4 comments on “Women’s Voices Matter

    • Lucky.

      Arboribus, your ‘partner’ in these three compilations, posed an interesting question in the introduction to the first one. It’s a thought I have had a few times, including this compilation for IndoJazzia.

      What does it mean, if two men … are working on such a project in a post-women’s-liberation-age? Is it just a nice gesture which is in accordance with the aims of women who fought for their emancipation? We might feel that way, and we’d like to understand it that way ourselves. We feel, that women are not only great singers and performers of classical music (in these two fields of musical activity women seem to be represented quite well), but also great composers, improvisers, and bandleaders (these fields are obviously still male-dominated). By concentrating on the latter field – without ignoring the ‘traditional’ female activity of singing – we want to promote this insight and provoke the listener’s further interest in female composers and musicians.”

      • Yes, the question really is – is it just a nice gesture, or… are we feeling guilty of female supression?! Or is a woman better in making a female compilation? Equals compiling judging? I have a feeling that too much focus on gender issues only divides what we want to see equal… And the strongest vibe regarding this issue I get from mixed-sex groups, where both “sides” are equal partners.

        • My simplistic answer is that I’ve always liked making compilations. When I came to Jakarta all those years ago, I brought a dozen cassettes with me, some of which were compilations I’d originally made for friends ‘back home’. Cassettes soon go ‘hissy’ in the tropics, so when I finally got a broadband connection, just four years ago, I was able to explore the interweb and to reconstruct them, and store them in folders for my own listening pleasure.

          Once upon a time, when visiting friends and new acquaintances, bookshelves and record collections were excellent ways of forging connections. In short, they’re autobiographical, they tell of one’s life journey, and music blogs such as ours have a similar function.

          I don’t have gender issues per se; for much of the fifteen years prior to my departure from the UK, I was a ‘community activist’ in the homeless and children’s welfare fields. From a social and financial viewpoint, play schemes, refuges for battered wives, training schemes for single parents, both mothers and fathers et al were immediate concerns, with the political dimension as extra-curricular activism. Combatting misogyny was but one aspect of the work.

          I recall one councillor at a meeting to discuss setting up a women’s refuge saying that there was no need. “There’s only one battered wife in Frizington (Cumbria) – and she’s mine!”

          So, in posting compilations of women musicians, I’m continuing my journey through a life of unashamed idealism, only with a wider canvas to work on. Instead of a petty minded parish councillor to pillory, there’s a serial-groper intent on effing the world for all of us.

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