A black day for free musicFebruary 4, 2008
Tonight I heard the news that the Arts Council of England had rejected the appeal by the London Musicians Collective against the removal of all funding. This deeply depressing news effectively means that the LMC cannot operate in 2008. Whether other streams of funding can be found, or if free events organised under the LMC umbrella can take place remains to be seen, but either way this new effectively cripples all LMC operations as we currently know them. This is sad sad news.
The impact that the LMC has had, and has continued to have on experimental music in the UK is massive. Its impact on me personally is something I find hard to equate. Quite frankly I have no idea what I would be listening to now (if anything) were it not for the LMC. For instance, the first three times I saw AMM play live was at LMC organised events. These events alone changed my life. The first times I saw Taku Sugimoto, Otomo Yoshihide, Polwechsel, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Derek Bailey, Toshimaru Nakamura, John Wall, Sachiko M and many many many others was at LMC organised events, that simply would not have happened without the work of Ed Baxter, Ben Drew and the many other people that have worked hard to keep the organisation running through mainly hard times. No other organisation has been capable of introducing this level of quality creative music from around the world to me, and looking at what is waiting in the wings to receive the money that should have been going to the LMC, its utterly laughable to think that any other organisation is capable of anything close to what the LMC had achieved in the near future.
The LMC also launched Resonance FM. Clearly the station has had a massive impact on me. The radio station is entirely the brainchild of the people at the LMC. The Arts Council will be continuing to fund Resonance FM separately, so for this reason I doubt that Ed, Ben or anyone close to the running of the LMC will be able to criticise the ACE as they would really like to, but hey I can…
The Arts Council are simply clueless morons that just have no idea at all about the one thing they are asked to look after; the arts. They throw money hand over fist at anything that presses the correct trendy buttons, that fits in nicely with the washed out impotent ideas of art and music that they support. Resonance continues to get support as it happens by chance to fall into a neat little category created by the ACE. It ticks the right boxes, although they probably think they are funding something completely different. Unfortunately the LMC is a little too left of centre, a little too unlikely to draw the big government pleasing crowds, a little too unlikely to give “value for money” to warrant the continued support of an organisation that is supposedly in charge of keeping our arts vibrant and important.
There are no possible reasons that could be given by the Arts Council that can justify the removal of funding to the most important music organisation this country has ever seen. Whatever reason they give, be it low audience numbers, poor “value for money” or anything else cannot warrant these actions. I now await whatever media friendly watered down rubbish we are presented with instead.
Really I feel like emigrating.