National experimental music touring network
National experimental music touring network
OUTLANDS is a new national experimental music network, developed out of a motivation to pool expertise and resources, to encourage diversity and accessibility, build local audiences, and to support engaging and ambitious interdisciplinary music productions across the country, and the organisations that strive to promote them.
OUTLANDS champions the genre-resistant bringing adventurous interdisciplinary music to the forefront through commissioning and touring three newly conceived productions a year during 2018-19.
The network is bringing together ten visual arts and music organisations, independent venues and creative producers in eight regions, as the partners for its pilot phase. The network partners shall commission and tour six new, interdisciplinary productions over two years during 2018-19.
A free interconnected participation programme offers new experiences to audiences through workshops, open rehearsals and Q&A’s to shine a light on the artistic processes within experimental music.
Read the announcement on Drowned in Sound here.
“Projects like these act as the first line of resistance against a potentially myopic, monoculture and should be supported.”
For more information please visit www.outlands.network
OUTLANDS is supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
OUTLANDS AT DLWP
- Experimental music adheres to no boundaries in style, instrumentation, or musical training. Artistically it is inherently founded on ambitious and widely differing approaches, and therefore it’s artists and audiences are also inherently diverse.
- Experimental music is often a grass-roots, self-starting phenomenon. Scenes exist all over the country, forming localised, democratic platforms and communities for music making with whatever instruments, and ideas come to hand. These scenes and art forms need reliable and on-going recognition and support to ensure a diverse cultural climate.
- Due to the current economic situation and the subsequent changes in funding over the last five years the provision of non mainstream music and live interdisciplinary arts has declined. Experimental music can be seen as risky for producers, venues and audiences. The knock-on effect of this is that audience levels for those working outside the mainstream are dropping and less producers are able to take financial and creative risks on developing ambitious new work.
- Lack of income can especially compromise development time and production values, narrow artistic horizons, and limit the breadth of provision available to audiences in the UK. This downward spiral threatens a vital and germinal part of our national culture, and seems particularly problematic outside the capital.
- Organisational shifts in thought need to occur to enable non-commercial music to flourish. In an economically driven music climate, the notion that live music must be profit making is outdated. We believe that this cycle must be broken and this type of music should become an integral part of programmes across contexts.
- A network that consists of a broad cross section of diverse partners across far reaching regions of the UK for the first phase of the project will allow us to test out how our aims can unfold. Through establishing what works, and what doesn’t, we can identify ways in which the network can evolve in the future.
- Shared knowledge, resource and expertise of a network will both support and extend reach. Shared presentation and production of commissions will help mitigate costs. More can be spent on production values, achieving more ambitious events rather than solo operations often re-inventing the wheel for sporadically funded events.
- The process of commissioning will provide opportunities for network partners to conceive and present ambitious productions, giving artists the time, support and resources required to develop new work.
- Audiences for this type of work are harder to attract and retain as it’s programmes are inherently challenging and often unknown. A solid narrative of events will instill confidence in audiences, encouraging them to return to future events. Networked working has the potential to help us grow audiences for this type of work through reaching out to and connecting regional audiences.
- Engaging with non-network partners for the touring commissions will precipitate wider awareness of the project, the artists involved as well as generating core income for the project.
- Establishing a mechanism and platform for experimental music touring will benefit those working within this field. Extending the network through the recruitment and engagement of new partners in the future should enhance and inform the network’s resilience, activities and reach.
In 2015, initiated by ACE South East, a study by the touring consultancy No Nation delivered an executive summary that indicated an economic threat to diverse and ambitious music in the region. Motivated by a shared sentiment to counter this, and guided by ACE South East, the De La Warr Pavilion and MK Gallery brought together a consortium of likeminded producers and promoters with the goal of tackling these issues nationally, through shared capacity, shared expertise and united effort. Our bid successfully received funding from the Strategic Touring Fund and touring activities are due to commence in May 2018.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations who are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society.
The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. In 2016 we made grants of £42.4 million towards a wide range of work within the arts, children and young people, the environment, food and social change. We also have a £45 million allocation to social investments for organisations with the aim of creating social impact.
- The curatorial network will develop & present three new large scale productions per year
- A full learning, participation and community engagement programme will run alongside each tour
- A lasting and resilient infrastructure between regional arts partners which offers a long-term platform for artists, and a reliably highly engaging offer for audiences across the UK
- We will increase the financial viability, excellence of content and standards of presentation for experimental music tours outside the capital