career of lead singer and songwriter of the Irish Punk band, The Pogues.
Director Julien Temple delves further into Shane’s life with never-before-seen footage from both the band and MacGowan’s family placed side-by-side with brilliant music supervision from Ian Neil.
This month we had the pleasure to speak with Ian Neil, Director of Film & TV at Sony Music, to get further understanding behind the musical work of ‘Crock of Gold’.
I have worked with the Director, Julien Temple, before and have always been a fan of his work.
The music sort of selects itself in many ways and it’s the Director’s vision more than anyone else’s.
The key thing is getting the deals done on the artist’s music before anything else goes too far. Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people think this will be easy and quick but it’s not always the case. I don’t think it differs that much differently elsewhere to be honest. Maybe pulling in personal favours of the artist that happens to be friends with another artist.
I think all the traditional Irish music which was re-recorded gave a real sense to his background.
Honestly can’t say there one specific scene that stood out for me but the highlight was for me getting a David Bowie composition in there.
Anytime I get to use a Bowie track in a film is always personal for me as such a lifelong fan. That and bringing the film in budget, which was no easy task on this one.
Thank you Ian, for taking the time out to speak with us, we wish the best for your future projects!
You can find out where to watch it HERE