Three students of the BA/BSc (Hons) Music Composition & Technology course at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) have been awarded UCA’s Women in Music Scholarship, with one also selected to receive equipment from music technology specialists, Audient.
Eleanor Hobby, Rael Kōiv, and Alison Wade-Gudgin, all entering their first year of the Music Composition & Technology course, were selected to receive £5,000 each, plus industry mentoring, with Hobby also receiving an iD14 audio interface and eight-channel mic preamp, ASP880.
Hobby said: “It’s nice to be recognised for my music and it’s great to have a scholarship that focuses on women, I’ve never heard of that before. It’s thanks to Audient I’ll be able to use the equipment to produce high-quality songs and sounds and professionally mix my tracks.”
Scholarship applicants were asked to submit a portfolio of work alongside their academic record, and assessment was based on their creativity, originality, technical skill, contextualisation, and potential for development.
“We were impressed with Eleanor’s subtle and meaningful songwriting. Her production draws upon musicians like Christine and the Queens, Björk and Imogen Heap with an open authenticity that we found really exciting,” said senior lecturer on the BA/BSc (Hons) Music Composition & Technology course, Dr Harry Whalley.
Hobby and her fellow students will be learning their craft on an Audient ASP8024 Heritage Edition which sits at the heart of the UCA recording studio, alongside a selection of iD4s and a few iD44s. “I am particularly excited to hear how she can continue to grow as an artist, and I’m delighted Audient and UCA are supporting her to achieve this,” added Dr Whalley, who cited ‘design and reliability’ as the basis for choosing Audient products.
The music scholarship is very close to the heart of Audient’s marketing director Andy Allen, who grew up in Farnham, and firmly believes in equality. “We feel very passionate about helping to increase opportunities for women in audio, and are already working with many similar initiatives around the world. We are delighted to continue on this road by partnering with UCA Farnham to offer this incredible opportunity to Eleanor – a very talented and deserving student,” he said. “We champion inclusivity and are happy to help ensure everybody has the opportunity to be the best they can be in this industry, regardless of gender.”
The scholarship is part of a wider UCA Music Composition & Technology initiative, encompassing talks, workshops and mentoring, which not only celebrates pioneers in electronic music technology such as Ada Lovelace, Björk and Daphne Oram, but also seeks to inspire a new generation of music makers.
Dr Whalley added: “We embrace the true plurality of music in terms of the tools, styles and people involved in the invention of new music. We want students to follow their individual passions while also learning the skills required to become creative practitioners today.”
Statistics released by Women in Music – an organisation with a mission to advance women in the musical arts – show the gender divide in music is heavily imbalanced with a split of 70 per cent male to 30 per cent female. On top of this, women only represent 20 per cent or less of registered composers and songwriters in Europe. UCA’s Women in Music Scholarship aims to reduce this industry gender gap by supporting women at the start of their music careers.