I am embarking on a recording project to produce a CD of four of my most successful compositions for voice, strings and piano. As a composer the most important thing is being able to share the music I create with as many people as possible. In order to get my music heard, a commercially available CD is vital.
I have been fortunate enough to have had most of my compositions performed publicly at least once, but without a commercially available recording my music remains ephemeral – if you missed the performance, there is no other way to hear the music. I am often asked “can I buy a CD of your work?” and so far I have had to answer no.
Recording a CD is a costly undertaking and as a freelance composer, this has been the main hurdle so far. I need to pay the musicians for their time, hire a studio and sound engineer and a producer to see the recordings through the process of editing and mastering. Then I need to cover the costs of CD production, marketing and distribution. I have at least two record labels interested in the project but I still need to cover the costs of producing the master recording myself before they will consider releasing the CD – without the recording there is nothing to release.
I believe that my music has an important place in the new music landscape, particularly in Australia, and I want people to be able to hear it. A new CD of my work is also a chance to showcase the skills of some incredibly talented Australian musicians who have been so supportive of my work as a composer (Glenn Riddle, Deborah Kayser, Roseanne Hunt and Marianne Rothschild to name a few). The completed CD will be released as a physical CD and also made available online through iTunes, making sure the music is available to the widest possible audience.
And last but not least, as a woman composer I believe it is also important to contribute to the diversity of our contemporary music landscape, to share my voice in a field in which there is still a marked gender bias.