An Accidental Songwriter and Moors, Music and Meditation. Possible “Transformative Trajectories for the Music Industry”.
Transformative Trajectory – creating a new horizon for female music professionals.
There are many societal viewpoints, processes and systemic structures that mean it is not easy for women to own their sovereignty in music. For women to get to this point it is important to ask the question “ What would need to be true, to allow this to be?”
We have all probably heard the Einstein quote that it is a kind of madness to expect change whilst continuing to act in the same old way. So, we need to create a model of a new horizon and work backwards from that to create change .
I envisage an imagined situation where women of any age, colour, geography, background, experience and socio- economic background can use their musical talents to the full and can access the means, support and other skill sets to enable them to grow. So, the question is what needs to change and what needs to be brought into reality to allow this to be?
What needs to change ?
Firstly a most subtle and unseen thing. Attitudes and perceptions around a variety of issues: women must no longer be defined through their looks, age or sexuality. Secondly society ignores the great white elephant in the room around caring. Women are usually the main caregivers in families. There is nothing more worthy than creating a happy stable next generation or caring with dignity for those who have given to the world and are now old and vulnerable. So long as we do not value the time, worth and years that caring takes we will not create realistic flexible processes and structures that enable those care givers to grow in other ways, when they are able to do so.
Another attitude is the obsession with music/art making money . Artistic activity what ever the genre often makes little or no money but it still serves a purpose. William Blake the poet and artist died absolutely penniless as did Mozart. If they had not persisted with their work the world would have a little less beauty or wisdom. Sometimes the function of Art is more for community cohesion and human enjoyment. Money is a useful commodity but if it becomes the driving force around any artistic genre then the rot is likely to set in and stunt growth as interest will only be given to the things that are perhaps of short term gain.
So it is obvious that attitudes need changing and this can be done through things like this blog amongst other things. Bringing up semi conscious beliefs and holding them up to the light so examination can see what needs to be changed.
Then there are the structures and processes themselves that we establish as means of action and change that perhaps need rethinking . This starts by questioning. Do we have adequate training for women in all kinds of areas? Do we allow this training to be flexible- as women’s time is often truncated? Do we help women who are older , who have had families, to get on? Do we help women be visible if it is harder for them to gig, get out and make connections? If not, why not and what could be done about it? Do we need more grants, training programmes and networking opportunities to allow these areas to be addressed? How do we empower women who are older, of few financial means or who are curtailed by geography or caring?
It is my belief that women across all professions often end up working below their professional, academic, creative potentialities due to these limitations. It is time for industries across the board to see how they can promote women throughout their working life- particularly after childrearing.
Here I have examined some of the mind sets and beliefs and lack of physical opportunities that would disenfranchise good intentions for change, without creating a different mindset. It is necessary to look below the surface and see a synthetic picture of interconnecting issues and difficulties if we are to create true dynamic change. In the next blog I take a “blue sky” approach and suggest my own ideas of what might be helpful.