Artistic Strategy

Diversity is embedded in NMCs artistic programme and decision-making.

Arts Council England, August 2020

NMC Recordings exists to record, release and distribute the work of composers born, or resident and working, in Britain and/or Ireland. NMC seeks to champion a wide range of repertoire, and through collaboration with other music, educational and arts organisations, reach the widest possible audience.

We seek to build a catalogue that fully reflects the breadth of talent from across Britain and Ireland; to reach as broad and diverse an audience as possible; and to design education programmes, resources and partnerships that encourage and enable access to new music for audiences, learners and participants of all ages and backgrounds.

Diversity and widening participation are a key part of NMC’s ethos. We continue to review our attitudes, practices and ambitions in relation to diversity, equality, and inclusion.  We have an ‘EDI Action Plan’ which will see us further challenge ourselves to improve our work, with the aim of contributing to ongoing change.

NMC is committed to an ongoing process of learning and review, monitoring the balance of representation in our catalogue, reframing our practices, and challenging ourselves to respond to the opportunities represented by the nine protected characteristics and their intersections, recognised in the 2010 Equalities Act.

How we work - our artistic strategy

Artistic Strategy Committee, or ‘ASC’
NMC's ASC guides and informs the artistic strategy and specific project choices of the label. 

ASC - Process
The ASC meets two or three times a year to consider and green-light proposals and to track the progress of projects in development.

Projects are either developed by the ASC Committee or come to NMC as proposals directly from composers, artists and agents. We are particularly interested in proposals from under-represented parts of society.

In evaluating proposals, the ASC will take account of several aspects. These include the professional and artistic track-record of the composer in terms of commissions and performances; whether a project will contribute to NMC’s EDI objectives; whether a composer’s work is already available in recorded formats; whether there is sufficient and suitable material for a strong and attractive new recording; whether there is an audience for their work, whether they have a presence on social media to help with promotion; whether a composer may be available to help with fundraising to cover costs of producing and releasing recordings.

ASC - Membership
The ASC is Chaired by NMC Trustee Stephen Johns, Artistic Director, Royal College of Music, and membership includes NMC's Executive Producer, Colin Matthews and members of NMC’s executive team, alongside composers, artists, curators, writers and other specialists. We seek to recruit a broad range of voices to the ASC so that we have the benefit of different viewpoints and can access new networks to broaden our reach. We regularly bring in specialists in areas of music which are under-represented in the catalogue.

Production and release of recordings - timetable
If a proposal is approved by the ASC, NMC's executive team will work with the composer, artists/ensembles (and their representatives where applicable) to make the project happen. It can take between four months and two years to release a recording, depending on the complexity of the project, whether a project is ‘funded to finished master’, or whether we need to schedule and find funding for studio recording sessions.

We also accept master recordings that you own and can licence recordings already in existence (eg BBC broadcast audio).

Artistic Strategy 2022-23

With excellence and audience development potential underpinning everything we do, we will plan our recording schedule, including digital projects, with the following objectives:

Inclusivity: track composer gender and ethnicity for future recordings to ensure balance, with at least 50% of releases from 2020 onwards featuring composers who identify as women; doubling the number of ethnically diverse composers of African, Caribbean, South, East and South East Asian heritage in the catalogue from 19 to 38, by December 2022 (based on 2017 data).

Talent Development: two Debut Discs (or similar) per year + digital partnership projects that will enable us to support ‘new’ talent.

Under-represented: prioritising under-represented constituencies and individuals whose work does not appear on NMC already, or who do not have other commercial recordings available.

Filling catalogue gaps: musical style, genre, instrumentation, and specific works.

Artistic partnerships: working with specific ensembles or organisations.

ASC membership: NMC’s artistic selection panel: to comprise 25% membership from African, Caribbean, South, East and South East Asian heritage with 50% members who identify as women.

NMC’s Artistic Strategy Committee will be provided with information and data to support these objectives.

NMC is funded by public and private support as well as through earned income.  You can learn more about this in our Support Us pages, including a list of our current supporters.