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Improvising Across Boundaries project opens for applicants

New UCD research project seeks musicians to participate in paid opportunity, exploring the experiences of women and gender-minority improvising musicians.

IMC is delighted to be collaborating with UCD on a 4-year research project led by Dr. Sarah Raine and funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research programme.

Improvising Across Boundaries: Voicing the experience of women and gender-minority improvising musicians, takes a queer, feminist, and co-produced approach to engaging with key societal and theoretical issues for improvising musicians across all genres.

The project, which will run from 2024-2027, is currently accepting applications for women and gender-minority musicians to become involved in the project as a paid professional development opportunity. The selected participants will form a community of improvising musicians, working together with the researchers for the full life of the project.

The project is looking for musicians who are interested in working with us as part of a dedicated team to explore the current landscape for female and gender minority improvisers, examine barriers to access, and affect change for now and into the future.

Improvising Across Boundaries aims to involve a range of creatives from different genre(s) of music, who play any instrument and/or sing/perform spoken word/emcee, at each career stage, with music as their main job or as one of many career strands, and be from a self-taught or formally educated background.

Benefits for Musicians

  • Paid elements, covering
    • A commission fee for new work of €2000 [upfront payment of €500 in February 2024 and additional payments throughout the project].
    • Two paid performances (2026 and 2027) totalling €1,200.
  • Participation in a 40-minute documentary film (to be released and screened at multiple film festivals and events)
  • Access to a travel budget for project events
  • Opportunities to be a part of paid collaborative music residency
  • Involvement in a network of musicians and promoters (across the island of Ireland and UK)
  • Industry and creative development workshops
  • Increased visibility through PR and media campaigns, performances, and other events.

What the project involves

Inclusion in the project will require a commitment to attending a range of in-person, virtual and hybrid events between January 2024 and August 2027. All in-person events will be catered, caring responsibilities considered, accessibility requirements attended to, and musicians will have access to a travel budget.

This project is aiming to collaboratively explore the experiences of women and gender minority improvising musicians active on the island of Ireland and to provide a platform for their voices. The musicians involved will be key members of the research project, not only in sharing their experiences, but also analysing the gathered information and producing useful resources for industry professionals, policy makers, and educators. As this research is taking place in real-time over four years, we want to support the continuous creative development of the musicians involved by commissioning live performance and offering professional development as part of the overall aims of this project.

Interested in applying? Use the buttons below

Improvising Across Boundaries is a four-year collaborative research project funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council as part of their Pathway programme. The project is led by Dr Sarah Raine as part of a wider team of researchers based at University College Dublin, the Improvised Music Company, and a community of participating musicians based on the island of Ireland.

I am a popular music researcher based at University College Dublin’s School of Music and the lead for Improvising Across Boundaries. As part of previous research teams, I have worked in partnership with music festivals in Ireland and the UK, to include TradFest, Cork International Choral Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. I have also run zine workshops as part of Ideas of Noise and Supersonic, both in Birmingham (UK). I have published books on northern soul (2019 and 2020) and co-edited Towards Gender Equality in the Music Industries (Bloomsbury 2019). I hold several editorial roles and run writing and research workshops for students, academics, music industry professionals, and music fans.

Sarah Raine Research Profile at UCD

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