Who is allowed to be an artist and how do we perceive art and sound? Although a lot has changed within the field of pop and rock, women and queer people are still minorities in art education’s composer programs. Certainly for young or non-male identified composers, the field is very rigid. This is the inspiration for the founding of Konstmusiksystrar (Art Music Sisters) – a network for non-male composers and art musicians. The network focuses on enabling its members to work freely and on their own conditions – which is specifically hard for those who are new to the field. The initiative was born out of fatigue, in an environment without space for the younger generation.
Consequently, Konstmusiksystrar works structurally and in collaboration with leading music institutions, in the public debate on art music, through workshops, concerts and festivals. As part of their work, the network offers courses in sound art and curates a festival for performance and sound art.
On their website, Konstmusiksystrar grows steadily. Functioning as a safe environment for members, all the sisters of the network can meet and share experiences, produce music, and change reigning structures in the field of art sound. Meanwhile, the membership index provides a mapping of non-male practitioners who do exist, although the festival and concert scene in Sweden is very male dominated. As such, the network also works toward spreading knowledge about these structures to decision makers and producers in the field. On November 9, Sound of Stockholm will present a night minus men, where only female or queer identified artists perform and talk. As part of the program, Konstmusiksystrar will present new commissioned works as part of their mission to advance gender equality in the music scene.
The pieces are produced as part of Konstmusiksystrar’s call for works, where members are encouraged to compose and send new electro acoustic works under the headline of “what is done should also be heard”. The selection is made through a lottery, to work against hierarchical structures and to challenge and reconfigure the notion of quality. As part of the evening at Scenkonstmuseet, Konstmusiksystrar will present concerts by Simone Wingfors, Kristin Warfvinge, Juni Andrea Ek, Jana Sleep, Kristin Boussard, Fanny Gruvstad, Klara Andersson.
Full description of artists and performances is available here