WHAT ARE WE DOING?
We're really excited to be recording six pieces by living British women composers, to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK. All the works are totally different in style, and the composers span several generations – from a PhD student to a 90th birthday! And four of the pieces have never been recorded before.
WHO ARE WE?
Marsyas Trio is a flute, cello and piano trio based in London. We’re devoted to playing music from the Classical era to today, and we actively commission new music – this is our second disc on a label (check out our last Kickstarter campaign). We’ve recently played at the Société de musique contemporaine Lausanne, Vale of Glamorgan Festival and Three Choirs Festival, and we’ve got an all-Crumb concert coming up St John’s Smith Square. Click HERE to find out more about who we are and what we do.
Inspired by this significant centenary, we wanted to make a CD that celebrates the incredible creativity and strength of women in music.
- Judith Weir Several Concertos (1980)
- Thea Musgrave Canta, Canta! for alto flute, cello & piano (orig. cl/vc/pn) (1997)
- Laura Bowler Salutem (2014)
- Hilary Tann In the Theatre of Air (2017)
- Georgia Rodgers York Minster (2018)
- Cecilia McDowall Not just a place; dark memories from an old tango hall (2004)
Label NMC Recordings
Master produced by Coviello Music
Recording venue The Boilerhouse at Royal Holloway, University of London (This was one of the first higher education institutions devoted to the education of women and has a number of notable alumni who fought for women's suffrage and equality.)
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
We're really pleased that NMC Recordings (“The home of new music from the British Isles”) will be releasing the CD in October 2018. We’ve already raised a lot of what we need.
...we still need your help to make this project possible! By donating you’ll be helping us achieve our vision and to say thank you we’ve got a bunch of rewards on offer, including the CD when it comes out.
ABOUT OUR REWARDS
Here are some details about the rewards we've got lined up for you, to say thanks for your support!
Thank you card A small way to say thank you for your support. Every bit counts!
One of our previous CDs
- Our first CD (Apple and Biscuit Recordings, 2011): Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Martinu. Each CD is hand-numbered and is therefore unique.
- Our second CD, and first with a lable A Triple Portrait (Meridian Records, 2015). This includes nine chamber music pieces by Elena Firsova.
- Zubin’s disc with soprano Jane Sheldon Chiaroscuro (Phosphor Records, 2015). The reviewer Vincent Plush writes in The Australian: “Within seconds an atmosphere of calm envelops the listener to the sublime performances on this album…” That sells it enough right?
Gates of the Soul Our new CD! If you're not into actual CDs, let us know and we'll send you a download album.
Autographed score You'll get to choose one of three pieces that were written for us, signed by the composer: Salutem, In the Theatre of Air, or York Minster. None of these are published (yet).
CD launch party & concert We realise this means you'd have to be in London, and be free on the day we hold the party. So if you can't make if, we'll send you a private video of one of our concerts celebrating the suffrage centenary.
Online & printed thank you We’ll list your name so everyone knows the important part you’ve played in making this CD possible. No worries if you don’t want your name posted, we'll ask you first.
Open rehearsal We’ll find a time that’s convenient for all of us to invite you to an open rehearsal, where you’ll see how we work through pieces when preparing for a recording or performance. Ask us all the questions you want during drinks afterwards, we love talking about the music we play and what it’s like to work with the composers that write it.
Recording session We'll be recording 13-15 April at Royal Holloway. Come sit in one of the sessions and experience first-hand how a CD is made.
If we manage to raise more than we've set out to on Kickstarters, all supporters will get these two extra projects, so bug your family, friends, neighbours, accountants and dentists to give a little and help us lots:
£1,500 – As a counterpart to our CD, we'd really like to make a music video of a piece by an American composer who would have lived through so many of the social changes that have affected women - Amy Beach (1867-1944) wrote Pastorale & Caprice "The Water Sprites", Op. 90 in 1921, only a year after American women gained the right to vote. Behind the political frontline, it is artists like Beach, who believed in their art, who paved the way for gender equality in music. These two pieces by Amy Beach are virtually unknown –the recently rediscovered manuscripts at the MacDowell Colony were not published until 2009.
£2,000 – Link to a private YouTube channel with videos of our performances for the suffrage centenary.
1918-2018: THE SUFFRAGE CENTENARY
When thinking about our next disc, we realised 2018 marks the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK. We hope this CD can play a small part in the social discourse on gender equality; a century ago, British women were fighting for recognition in society and were leading in the global suffrage movement that had gathered momentum. Thanks to these efforts, traditionally male-dominated fields such as composition are increasingly changing. Equality today, however, remains unattained and, in many parts of the world, absent in every aspect of life. By celebrating progress, we can look ahead to ways in which equality can be furthered and perpetuated.
The Marsyas Trio feels that projects such as this are crucial in redressing the gender balance in contemporary classical music. In the hundred years since the passing of the Equal Representation Act on 10 February 1918, the lives of women composers and musicians has changed beyond recognition in the UK. This CD is a celebration of the advances made in our society, made possible by our courageous forebears:
“Time alone will reveal what reward will be allotted to the women”.
Emmeline Pankhurst (1914)
Judith Weir is an example of how the progression towards equality continues – in 2014 she was the first woman to hold the position of Master of the Queen’s Music, a milestone achievement in a tradition that dates back to 1626. This disc will unite emerging and established composers across several generations, showcasing the diversity of compositional style, wealth of talent and accomplishments of women composers across Britain today. The CD title, Gates of the Soul, takes a line from Walt Whitman’s I Sing the Body Electric, a poet who was strongly influenced by the women activists that surrounded him.
ABOUT OUR COMPOSERS
Hilary Tann (b. 1947) – Originally from Wales, she now lives in Upstate New York where she chairs the Music Department at Union College. She wrote her piece for us in 2017, and we premiered it at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival last May thanks to grants from the RVW Trust and Fidelio Charitable Trust.
Judith Weir (b. 1954) – First Master of the Queen’s Music (appointed 2014). The virtuosic piece Several Concertos was written for the Lontano Ensemble, who we’re big fans of!
Laura Bowler (b. 1986) – Laura just came back from Antarctica for her latest project. Thanks to a grant from the Britten-Pears Foundation, Salutem was written for us in 2014 as a partner piece to George Crumb’s Vox Balaenae and was premiered at the Arcola Theatre in London.
Thea Musgrave (b. 1928) – Happy 90th birthday!!! Originally from Edinburgh, she has lived the USA for the last 50 years. Canta, Canta! is the composer’s own arrangement of a song she wrote in Paris in 1954, which describes a summer’s day in all its mood.
Georgia Rodgers (b. 1987) – Currently studying for a PhD in Composition at City University London, and she's already an acoustic engineer. She has JUST finished her piece for this CD, and it is SO gorgeous!
Cecilia McDowall (b. 1951) – Born in London, she is visiting composer at Dulwich College and a prolific composer of choral works. Not just a place is smoky, sexy, dark and…well it’s a tango, isn’t it!
Risks and challenges
There will always be things that don't go as planned but we're a strong team, and have several years of collaboration behind us to help us cope with any set-backs or changes in plans. We already have several of the pieces under our fingers and have performed them several times, so we feel confident that we'll be able to produce a top-notch master.
One of the precarious situations with chamber music, and with new music in particular, is that we aren't easily replaceable if one of us becomes ill or injured. If this happens we'll reschedule the recording dates to as soon as is possible. Whatever happens though, good news or bad, we'll keep our supporters in the loop during the whole process. This is chamber music and we're all in it together!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)