Re: The Youth Tag

Subject: Re: The Youth Tag
From: Miriam Rainsford (
Date: Tue Jul 27 1999 - 10:31:50 EDT

Ian Chuprun wrote:

>> a few criteria IMHO for those who have moved out of the young and
emerging artist category would be any of the following:

- having completed a phd in ea/cm/dm
- have a cd contract
- having won a big competition (or maybe two)
- have received a grant from an established funder for more than a few
bucks. <<

and Garth Paine wrote:

>This situation makes me feel that I am paying a price for working
>hard to be self-supported, for make my way in the commercial world.
>The festivals don't look at how many personal artistic projects have
>been self funded, so I guess I am now wollowing in the swamp of
>"emerged" middle-aged artist/composer.

I also largely agree with Ian's criteria as regards competitions. Perhaps
a solution, although more difficult to police, would be to limit
competitions not by age but to those who:

a) are unpublished composers or do not have recording contracts
b) are not previous winners of major competitions
and c) whose works submitted have not yet been performed in public.

Category (c) is already quite common in composition competitions. Perhaps
some lateral thinking is called for on the part of competition organisers
in order to be more truly inclusive of _all_ emerging composers.

I do, however, think that we ought to be wary of judging a
composer's achievments by these categories, which are largely confined to
the academic and art music world. The beauty of a field such as ea is that
its composers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, bringing with them
diverse influences that make such a valuable contribution to the broadening
of new music's horizons! Here I agree with Kevin Austin's comments
regarding women and the poor, and I am also supportive of Garth's and
Dennis' predicament - funding is difficult to come by in these times and we
are all often forced to look for alternative means to support our art.
Without such people, whose work may be of great interest and originality,
yet do not have the traditional list of achievements on their CV, new music
would be missing out on a lot. I am also mindful of artists working in new
genres, such as drum'n'bass and jungle music. While Aphex Twin may have a
recording contract and is commercially successful, the vast majority of
music in this very interesting and complex genre takes place "underground".
We would be depriving ourselves of so much if we do not consider the
achievments of those whose careers have progressed along an alternative

Miriam Rainsford

  E-mail from: Miriam Rainsford, 27-Jul-1999

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