The Knowledge Transfer Fellowship in New Strategies for Radio and Music Organisations aimed to work with a group of commercial and community partner organisations to produce new online strategies, media content and to inform public policy.
The partners represented a cross-section of Birmingham’s cultural communities and its music and media activity. We focused on the creative application of new technologies of sound distribution for the radio and music industries, working with the following partners:
Antonio Gould is a digital producer and consultant with considerable experience in developing a variety of digital projects. His work includes producing websites, community platforms, managing video and audio production, designing and building online games and delivering social media strategies. His interests are in digital public service design, with a strong focus on education and social media.
Central to his work ethos is coming up with groundbreaking concepts and delivering them. He is passionate about designing for users and using proper design methodologies.
Representing Under 35 year olds within Birmingham Forward firms, Birmingham Futures provides the city’s young professionals with the opportunity to network and develop leadership skills, with a broader aim of promoting the city as a thriving and dynamic international business centre. Committed to equal opportunities, Birmingham Futures supports a membership fully representative of the city’s own diversity.
Birmingham Music Archive
Established to recognise and celebrate the city’s rich musical heritage, the Birmingham Popular Music Archive encourages people to take pride in the city’s musical landscape through sharing experiences. Highlighting Birmingham’s success, it enables citizens to share stories about the development of music here, building an archive to inspire the future. As an organisation it is committed to developing a more inclusive and interactive notion of archive.
Giles Peterson’s London based independent record label aims to promote the release of quality new music, music with soul, regardless of genre or origin. Responsible for talents such as Jamiroquai and Erykah Badu, Peterson is passionate about discovering talent, and setting trends rather than following them. He is a world renowned radio DJ, whose roots are in jazz and acid jazz, but is dedicated to diversity. To find out more about the label, read an interview with Simon from Brownswood Recording.
Responsible for putting on live music events and exhibitions that showcase emerging audio and visual talent, Capsule provide a platform for creative and experimental practice in this field. They are the organisation behind the award winning sonic and visual festival Supersonic in Birmingham, promoting experimental and creative practice across a variety of media forms. The company itself has won Creative City awards for its success in these endeavours to promote, exhibit and celebrate in pushing the envelope on a multi-media platform.
Care International is one of the world’s leading aid agencies, fighting poverty and injustice in over 70 countries around the world. It is an organisation dedicated to creating lasting change, through an approach which tackles the deep-seated root causes of poverty, rather than simply the consequences. Working in partnership with both businesses and governments around the world to help them confront the problem of poverty, Care International is focused on sustainable impact, through programmes which help farmers grow their own crops, or help people to start up businesses.
DA Recordings is a privately-owned online music promotions and marketing organisation who supply the independent music industry with a range of production, distribution and digital services. Co-founded by Chris Thompson and Ann-Marie Taggart in 2001, they have since successfully developed ‘emusu.com’ a unique end-to-end music download platform, and deliver this service to the independent sector. With extensive experience of both the commercial music industry, the independent sector and business and finance between them, they continually strive to improve their applications to remain market-leaders. The idea is to stimulate economic growth by empowering music businesses’ digital content distribution.
Fat Northerner Records is a Manchester label with a global presence thanks to its pioneering work on the net and with digital recordings. Looking to provide a collective approach to promoting music, the label has been promoting a diverse and exciting catalogue of local music since 2003. The music they promote is varied and often experimental or alternative, just as they set out to create a local, northern alternative to the side of the industry that is based in London. They are looking to expand on the digital aspect, exploring new digital formats as well as continuing to pioneer digital music. To find out more about the label, read an interview with Ruth from Fat Northerner.
This local Moseley based and inspired reggae label provides a fresh conscious approach to reggae. Building on the Jam Jah sound that existed in this area, to take it to another level, they source their influences from reggae, hip-hop and world music and blend computer generated beats with live instrumentals and vocals, for a fresh new sound. Providing ‘food for the soul’ around a ‘fire of new ideas’, at the heart of the Friendly Fire ethos is music and community.
This event takes place over a weekend in summer, in Digbeth, one of Birmingham’s thriving creative districts. Over more than ten venues provide a platform for musicians representing a variety of music, but the event is much more than that. At the heart of this festival is a music education conference, and many of the performers are directly linked to music service events in the region, with a long term aim of supporting young people in music.
Horus Music Limited is an independent record label dedicated to supporting artists, so that they can achieve their full potential in the music industry. Also providing services in promotions, publishing and artist management, they endeavour to raise the standards of music through training and regular feedback. They have developed a reputation for being professional, approachable, dynamic and diverse in all that they do.
Iron Man Records
Iron Man Records is an independent record label based in Birmingham. The label works with bands and artists producing new and interesting music, ‘on their own terms’.
Jibbering Records is based in Moseley, and is a music shop offering a breath of fresh air from the corporate high-street approach. Specialising in quality music from around the world, although the shop has not survived, the work continues in other areas with an online presence.
More Canals / Commercially Inviable Records
Commercially Inviable records is a record label that aims to release quality music to the widest audience possible. This involves releasing artists on a variety of formats, including vinyl, digital and CD. Mainly based in Birmingham, they work collaboratively on music production, artwork creation, music business consultancy and digital projects.
Music of Distinction
A live music agency that caters for any occasion. Owned and run by industry experts John Mostyn and Geoff Pearce, they use their combined experience to organise the perfect music for any given event. They have been widely used in many of Birmingham’s creative and cultural events, including the Hello Digital after party at Faizely Studios, Big Cat events, Rootsville Festival in Digbeth and Moseley Folk Festival.
The Musician’s Union is an organisation providing representation for anyone working in the music industry. Offering a range of services, they endeavour to promote the rights and interests of its members, and particularly, in the current climate, to ensure that technological advances are used to promote working opportunities for musicians. They employ a number of specialists to deal with the issues raised by musicians working in the live arena, the recording studio or writing and composing.
Output Production is a company that offers a range of professional audio production services, from small scale singer/ songwriter support, to producing albums and remixing to audio post production. They are a small but dedicated company, that use their specialist experience and passion for music to produce a wide range of music projects. Their work also includes specialist audio projects for film, TV, dance, radio and digital.
With the long-term aim of reducing re-offending, Prison Radio provides a unique and innovative way to engage prisoners into education. Equipping prisoners with the skills needed to find work and purpose after release, Prison Radio uses the experience to create something positive, and stop people from re-offending. The offenders that complete the radio training programme will gain qualifications, and develop a range of skills including literacy, numeracy and transferable skills to help successful integration into the mainstream.
Established in 1988 Proper Distribution has since become the largest independent distributer in the UK, covering the full range of the market. Not only do they deal with some of the largest independent labels in the world, but they also offer support for artists as yet unknown in the UK. Providing top quality distribution services to over 400 labels all over the world was officially acknowledged in 2008 Music Week Awards.
Punch is a leading music development agency, specialising in music events and productions, in theatre, dance, film and visual arts. Pioneering music activities for young people, and also dealing with a variety of arts and corporate clients, Punch is an official Arts Award centre. In the early days, Punch Records was a shop selling Black music, it then became widely recognised as the leading supplier of DJ vinyl, and more recently has moved into music education, and is a key player on the Birmingham arts scene.
Rock Fall / Mr Elephant Presents
Mr Elephant Presents is a Birmingham based collective, who deliver festival style club and family events and a range of interactive community workshops. At the heart of Mr Elephant lies the aim to bring together and showcase the wealth of underground and creative culture there is in Birmingham, through organising carnival style parties. Rockfall is a Birmingham outfit that is all about the breakbeats. They have been associated with the mighty ‘Drop Beats not Bombs’, and are renowned for bringing Birmingham cutting edge breaks from around the world.
Sound it Out
Sound it Out is a social development agency, offering dynamic music opportunities for disadvantaged communities and marginalised individuals. Through connecting these people to inspiring musicians and new audiences they develop music programmes across ages and ethnicities, to deliver in health, inclusion, training and youth sectors. Since 1992 Sound it Out has earned a reputation for excellent programme delivery and outstanding partnership work across the West Midlands.
The Music Network
Mark Badger, also the man behind Iron Man Records, set up The Music Network in 2000. Involved in the music industry in various ways, including playing in bands himself, managing bands, lecturing at Birmingham City University on the Music Business degree, Mark set up the organisation to provide opportunities for music networking, as well as encouraging links with the local community. Offering practical based industry experience to a community of independent musicians, mark aims to stimulate growth in the local community through inspiring and sharing knowledge.
Tony Levin was an influential and important drummer on the jazz scene. In the 1960s he played regularly at Ronnie Scotts and now organises jazz events in Birmingham. The last Monday of every month sees Tony Levin’s Jazz Club take to various venues around Birmingham, showcasing not only his own talent, but offering the opportunity for up and coming musicians to gig.