Contemporary music bodies and musicians alike are outraged over the recent news that boutique classical music label Melba Recordings is after a further $3 million in funding.
This is on top of the $7 million Melba Recordings have already received, money which they used to release only three classical albums in 2011. The news has led a number of leading music professionals to write to Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean in protest as they believe Melba Recordings has been able to dodge the peer review process that the contemporary music sector utilises to dispense fundings evenly. They claim the allocation of funds to Melba is disproportionate and the money could be better used to grow other areas of the Australian contemporary music scene.
SLAM have expressed their outrage over the funding debacle.
“The news that reveals the Australian Government’s arts funding body the Australia Council has been funding the boutique record label Melba Recordings to the tune of $7.25 million since 2004 should be cause for concern for every single arts organisation in Australia,” read a statement from SLAM.
“As members of the contemporary music sector, we are outraged that this amount of funding should be provided to a single organisation outside of the peer review process. The sheer size of the initial grant provided to Melba Recordings is equal to the entire budget of the music board of the Australia Council.”
“We are deeply concerned about how this out-of-round funding came about and call on the Australian Government to do a full investigation into the Australia Council and the role of all the Federal Arts Ministers since 2004.”
“At a time when technology is threatening the livelihood of musicians and election promises to the contemporary music sector remain undelivered, we call on the Australian Government to redirect this funding to urgent contemporary music programs and support.”
John Wardle of the MusicNSW board expressed his personal outrage over the news publicly in The Australian this morning.
From: The Australian
April 05, 2012 12:00AM
“NEWS that reveals the federal government’s arts funding body, the Australia Council, has funded the boutique label Melba Recordings to the tune of $7.25 million since 2004 should be cause for concern for every arts organisation in Australia.We are outraged that this amount should be provided to a single organisation. The size of the initial grant is equal to the annual budget of the music board of the Australia Council. We call for a full investigation.”John Wardle (and 110 signatories), Sydney, NSW