Music Alliance Ireland submission for the Arts Council’s new Music Policy.

Music Alliance Ireland submission for the Arts Council’s new Music Policy.

Context: From artscouncil.ie: “The Arts Council plans to produce a Music Policy and Strategy in 2022 to guide its decision-making in relation to music, and has begun a process of widespread consultation to inform its development..”

What you can do: Sign up to the Music Alliance Ireland mailing list, where we will give further updates.

Submission –

In the following submission, we address the questions as they appeared in the Music Policy survey.

Q9. What do you think are the Arts Council’s key strengths/areas of focus that it should continue and develop?

The Arts Council has a significant impact on music in Ireland and is benefiting many artists organisations. It is now the case that a very wide range of events and artists are receiving support from the Arts Council on some level and this contributes to a culturally vibrant country.

In addition, the range of music events and activities means that Ireland can be an artistically attractive place for artists to locate, and there is a huge return on that Arts Council investment: Irish and international artists make a profound contribution to the quality of our national and community life.

The Arts Council’s agile response during the pandemic was particularly notable and in no small way has ensured continuity through what has been an extremely challenging time for musicians and the music scene.

In particular, we feel that the flexibility of the Agility Award and the Capacity Building Awards sparked many new initiatives and should be continued post-pandemic.

Q10. What do you think are the Arts Council’s weaknesses/areas of focus that need to be improved?

A notable weakness is that there can be little feedback from the Arts Council on work that is produced with Arts Council funding. Nor is there any clear formal mechanism by which funded clients can show work to Council. Connected with this, the MAI believes that the Council should make much greater efforts to promote the work to the public that they have funded.

Regarding awards, for some music projects, short-term funding timescales are a hindrance to more ambitious work and advance planning, i.e. for projects that are more than a year or more away. Ambition needs time and planning. The current award timelines do not represent how long some music projects take to develop and there should be both annual and multi-annual deadlines for awards. Awards should also be broader and cover the lifespan of a project, from inception, development, delivery, distribution and documentation to promotion.

At the same time, for some awards, the reverse is the case: for the Arts Grant award, for example, applicants are asked to plan for future years when they do not yet have feedback on their current year or previous applications.

The MAI also believes that the turnaround for decisions on applications needs to be shorter, i.e. a maximum of two months. With regard to the application process, the AAR and BAAR system is neither intuitive nor user-friendly and we believe this system needs to be overhauled.

More broadly, we believe the Arts Council needs to have a strategic vision and plan for the Irish music sector, specifically with regards to developing the Irish music industry nationally and internationally. Nationally, This includes supporting a national music hub in Dublin, (and in regional centres) developing the neglected independent record label sector, ensuring artists are remunerated appropriately, and helping artists and organisations build an international career or international dimension to their work. Increased strategic links and strategic planning with Culture Ireland for international dissemination of music would benefit the sector.

Q11. What three specific initiatives would you like to see the Arts Council undertake as priorities in the coming years? *

The three initiatives that we would like to see are as follows:

  1. More substantial support for the independent Irish record sector, i.e. a specific record label and recording scheme and a strategic plan for the development of this essential part of the Irish music sector.
  2. Practical support the establishment of a national music hub in  Dublin, (and regionally)  in terms of funding support, advocacy and partnerships.
  3. To create a system whereby music organisations and events are developed in partnership with the Arts Council with clear strategic goals, rather than existing from year to year with little feedback.

Q12 – Arts Council music supports and  genre

With regard to Question 12 in the Arts Council Music Policy survey on the support of different genres, the MAI believes that clear definitions  of ‘commercial’ and ‘non-commercial’ are needed in order to address this question properly.

In general, however, we believe the emphasis in Arts Council Music Policy should be on artistic quality rather than genre and that it should be as inclusive as possible.

Note: Where we refer to ‘music’ in all of the above, we are also including traditional music, although we understand that in the Arts Council’s structure traditional music is formally a part of traditional arts. All of the issues mentioned above are equally relevant to traditional music as they are to jazz, classical, contemporary, opera, popular, hip hop, etc.

Our members would be happy to discuss further any of the points above

Image: Courtesy of Improvised Music Company. [Izumi Kimura (piano), Cora Venus Lunny (violin) at Jazz Connective. PHOTO Maarit Kytoharju]

Music Alliance Ireland  first public meeting and launch

Music Alliance Ireland first public meeting and launch

Music Alliance Ireland will have our first public meeting and launch at New Music Dublin, Ireland’s foremost contemporary music festival.

Date:    Thursday 28th April 2022

Time: 11.30 – 12.30   

Venue: The Iveagh Room (the room behind The Terrace restaurant), The National Concert Hall.

Free.    All welcome.

Future meetings will take place throughout Ireland, details will be published here as they are confirmed.

Follow us on social media and sign up for our mailing list to keep informed of what we are doing and developments in the music sector.

Twitter: @musicallianceir

Facebook: @musicallianceireland

Instagram: @musicallianceireland

 Image courtesy of Crash Ensemble. 

Submission to The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028

Submission to The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028

Context: Dublin City Council is invited responses to the The Draft Dublin City Development Plan (2022-2028) is a plan which sets out how the city will develop to meet the needs of all residents, workers and visitors. You can read Chapter 12 Culture here   https://www.dublincity.ie/residential/planning/strategic-planning/dublin-city-development-plan/development-plan-2022-2028/chapter-12-culture The Culture Chapter proposes policies and objectives under the following subheadings -Protecting and Enhancing Cultural Assets, Cultural Hubs and Quarters, Supporting Cultural Vibrancy, Supporting key Cultural Activities, Culture in the Community, Supporting Irish Language and Culture, Culture in the Public Domain.

Response: It is the last part of the process where public submissions might impact significantly on the final plan.
Update: 
What you can do: Sign up to the Music Alliance Ireland mailing list, where we will give further updates.

Submission: 

Submission to The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028.

Feedback on Chapter 12 Culture, of The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028: 

We are delighted to see the specific inclusion of music, music creation and the need for a dedicated hub space for music included in The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028.

We make note of the specific sections below and add further comment to their inclusion:

PG: 432

… culture infrastructure is defined as:

“the buildings, structures and places/spaces where culture is either:

Experienced: places where culture is experienced, participated
in, showcased, exhibited or sold e.g. museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, libraries, music venues, nightclubs and historical cultural sites.

or

Created: places of creative production where creative work is made by artists, performers, makers or manufacturers e.g. creative workspaces, performing arts rehearsal spaces, music recording studios”.

Comment: We ask that the specific artform requirements of music creators are taken into account in the creation of cultural infrastructure. 

PG: 432

CUO24

Toolkit Guide to Workspace

The Council will publish a “toolkit” for developers and other stakeholders giving a guide to the spatial requirements of artform specific workspaces to inform the design process and ensure viable arts and cultural spaces are provided.

We ask:

  • That the music community and specialists are consulted on the specific requirements of music creators in the creation of this developer toolkits.
  • That the toolkit include how to successfully integrate sound producing artforms within developments so that such artforms are not side lined when allocating space or deemed less favourable inhabitants.
  • That provision for the life cycle of a wide variety of music is provided for in the city –  workspace for its orchestras,  ensembles, choirs, quartets, music groups, record labels organisations and individual artists across a number of genres,  provision for broadcasts, recording, storage, work spaces, and  performance space for live music events. Live work and subsidised living spaces for its creatives and cultural workers.

PG: 450

CUO27

Artist Studios

To further develop and provide spaces for artist studios within the city and avail of opportunities for utilising underused buildings within communities for artistic and cultural purposes.

CUO28

Artist Live-work Space

To support the development of a feasibility model and pilot project for provision of artist live-work space during the lifetime of the Development Plan and to seek to provide a clear community benefit as part of the project.

Comment: We ask that all forms of creative practitioner, including music practitioners – musicians, composers, producers are included in the requirement for studio space.

PG: 450

Music

Music is one of most widely engaged forms of culture in the city.
The diversity and range of music – from full orchestras to solo singer songwriters and everything in-between; the creative range and diversity of this art form is vast. Alongside the diversity in type, is the need for diversity in space for musical artists to rehearse, record and perform. Retaining music as part of the cultural landscape of the city and the musical success experienced by many artists on a global scale cannot be sustained without maintaining a wide range and scale of venues
for artists to hone their abilities and grow as performers. It is critical for the city’s music scene that existing venues for performance within the city are protected; and the Council will support and encourage the development of a new music venue (400-1,000 scale) within the inner city to support and diversify the sector.

Many rehearsal spaces and recording spaces in the city are located in former industrial estates. As these areas regenerate, it is critical that these spaces are retained within communities. Provision of affordable spaces is important particularly to younger people, and the provision of such spaces as part of Council and other public projects will be encouraged. With increased living in apartments, there are less options and spaces for people to rehearse and/or play with others, making the provision of space even more important as this form of housing increases within the city. The Council is committed to supporting the development of music hub within the city as a flagship space that will provide a range of facilities and opportunities to all (see Objective COU3).

Comment: We welcome the separate section on music in the draft plan, the acknowledgment of its importance to the cultural life of Dublin city and clear inclusion of provision for the diverse and dedicated space to sustain it. The provision of a dedicated music hub space was a specific recommendation of Music Alliance Ireland in our submission to ‘Pre-Draft Public Consultation Strategic Issues Paper – Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028’ and is one of our key goals for the development and support of the music sector in Dublin City.

We wholeheartedly support

  • “ the development of music hub within the city as a flagship space that will provide a range of facilities and opportunities to all.”
  • the “development of a new music venue (400-1,000 scale) within the inner city to support and diversify the sector”.
  • The retention of exiting rehearsal spaces, provision of affordable spaces, and the provision of such spaces as part of Council and other public projects will be encouraged.

We ask:

  • That the music community and specialists are consulted on the specific requirements of music creators in the creation of this developer toolkits.
  • That the toolkit will include how to successfully integrate sound producing artforms within developments so that such artforms are not side lined or deemed less favourable inhabitants. This is particularly important in light of DCC”s comment “ With increased living in apartments, there are less options and spaces for people to rehearse and/or play with others, making the provision of space even more important as this form of housing increases within the city. “
  • That provision for the life cycle of a wide variety of music is provided for in the city –  workspace for its orchestras,  ensembles, choirs, quartets, music groups, record labels organisations and individual artists across a number of genres,  provision for broadcasts, recording, storage, work spaces, and  performance space for live music events. Live work and subsidised living spaces for its creatives and cultural workers.

PG451

It is the Policy of Dublin City Council:

CU18

Music as a Key Cultural Asset

To support music as a key cultural asset of Dublin City and seek the retention and expansion of venues and facilities that allow for expression and experience of music in a wide variety of forms to enhance the cultural life of the city.

It is an Objective of Dublin City Council:

CUO29

Music Rehearsal Spaces

To seek opportunities to include facilities for music rehearsal spaces within communities to enable and encourage more people to engage with music, with a particular focus on young people.

CUO30

Industrial Estate Regeneration Areas

All large scale mixed use former industrial estate regeneration areas (over 10 ha) in the city shall include at least one studio/rehearsal space and/or venue.

CUO31

Music Venues

To encourage the development of new music venues that will provide opportunities for music artists to perform at a range of venue sizes.

Comment: We wholeheartedly support

  • Aim CU18 acknowledging Music as a Key Cultural Asset.
  • Objective CUO29 Music Rehearsal Spaces
  • Objective CUO30 Industrial Estate Regeneration – Areas All large scale mixed use former industrial estate regeneration areas (over 10 ha) in the city shall include at least one studio/rehearsal space and/or venue.
  • CUO31 Music Venues -To encourage the development of new music venues that will provide opportunities for music artists to perform at a range of venue sizes.

We ask: 

  • That while it is important to engage young people in music that the focus and priority is to create a sustainable environment for professional musicians and music practitioners, without which there will be no music sector to engage young people (See Objective CUO3).
  • That provision for the life cycle of a wide variety of music is provided for in the city –  workspace for its orchestras,  ensembles, choirs, quartets, music groups, record labels organisations and individual artists across a number of genres,  provision for broadcasts, recording, storage, work spaces, and  performance space for live music events. Live work and subsidised living spaces for its creatives and cultural workers.

PG453

CUO34

Noise Impacts

All applications for short or longer term residential proposals (including hotels) that seek permission adjacent to established late night uses such as nightclubs/music venues/public houses/comedy clubs, shall be required to demonstrate in their application, how, firstly through the use of good design and layout; and secondly, through increased sound insulation; they have ensured their development will not cause negative impacts on the adjoining uses in the future.

CUO35

Purpose Spaces for Evening and Night Time Activities

To encourage the opportunity presented by new larger developments within the city to provide high quality, designed for purpose spaces that can accommodate evening and night time activities, such as basement/roof level “black box” spaces that can be used for smaller scale performances/theatre/dance venues, and for flexibility in the design of larger spaces, such as conference spaces, to be adaptable for evening uses.

Comment: We wholeheartedly support the prioritisation of usage of existing cultural infrastructure over new residential proposals as suggested in objective CUO34 and for the opportunities outlined in CUO35.

We ask: That Objective CUO35 states music within “performances/theatre/dance” and that and purpose built space include the specifically requirements of music.

PG457

CUO40

Cultural and Artistic Space Audit

To aim to undertake during the life of the development plan, an audit and implementation plan for each Electoral Area of the Council to assess the current and future needs with regard to cultural and artistic spaces and to set a series of actions, policy tools and initiatives to address identified shortfalls.

CUO41

Buildings within Communities for Arts and Cultural Spaces

To seek to acquire buildings of merit within communities that can become important arts and cultural spaces; and give a new purpose to local buildings with heritage value and to promote the expansion of cultural uses within existing spaces, particularly within buildings in public ownership.

Comment: We welcome the Cultural and Artistic Space Audit (CU040). 

We ask:  That the Cultural and Artistic Space Audit (CU040) include auditing dedicated music venues, rehearsal, studio, recording, post production, music creative production space, and arts admin space for the music sector recording outside of multiuse cultural spaces and commercial music spaces.

We look forward that on the enactment of the  Dublin City Council plan 2022-2028, Dublin City Council will be able to boast achievements in supporting the city’s music sector including a Music Hub Space for the city. 

Submitted by Music Alliance Ireland / Comhaontas Ceoil na hÉireann  

 Image courtesy of Improvised Music Company. 

Online Consultation on pilot Basic Income for the Arts

Online Consultation on pilot Basic Income for the Arts

Context: On Thursday, 6 January 2022, Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media launched an online consultation on the Basic Income for the Arts (BIA) pilot scheme to elicit the views of artists, those working in the arts and culture sector and the public. More information here: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/080b9-minister-catherine-martin-launches-online-consultation-on-pilot-basic-income-for-the-arts/

The online consultation follows a successful stakeholder forum on 15 December that saw over 150 participants from 50 artists and arts workers resource and representative bodies come together to discuss the proposal and provide their views and feedback to the Minister and her Department.

Minister Martin established the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce in 2020 as a response to the pandemic, and to provide a platform for solution-focused recommendations for the recovery of the arts and culture sector. The number one recommendation of the taskforce was the introduction of a basic income for the arts pilot scheme.

The purpose of the online consultation is to ensure that the general public, artists and those working in the arts and culture sector have the opportunity to contribute to the policy development for the pilot scheme and to offer suggestions from their experiences as artists, arts workers and members of resource organisations on key issues such as the schemes objectives, eligibility criteria, supporting emerging artists and participant responsibilities.

Response: The Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will be launched in the coming months. Further details will be published on the Department’s website after the feedback and input from the online consultation is assessed and finalised.

What you can do: The online consultation opens 6th January and is available for response here until the consultation closes on 27 January 2022. As Minister with responsibility for arts and culture, Catherine Martin TD said: “I encourage everyone interested to get involved in the online consultation for the Basic Income for the Arts pilot. Your views will help shape the final design of the pilot when it rolls out in the coming months. This is a once-in-a-generation policy intervention, a measure that I believe will redraw the landscape for the arts for hopefully many years to come. Our culture and the arts are a fundamental expression of who we are as a nation. Our rich cultural heritage is one of our greatest assets, and our artists weave a sense of identity, creativity and belonging into the fabric of our communities. The intrinsic societal value of culture and the arts was particularly evident during the pandemic, where it provided colour, light and hope in uncertain times.”

Make your submission  outlining the requirements of the music sector as you see them, you may reference Music Alliance Ireland’s submission. 

Submission: 

Music Alliance Ireland made a submission to the consultation and also directly contacted the Minister with the letter below.

Letter: 

Dear Minister Martin,

I am writing in my capacity as the Chair of Music Alliance Ireland/Comhaontas Ceoil na Éireann.

Music Alliance Ireland is a group of national music organisations and companies that have come together to enhance their support for the music sector and establish a collective voice. Our current working group consists of performance groups, concert promoters and resource organisations with a remit across the island and involvement in a variety of musical genres. The current members are: Association of Irish Composers, Contemporary Music Centre, Crash Ensemble, Diatribe Records, Improvised Music Company, Journal of Music, Kirkos Ensemble, Music Network, and Trad Ireland/Traid Éireann.

The MAI welcomes the BIA as a vital support for artists in Ireland, and recognises the huge amount of work and vision by all involved to bring the proposal to its present stage of development. We are also grateful for the opportunity to make submissions to the process. 

Our recommendation at this stage primarily focuses on the complicated issue of eligibility of musicians for candidature. 

Recognising that the Department’s proposal that “membership of a recognised certifying organisation will stand as an automatic determinant of eligibility“, we feel strongly that the list of qualifying organisations for musicians’ eligibility should be broadened beyond membership of the Musicians Union of Ireland. Given that this is a three-year trial and its success relies on a broad diversity of participants, the Praxis phrase “inclusivity rather than exclusivity” resonates here. It is our finding that the MU does not have a broad enough membership base to fully represent our sector, and we would therefore recommend that membership of any one of the relevant national music resource organisations should qualify an artist for eligibility in this instance. 

Similarly, we support the addition of the option whereby “applicants may self-certify as an artist or creative arts worker and provide supporting documentation for review” and would propose that this process could include letters of support from resource organisations, as well as the crucial option for the artist in question to self-certify through Revenue if they have declared income as a self-employed musician in recent years. In addition, holding Artist Exemption status from Revenue should be an indicator of eligibility.

Once again, we would like to express our gratitude for this venture, and reiterate that we stand ready to support the Department in an advisory role if further clarification of this issue is required.

Kind regards,

 Image courtesy of Crash Ensemble. 

Dublin City Cultural Infrastructure Study with input from Music Alliance Ireland

Dublin City Cultural Infrastructure Study with input from Music Alliance Ireland

Context: A commissioned background Dublin City Cultural Infrastructure Study, conducted on behalf of Dublin City Council by Turley and OBFA Architects. The Research Team engaged with key stakeholders in the city, to build on Turley’s Baseline Survey of Artists Workplaces, undertaken in June 2020 as part of the 2020 URDF Creative Project, which provides an unparalleled insight into the views of the culture sector and their perception of infrastructure deficit and future needs. Turley received 17 responses from a mix of cultural organisation representatives and commercial developers, including Music Alliance Ireland and member organisations.

Key sections: 

PG60: 4.5 Specific Art form Deficits

There is a particular deficit around music and performance venues, where previous venues or workspace have closed and they have not been replaced (eg Andrews Lane Theatre, City Arts Centre, SFX, Tivoli among many others (see closures 2000-2020 at Table 4.1).

For instance the audit, spatial mapping and Turley’s Workspace Findings Report (2020) collectively identifies a specific requirement for a dedicated music performance venue, recording studios and workspaces.

For instance, of the 31 cultural buildings catering for music, only one, The National Concert Hall, has a strong State and civic remit. There are a large number of commercial venues that operate successfully for contemporary music, but are under private control. For a city with such a strong music tradition, there is a large gap in music making and presentation infrastructure.

A civic concert hall (with 100, 300 and 700 seat spaces) could be used as a flexible music, theatre, performance space for the citizens of Dublin

PG86: Providing for ‘Known’ Deficiencies (Gaps)

Although, it is recommended that further refinement of the mapping and understanding of “where” and “what” cultural infrastructure is in the City is undertaken, we believe the work carried out as part of this study supports the development of certain specific objectives that could be established to ensure deficiencies (gaps) in cultural infrastructure in certain locations are remedied.

For instance, there is a specific requirement for a dedicated music performance venue, recording studios and individual and assembly workspace, likewise there is no community hub for the music sector with a shared resource space. The sector has indicated that this should be located in Dublin 1,2,7 or 8. 

29. A feasibility study should be undertaken into the development of an ensemble rehearsal space for 15-20 musicians and instruments with good access, acoustics and sound insulation. A dedicated space that could provide a working home for music groups. A space where the making, the improving, the collaborating, the promoting can take place together.

30. Feasibility should also be undertaken into the development of a second civic concert hall (with 100, 300 and 700 seat spaces) to be used as a flexible music, theatre, performance space for the citizens of Dublin.

Whilst the location of such provision warrants further analysis, with review to the “Infrastructure Gap Mapping” above, we believe that these two critical pieces of infrastructure could be developed in a number of locations with deficits in cultural infrastructure, but The Liberties or Phibsborough would specifically benefit from a dedicated ensemble rehearsal space, and that Spencer Dock could be a key location for the regeneration impact of a Civic Concert Hall.

Within wider performing arts there is an identified need for
a venue with multi-purpose meeting rooms / rehearsal or multi-seater space. A key location for such development may be The Liberties or Grangegorman, but further cultural impact assessment would be required to consider the impact on surrounding cultural infrastructure in Theatre and other artforms, and local communities. It is recommended that Dublin City Council undertakes an assessment of the feasibility for same. Study of buildings lost in the city shows that generally when artists’ studios close, they move further out of the city to areas with lower rents. In Dublin’s cultural asset losses study 100% of venues that closed 2000-2020 were not replaced with similar venues. The city needs to protect cultural venues, if it to offer cultural performances to the city’s citizens, and to tourists.

PG92: Artform: Music

It has been highlighted through this study that there is a lack
of dedicated art form specific workspace for music in Dublin, particularly when the space within the National Concert Hall
is not available. Assemble rehearsal space is at a particular premium, with space for 15-20 musicians and instruments with good access, acoustics and sound insulation.

There is no community hub for the music sector with a shared resource space. A dedicated space is needed that could provide a working home for music groups. A space where the making, the improving, the collaborating, the promoting can take place together.

Insights where drawn from Temple Lane Rehearsal Studios, Crash Ensemble (music ensemble), and together with the survey findings for Musicians (178 respondents) this analysis provides a comprehensive assessment of workspace design considerations but is not a definitive guide.

The ideal workspace typology for music artists is not as clearly defined, with variances in requirements reflective of the diverse nature of music ensembles and the requirement for access
to areas that can accommodate group rehearsals as well as solo performance space. Workspace requirements have been considered across rehearsal (group and individual), recording and ancillary space.

The majority of music artists are satisfied with the size of their current workspace and the frequent size of current workspace for this cohort is less than 200sq ft. Music artists prefer to work in a space easily accessible by public transport and within a 5KM distance from their home.

Music artists require quality Wi-Fi internet, sufficient equipment storage and access to a kitchen / communal area within their workspace. Innate to their craft, music artists express the imperative for comprehensive sound proofing within workspace provision and demonstrate demand for designated rehearsal spaces.

An outward-facing performance space would also be desirable – a venue or flexible space to perform/try out work with audience in attendance.

 

Design Consideration

Finding

Workspace typology

While the majority of music artists prefer to work in an Individual Private Space (41%), nearly as many music artists also express a preference in Group Private Space as their desired workspace (38%). This is reflective of the differing spatial requirements between solo and group rehearsal, and the specific technical requirements for recording space, summarised below.

Rehearsal space:

  • The space requirement for ensemble/band rehearsal vary greatly with the number performers. A reasonable minimum space would be c.30sqm, but larger ensemble or choral work would need to be at least double this size, and up to the size of a larger theatre rehearsal room

  • A larger space should be able to accommodate a large percussion set-up- sometimes 2 large percussion set-ups- and each musician supplied with a stand and a chair

  • All music spaces need to be acoustically treated, with access to facilities to record (audio/visual) and playback for working and analytical purposes (as distinct from a recording studio)

    Adding Recording Facilities and Live Room :

  • Recording facility: Control Room/Live Room configuration. Used to record for release/documentation and also to produce broadcast/online material. The live room – while not as large as the rehearsal room, the larger the live room the larger the ensemble that can record.

  • The live room requires the most acoustic treatment. Ideally the walls are a room within a room, with a 30cm gap between each partition, constructed using specialist materials/insulation. Ideally the live room would also benefit from a floating floor construction, although this is not absolutely essential.

  • Control Room – while this is usually smaller than the live room, the acoustic treatment is very similar to the live room. It is often a partition of the live room using the same construction methods. Key to the partition of the live room and control room is specialist acoustic glazing.

  • Specialist acoustic expertise is required in the development of a quality music space.

    Proximity to amenities and services

    Music artists prefer for their workspace to be situated with in a 4.75KM radius of City Centre and within 5KM of their homes. Close proximity to public transport halts is also key for this group, with workspaces ideally located 2.5KM from nearby public transport nodes. Public Art Centres and nearest University / Colleges should also within a 4KM and 4.93KM distance respectively.

    Size of space

    Almost half of music artists are currently satisfied with the size of their individual workspace, with 24% Very Satisfied and 25% Satisfied. The current size of the workspace of music artists is less than 200 sq ft. (60%), followed by 200-30 sq ft. (23%). Smaller spaces can be useful for musicians for composition, solo/ duo rehearsal or as meeting/project administration space.

    Internet connectivity

    Access to Wi-Fi internet was among the top feature of desired workspace by music artists.

    Equipment storage

    A high proportion of music artists selected equipment storage as a sought-after feature in workspaces to allow artists to securely store instruments and music equipment and reduce the need to transfer equipment between their homes and studio or rehearsal space.

    Sound proofing

    Expectedly, sound proofing is prioritised by music artists for a number of reasons including freedom to perform at a volume of their choice without disturbing fellow workspace residents, or indeed external neighbours.

    Kitchen / communal area

    Many music artists reference the importance of collaborative spaces within their desired workspace and this manifests itself in high levels of demand for kitchen and/or communal areas.

    Rehearsal space

    Access to suitable and high quality rehearsal space was commonly mentioned by music artists as an essential feature of their ideal workspace.

    Post-production space

    Sound treated space for audio post-production.

    Picture credit: Claire Chase + Lina Andonovska by Olesya Zdorovetska. Image courtesy Diatribe Records.