Exeter Culture

Exeter Culture: Growing a more sustainable and diverse cultural ecology

I recently attended the Music and Sound Forum on Wednesday. From this meeting it occurred to me that composers of new 'classical music' based in Exeter are not served well at all. There is no contemporary music ensemble for new music concerts or workshops (or one that is open to new composers). Neither is there any evident sponsorship of this kind of (mostly notated) music. Nor any obvious venue to showcase a composer's work (such as my own) with piano. The truth I am beginning to suspect is that no-one in Exeter actually cares about the welfare of composers or solo musicians. There seems to be a lot of hiding behind the bureaucratic doors of institutions, groups, networks, paid jobs (for roles often duplicated across the wider arts sector) that actually amount to very little financial or practical benefit and marketing assistance to the struggling independent professional artist. Those in a position of responsibility are not doing the right job, or are being paid to not do the right job. The individual artist, composer, creator is surely the most valuable contributor to the cultural welfare of a region (of far greater importance than say all the committees, empty bureaucratic 'positions', gate-keeping and red-tape that actually often serves to hinder or prevent the possibilities of new artistic communication and new artistic creation to the widest public) and yet they are paid the least! This needs to change! We need financial support for composers and solo musicians in the professional world who have left education (or higher education) and seek to contribute to the cultural welfare of the city.

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