CMC requests increased support from RTÉ lyric fm and BBC NI for contemporary music from Ireland

At this challenging and unprecedented time, it is more important than ever to acknowledge the role played by broadcasting in the cultural infrastructure of the island. All at RTÉ lyric fm and BBC NI are to be congratulated for the seamless broadcasting during the current Covid–19 crisis.

CMC has requested increased support from both RTÉ lyric fm and BBC NI for artists active in the creation, performance and dissemination of contemporary music from Ireland - specifically requesting increased broadcasts of works by those active in new music in Ireland; the creation of new initiatives and reinstatement of past initiatives that support composers; continued international representation for composers from Ireland through the EBU; and active on-air advocacy for support for artists from the island of Ireland through online purchase of their recordings.

In a letter to both RTÉ lyric fm and BBC NI, CMC outlined that broadcasting is essential for the dissemination of works by composers from Ireland, the sector that CMC represents:

In the current crisis where concerts have been cancelled, postponed and live performances are suspended indefinitely, royalty payments from broadcasts (and from online sales of recordings) are the only source of income for many active in the new music scene in Ireland. CMC therefore requests that broadcasts of works by composers from Ireland are increased, alongside increased broadcasts of the performers who tirelessly champion and commission works by composers from Ireland, and the independent labels who disseminate these works to a broad public.

Given that concerts, launches, pre-concert talks, panel discussions and workshops are all prohibited at present, it is imperative that the profile of those active in contemporary music in Ireland is kept on the radar through online and on air initiatives. With the aim of keeping the profile of composers from Ireland front and centre during this time, CMC requested again that RTÉ lyric fm

gives consideration to reinstating a regular new music programme with weekly contributors from within the new music sector and for lyric to reestablish the Composer-in-Residence initiative which has in the past enabled composers to share their insights into the compositional process with the listener and to document the development of their craft.”

CMC requested that BBC NI

gives consideration to regular features with contributions from within the new music sector in Ireland, also highlighting recordings available by composers … and focusing on their ongoing creative work during this crisis.

RTÉ lyric fm and BBC NI have a history of commissioning new works from across the diverse and vibrant spectrum of contemporary music from Ireland. At this time of financial uncertainty for composers, CMC suggests the establishment of a new commission fund for a series of commissions for future performance, broadcast and for dissemination through the EBU. The contribution of both RTÉ lyric fm and BBC NI to the EBU remains essential for new music from Ireland reaching new audiences and for the development of the international profile of composers from Ireland.

In the days and weeks to come, CMC will continue to engage with broadcasters on these issues and others as they arise.