Fair Plé, Sounding the Feminists, Mnásome, Gash Collective and Girls Rock Dublin to Speak at Irish Music Conference This Week

Joanne Cusack (Fair Plé), Laura Watson (Sounding the Feminists), Sinéad Furlong (Mnásome) and Rossella Bottone (Girls Rock Dublin) who will take part in the symposium on women in Irish music at DkIT.

Fair Plé, Sounding the Feminists, Mnásome, Gash Collective and Girls Rock Dublin to Speak at Irish Music Conference This Week

Representatives of feminist initiatives to participate in day-long conference in Dundalk this Friday.

A one-day symposium on women in popular and traditional music in Ireland will take place in Dundalk Institute of Technology this Friday 23 November. The event takes place in the same week that marks the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland. 

Hosted by the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at DkIT, the event has been organised in response to the recent artistic movements in Ireland around the need to better document and promote the contribution of women.

Women in music
Commenting on the symposium, Dr Ann-Marie Hanlon, an organiser of the event and a lecturer in Popular Music at DkIT, said:

A feminist history, or any history for that matter, of women in music in Ireland remains mostly unwritten… scholars have yet to quantify or qualify the reality of the situation for women in music in Ireland. This is the cultural and academic context within which this symposium on women in traditional and popular music in Ireland was conceived.

The Sounding the Feminists collective, which is a partner in the symposium, was established following the announcement of the Composing the Island concert series in 2016, which featured 90 composers (almost 200 compositions), but only 17 works by living female composers. STF held its first public meeting the following September, and in March of this year announced a major new initiative with the NCH to promote female composers.

The Gash Collective was founded in 2016 to support female-identifying and LGBTQ+ producers and DJs in Irish electronic music. Girls Rock Dublin, a rock camp organisation, was established in 2016 also. Mnásome was set up to highlight the work of women in the Irish music industry and had its first event this year. Fair Plé, focussing on gender balance in traditional and folk music, was established following a meeting in February of this year. It held its Rising Tides event in September at Liberty Hall and also featured in concerts at the Cork Midsummer Festival and Tradition Now.

Popular, folk and country
The symposium, which is open to the public, begins with a panel titled ‘Women in Popular Music in Ireland’, with speakers Dr Caroline O’Sullivan, Dr Ann-Marie Hanlon and Michael Lydon. This is followed by a round-table discussion with representatives from Fair Plé, Mnásome, the Gash Collective, Girls Rock Dublin, Improvised Music Company and Sounding the Feminists.

The third session focusses on ‘Women in Country and Folk Music in Ireland’, with speakers Dr Daithí Kearney, Joanne Cusack and Christina Lynn, and the day will include with a keynote address by Dr Aileen Dillane of the University of Limerick. Her talk is titled ‘Raging Mother Ireland: The intersection of faith, fury, and feminism in the body and voice of Madga Davitt (FKA Sinéad O’Connor)’.

Tickets are €20 and €15 (concession). For more information, visit https://soundingthefeministssymposium.home.blog/

Published on 20 November 2018

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