Towards the Summer Night: A Mentoring Project for Australian Composers Identifying as Women

The Summers Night Project is an ongoing composer-mentoring programme established in 2018 by musicians Cat Hope and Gabriella Smart, with the support of the Perth-based new music organisation Tura New Music. The project aims to support and mentor emerging Australian female and gender minority composers to create new compositions for performance, with the aim of growing the gender diversity of composers in music programmes across Australia. Three composers were chosen from a national call for submissions, and works were performed by an ensemble consisting of members from the Decibel and Soundstream new music ensembles. Three new works were workshopped, recorded then performed on a short tour of Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia in July 2018. The project takes its name and inspiration from Australian feminist Anne Summers, author of the ground-breaking examination of women in Australia's history Damned Whores and God's Police (1975) and was inspired by her 2017 Women's Manifesto. This article examines the rationale for such a project, the processes and results of the project itself, and plans for its futur

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CC BY 4.0