Friday, 20 June 2014

Girls and Electric Guitars

I recently went to Birmingham to see my husband in Rhys Chapman's composition of 100 electric guitars called "A Secret Rose for 100 guitars".  It was an extraordinary night.  My daughter who is 6 loved it too (with her top of the range headphones on!)

But I only saw about 5 women in the ensemble and was disappointed that more women didn't apply to be part of the performance.

I don't think it was anything to do with the organisers, many of whom were women.  Nor was it a bias of the composer, Rhys Chatham who said this on Facebook

I'd like to mention, that Daria (one of the 100 guitarists) wasn't the only the woman in the band.  there were others

Ya know, when I first saw Patti Smith, she inspired so many people to begin playing. She was a poet on the poetry scene in the 70s,, and we all figured, if Patti could do it, maybe we could too? And that's what made the NY scene so cool back then, all these people who loved music, like Arto and Ikue and Kim, coming out of whatever backgrounds, and they all decided to play music, and it was way cool. Half the people in the bands in the no wave scene were women. I could name many, just thought I would mention that; Guitar: it isn't just a guy thing, after all.
Malina Moye

But Women guitarists aren't considered the norm. Why?

With a bit of research you can see there are plenty about.  Fender at the beginning of last year did this article which had the top 10 Guitar Goddesses.

I wish I had an answer to this one.  I don't know why only 5 women applied to be in the 100 Guitars, why there is biased thinking towards female electric guitarists. However one of the 5 girls at Rhys Chapman's concert was a young girl, who must have been about 11 or 12.  One of the female guitarists told me that she said "I love playing the guitar but I can't find any of the other girls who want to play too".

My husband, who runs a contemporary music night called @SonicImperfecti is doing his bit, aiming to create a gender balanced event throughout the year.  He's actively looking for female acts, not only ones who play electric guitar but who play experimental music.

I don't have the answers to why female guitarists are considered less likely than men,  but I do know that if more event organisers thought about their gender balance and more women step up to perform, it will go a long way to changing perceptions. And that 12 year old girl and my 6 year old daughter might think quite differently in the years to come.

Selling and Negotiating

Read it on the Cockpit site

or Read it here:

Kate Faragher, from BeSpoke Skills, was in the studios earlier this month running a sales and negotiation workshop for our New Creative Markets participants.
Here are her top 7 tips on selling and negotiating:
1. It takes 7 to 12 meetings to turn a relationship into a sale, so make friends with your customers and decision makers. Find reasons to hook up with them and keep in touch by sending relevant information.
2. Buyers need reasons to buy. They need their fears and worries rationalised.
Identify what’s stopping them from buying and be ready with comparative prices like ‘it’s the same price as a sofa yet it will never wear out and you can pass it down your family for generations’.
“When I buy I create my own reason to buy something beautiful. Sometimes I have it as a reward for achieving a goal. Recently I bought an expensive bag after a successful work trip in Ghana. I’d been to the shop at least 5 times and had fallen in love with it, long before I bought it.”
3. Authentic selling isn’t making someone buy what they don’t want but realising what they do want and how it will enhance their lives. Things enhance our lives, if they help represent who we are.
Know what your qualities are and what your products represent. Then match them to what is important to your buyer.
Madeliene Albright changes her brooch every day to represent what she’s going to talk about or think about that day. We buy and display things to say “This is who I am”

Albright’s book “Read my Pins”
4. Don’t be afraid to name drop subtly. The Queen, the Pope and many celebrities own, use and display the work of Makers at Cockpit.  We like our buying choices to be affirmed. If we know someone we like or admire has bought from you, it will reduce our fear and increase the likelihood of buying.
5. Negotiating is getting clear about your boundaries. What is your ideal outcome. Name it, know it and write it down. Then decide your walk away points.
6. Know your figures. You need to know the hours it takes you to make a piece, the monthly income you need to achieve and the mark up you need to put on your work. If you know your figures your walk away points are clear and the clarity behind those figures empower you.
7. Get the buyer to name their ideal price first. Then you know their starting point and if you are both in the same game!

About the Trainer
Kate Faragher has been a trainer for 16 years. She has coached and been a consultant in the banking, corporate and entrepreneurial sector

Monday, 9 June 2014

Justin Bieber trousers may be more old fashioned that you think. The wide crotch trousers were invented 3,000 years ago. 

Archeologists, Mayke Wagner and her colleagues at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin found a pair of low crotch trousers discovered in Xinjang in China were 3,000 years old.  

Trousers are a relatively new invention. Most people wore tunics, robes - skirrs and cloaks really.  But when the Chinese started riding horses the trouser was invented. The wide crotch on the trouser they thought protects the groin so make horseback riding easier.