31 Jan 2009
Sound Investment is a scheme run by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and encourages people to invest in musical masterworks of the future.
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Making New Music Work
In the current economic climate it is good to hear about a successful project that is helping people make positive steps in their careers and is also generating something that gives people a lot of pleasure. Sound Investment is a scheme run by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) and encourages people to invest in musical masterworks of the future.
People who want to invest in a new musical commission buy Sound Units’ that help fund a new composition from inception to final performance. Then investors are encouraged to be actively involved by meeting composers, attending rehearsals and going to the premier where they are presented with a copy of the new score signed by the composer.
The scheme has already raised £200,000 helping both new and established composers to get their works across to an appreciative audience. So far it has generated more than 50 new musical works, kept by the BCMG in its performance repertoire. Many of these pieces have travelled further a field and are being played by groups all over the world.
The project has attracted some leading composers, such as Thomas Ades, Judith Weir and Simon Holt and is so successful that other music groups from New Zealand, the Netherlands and America have copied the model and are also generating their own contemporary music.
Recently the BCMG has launched a portfolio of future commissions and has gained the support of Sir Harrison Birtwistle, who is working on a commission for their 25th Birthday in 2012 and will be conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The portfolio ranges from this piece to a work by the 38 year-old composer Michael Wolters, a graduate of Birmingham University, who will collaborate with the experimental theatre group Stan’s CafÈ’.
‘There are many reasons why individuals subscribe to Sound Investment’ say a spokes person from BCMG ‘The buzz of being associated with a newly minted work is an obvious attraction but others have chosen to give a Sound Unit as a gift to celebrate an anniversary or to commemorate a loved one. Investors range from a retired teacher, a biochemist and a Shropshire smallholder to members of a local community group who clubbed together for their Sound Unit.’
It appears that investing in music is very popular and supports careers, from composers to the dedicated performers and venue staff. The BCMG’s innovative programme has set an excellent standard for attracting investors to put their money into a lasting musical legacy-one that will give a great deal of pleasure to people long into the future.
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