Thursday, December 27, 2007

Resonance Plea

Dear friends,
Another seasonal begging letter. I apologise for troubling you buthope you can take one minute to help us with a problem that will ONLY be resolved with your help. As you may be aware, Resonance FM was established by London Musicians' Collective. LMC's remit has been, for thirty years now, to support avant-garde music, that supposedly "difficult" stuff that gets lampooned as elitist noise in the popular press and on the "Today"programme.
The list of its achievements would take up many pages (a tiny fraction is at www.l-m-c.org.uk). Suffice to say, Resonance FMwas entirely the creation of the LMC Board and emerged directly fromits work. No other organisation would have realised such a project: no other organisation did. LMC's grant from Arts Council England's Music Department has now been entirely cut. The radio station is not immediately threatened, as it is financed directly by the Visual Arts department (Music having never expressed interest in Resonance whatsoever). But to have one without the other is, as you can imagine, a little pointless to those of uswho set up Resonance FM. This year, ACE has managed to find £1.7million to underwrite the launch of a new music umbrella body, "The New Organisation." LMC was excluded from the discussions about this quango, the stated ambitions of which sound remarkably like what we have been realising on a daily basis for the last five years: the maintenance of a hub which encourages, nourishes and broadcasts the work of musicians of every stripe from our locale and beyond, etc etc (only couched in the language of marketing consultants and apparently to be manned by people devoid of originality or vision). Meantime, too, the sequel to LMC's best selling CD, Peter Cusack's "Your Favourite London Sounds" plays in ACE's lobby as a permanent audio exhibit! I wonder if you would help me by writing a short email to the peopleat ACE Music, expressing your support for LMC? And ask for an acknowledgment of your email. If they receive five or six thousand emails, maybe they will be prepared to reconsider this crisis of their own making.
Please address your email to the following persons: graham.knight@artscouncil.org.uk (Assistant Officer, Music, London)helen.sprott@artscouncil.org.uk (Head of Music, London)moira.sinclair@artscouncil.org.uk (Director, London)peter.hewitt@artscouncil.org.uk (Chief Executive, National)


Please make the subject "From " rather than something generic that can be easily ignored. Bear in mind, these are public servants: they work for us and you can, I think, insist on a response. Don't be surprised to receive an Out of Office automatic replyinitially: of course everyone responsible will be heading to the hills! Please cc it to " plea@resonancefm.com" so we have a copy on file. All emails sent to this address will be treated in strict confidence. The second way you can help is of course financially, by becoming amember of LMC and expressing your support with your hard-earned cash. At this time of year, such a request must appear vulgar and inapposite. And it is something we have never pushed in the past,because the radio station was set up with a sense of social purpose, in a spirit of frank and open hospitality. So don't send us any money, just another email with the subject "Potential Member," no more thanthat: we'll only get back to you IF we manage to crawl out of this particular hole.I find this really mortifying. Every other email from me seems to be asking our supporters for money: and this year we raised over £17,000 from individual donations, so I'd hoped that we were in the clear for a while. But, cocooned in the overwhelmingly positive and intelligent environment provided by Resonance, perhaps I underestimated the cynicism of these times.
Sincerely
Ed Baxter
programming director
Resonance104.4fm
144 Borough High Street
London SE1 1LB
020 7407 1210

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