ISCM

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2015_ISCM - AUSTRALIAN SECTION 

 
 

Annual Report

  • Year: 
    2015
  • Please describe your organization’s activities over the past year, including concerts, commissions, collaborations, publications: 

    ISCM Australian Section Annual Report

     

    1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

    1.1 THE AMC AND ITS ROLE

    The AMC’s 2014-2016 Business Plan describes the organisation as “a constantly evolving testament to the richness, diversity and vitality of Australian art music, both within Australia, and around the world. It advocates for creators, and provides a single hub of information and resources about composers and artists, new Australian art music, performances of Australian art music, as well as the rich history of art music created by Australians”.

     

    The AMC maintains the largest, most comprehensive single collection of materials and information relating to Australian art music creators and performers, covering the spectrum of contemporary classical music, improvised jazz, experimental music and sound art.

     

    The AMC aims to increase the profile and sustainability of the sector, and to facilitate the creation, performance, and awareness of Australian art music.

     

    Our services include:

    -      

    Publishing services for composers and other content providers;

    -      

    Distribution and retail services for artists, music publishers, and record labels;

    -      

    Education services for Australian teachers and students;

    -      

    Project management: of artist development projects, promotion projects (such as the Art Music Awards), and production projects (education resources, books, and recordings); and,

    -      

    Promotion and advocacy, for artists and their work, and for the sector.

    1.2 2015 OVERVIEW AND KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

    2015 presented another busy year for the AMC, with a diverse range of activities undertaken alongside the ongoing business activities on our online presence, serving our diverse audiences.

     

    Key achievements in 2015 include:

    • The successful completion and launch in April of the Digitisation Project during the year, resulting in over 14,000 digital items being added to the AMC database, providing online resources representing the output of our 630 composers and sound artists;

    • Financial results in 2015 realised a trading surplus of $47,711, further building on our financial reserves;

    • Active advocacy in relation to cultural funding, following government cuts, with AMC lodging a detailed submission into the Senate Enquiry into Commonwealth Government Budget decisions impact on the arts, appearing as a witness at the Sydney hearing of the Senate Committee, and actively participating in the broader advocacy undertaken by the cultural sector.

    Other activities of note included:

    • AMC’s involvement in a successful Australian Research Council Linkage Grant with Western Sydney University and University of Waikato;
    • a partnership with UK colleagues Sound and Music undertaking a major survey on commissioning, with some 165 Australian composers participating;
    • active involvement in the shaping and development of APRA AMCOS ART MUSIC FUND, launched in 2015, with APRA AMCOS committing $100,000 p.a. for 3 years for the commissioning of new works;
    • and the publication of various articles in AMC’s Resonate Magazine around AMC’s 40th birthday celebrations, reflecting on AMC’s proud history.

     

    Details of these, and all AMC activities in 2015, are outlined below. 

     



    2.

    REPORT ON 2015 ACTIVITIES

     

    In 2015 the AMC’s operations continued to divide across 4 sectors: Documentation, including the library collection, and education services; Transactions, including wholesale and retail services, facsimile score production, and membership services; Marketing, including communications, and marketing and promotional activities; and Finance and Administration, including governance, and technology systems. Various project activities occur across these sectors.

     

    The details below show comparative figures from previous years which have been included to show trends.

    2.1 DOCUMENTATION

     

    2.1.1 Overview

    The AMC collection includes: scores, recordings, biographical materials and books, in hardcopy and digital formats.

     

    In addition to the extensive information and content presented on the AMC website, the AMC continues to provide its various services such as the information / reference service available via toll-free telephone, emails, and online. This provides access for students, teachers, researchers, broadcasters, composers and performers, other libraries and the general public. AMC Members borrow library materials for perusal or study through the library loans service, either physical loans of recordings and published materials via mail, or onsite collection; or increasingly, via digital library loan (see below).

    Usage statistics are outlined in the table below:

     

     

    2014

    2015

    % change

    Total enquiries answered

    2051

    2,600

    27

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Physical Loans

     

     

     

    Books & other materials

    25

    20

    -20

    Recordings

    382

    293

    -23

    Scores

    369

    289

    -22

    TOTAL

    776

    602

    -22

     

     

     

     

    Digital Loans

    1773

    1867

    5

    Items produced for sale

    2870

    3839

    34

    New Items Catalogued

    990

    956

    -3

    Hire of Parts

    17

    24

    41

     

     

     

    NOTES TO TABLE

    ·        

    The trend in recent years of a reduction in information requests as a result of increasingly more information being made available on the AMC website (see website stats under Section 2.3.4 below) was reversed in 2015. In general, since the launch of the new system in 2009, information requests of a more specialised nature, not provided by the online content, are more common.
    The 2015 figures include:
    111 requests from secondary students (124 in 2014; 187 in 2013),
    90 from tertiary students (97 in 2014; 85 in 2013),
    506  from secondary teachers (501 in 2014; 238 in 2013),
    180 from studio teachers (180 in 2014; 84 in 2013)
    93 from academics (57 in 2014; 69 in 2013),
    223 from professional performers (199 in 2014; 94 in 2013),
    128  from composers (89 in 2014; 73 in 2013),
    216  from arts organisations (169 in 2014; 88 in 2013),
    25  from media (52 in 2014; 33 in 2013),
    430 from the general public (252 in 2014; 81 in 2013), and
    385 from overseas (210 in 2014; 127 in 2013).

    213 from suppliers (117 in 2013)

    ·        

    Note that the score production figures include the production of scores for individual sales orders, in addition to those produced for sales orders from National, State, and tertiary libraries.


    The AMC offers an online service, the Digital Score Library, through which AMC members can download scores for study and perusal purposes. Unlike the loan of physical scores, the Digital Score Library can be accessed by AMC members who are resident overseas.

     

    Each score borrowed is watermarked on every page with the name of the member and the expiry date of the loan, and the files become invisible on the loan expiry date. Whilst performers, teachers and students may print out loan scores to try out, we highlight the obligation that they must purchase or hire materials for any performance. The AMC has also been working with examining bodies such as the AMEB to ensure that reproduced copies such as these are not used in exams, ensuring that the rights of composers and creators is being protected.

     

    The table below shows usage over the period since the service was launched in 2011.

     

     

    2015

    % incr.

    2014

    %incr

    2013

    %incr

    2012

    %incr

    2011

    Digi scores available

    9,677

    4%

    9,269

    14%

    8,099

    7%

    7,594

    5%

    7,236

    Digi scores borrowed

    1,867

    5%

    1,773

    -9%

    1,938

    48%

    1,307

    14%

    1,149

    Unique users

    453

    -6%

    478

    64%

    291

    21%

    240

    -28%

    334

    Loans of physical materials

    602

    -22

    776

    -41%

    1,309

    -24%

    1,722

    -20%

    2,148

     

    Other factors that have an impact on these figures over the period shown include the increase in online samples available on the AMC website, and the extensive curated lists of works suitable for High School performance, which enable users to go directly to purchase the work, rather than undertake perusal of a range of repertoire via loans. 

     

    2.1.2 The AMC Collection and Artist Representation

    2.1.2.1 The AMC Collection

    The scope of the AMC collection is primarily “art musics” as articulated in both the AMC’s Business Plan and Representation Policy, and covering notated composition; electroacoustic music and electronica; improvised music, including contemporary jazz; sound art and installation sound; multimedia, web and film sound and music; and related genres and techniques.

     

    This scope is complemented by the many other genres represented in the collection of products (CDs, publications) available for sale through the AMC’s retail activities.

     

    As part of AMC’s relocation from The Rocks to Ultimo in 2013, the physical collection has been in storage. The logistics of regularly accessing materials from storage remains complicated, however the completion of the digitisation project in early 2015 means more materials are available for digital library loan.

     

    2.1.2.3 AMC Representation Policy

    Background

    The AMC’s Representation policy requires applicants to fulfil a range of criteria before admission, rather than admission based on the outcome of a peer review process. The criteria includes the number of professional performances, broadcasts, independent commissions, publications, commercial CD releases and the like, and has been compiled to further embrace artists actively involved in a diverse range of contemporary artistic practice, and those whose works have achieved an appropriate level of utility in various contexts. A category of Pedagogical Representation is also provided for, with differing criteria, recognising those composers working primarily in the field of education.

     

    A significant feature of the policy relates to the embracing of the terms “creative artist” and “improviser”, in addition to the term “composer”, which reflects much of what occurs in contemporary practice, and how artists define themselves. In addition to this, the policy provides for Affiliate Representation, to be granted at the invitation of the Board, enabling those who have contributed to commissioning, or promoting, or performing Australian repertoire over a significant period of time to be included in the AMC’s collection.

     

    AMC offers 2 rounds of applications for Representation each year.

     

    2015 Representation

    In 2015 two rounds (2 rounds in 2014) of applications were processed. 55 artists who had expressed interest in applying were invited to apply in these 2 rounds (53 artists in 2014), and of these, 17 applications were received (24 in 2014). 16 artists have been offered Representation following an assessment of their applications (22 in 2014).

     

    The successful applicants in 2015 are:

    Notated composition

     

    Michael Bakrnchev (Vic), Jodie Blackshaw (NSW), Mark Dunbar (Qld), Josephine Jin (Qld), Catherine Likhuta (Qld), Ruth McCall (NSW), Nick Wales (NSW)

     

    Experimental/non-notated composition

    Benjamin Skepper (Vic), Corrina Bonshek (Qld), Nicholas Tsiavos (Vic),

    Jazz and Screen

    Nicholas Marks (Vic), Barney McAll (NSW), Jeremy Rose (NSW), Adam Simmons (Vic), Caitlin Yeo (NSW)

     

    Pedagogical

    Michael Spencer (NSW)

     

    The success rates indicate that composers are only lodging an application when they are confident that their application will meet the eligibility criteria. The lower rate of applications received from those invited is largely due to some composers finding that they have difficulty in meeting the criteria, and deferring applying until further career development or success is achieved. 



    2.1.3 Catalogue

    At 31 December 2015 there were 38,198 items in the AMC catalogue (37,242 in 2014; 36,252 in 2013; 35,494 in 2012), an increase of 956(990 in 2014; 758 in 2013; 871 in 2012).

     

    In general, there has been a significant increase in these figures in recent years, a direct result of the utility of our online system, and the capacity for artists to upload works to the AMC database through the Represented Artist interface, the Contribute website.

     

    The AMC takes great pride in the quality and depth of the data recorded in the catalogue, which has developed into a major asset, providing users with highly detailed search functionality. The AMC’s catalogue data is highly regarded by the National Library’s national bibliographic database, Libraries Australia, which provides access to AMC’s data by libraries around Australia and internationally.

     

    Since 2001 the AMC has been registered as a publisher with the National Library to assign ISMNs to music works. The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) is a unique number used to identify music publications. It is used to identify a particular piece of music or item, such as an instrumental or vocal part, whenever information about music publications needs to be recorded or communicated. An ISMN is for print, electronic, microform or braille formats of music publications, whether available for sale, hire, gratis, or for copyright purposes only.

     

    The ISMN Agency has sole responsibility for assigning publisher identifiers and an ISMN for all music titles published in Australia, on behalf of the International ISMN Agency located in Berlin. Details of all publishers registered with the Australian ISMN Agency are sent to the International Agency for publication in the printed Music Publishers' International ISMN Directory. The Australian Agency supports on-line searching of Australian publishers.

     

    In 2015, the AMC assigned 390 ISMNs to scores (438 in 2014; 305 in 2013; 336 in 2012). To December 2015, ISMNs assigned by the AMC totaled 5,661 (5,271 at end 2014; 4,833 at end 2013; 4,528 at end 2012).

     

    These activities of catalogue sharing and ISMN assigning are important tools in promoting Australian artists and their works.

    2.1.4 Education Services

     

    The AMC has played an important role in the development of education resources pertaining to Australian music for over 2 decades, enabling teachers and students to increase their knowledge and understanding of Australian music, and its creation and presentation. During 2014 the sales of education kits, whilst lower than in the previous year, have been maintained at similar levels to the previous year (see figures under 2.2.2 below). This is still seen as a very positive result, given the focus on the digitisation project.

     

    In 2015 there were no new education resource kits published, however several were being negotiated and being prepared for release in 2016 and beyond.

     

    The AMC will continue to develop education resource materials as human and financial resources permit, and will only continue to do so if outcomes are at least cost neutral to the AMC.

     

    2.2 TRANSACTIONS – Sales and Membership

     

    The AMC’s Transaction activities through sales and membership are primary income streams for the organisation, with sales income providing royalty returns to artists and copyright holders.

    2.2.1 Facsimile Scores

    The AMC in 2015 continued to make available for sale and hire unpublished works from the library collection, enabling access for performers, encouraging performance of this repertoire, and providing composers with royalty income from sales (15% for scores produced from a hard copy master and 25% for those produced from a digital master), and hire fees for orchestral performance materials (65%). Formal licence arrangements with certain publishers (Boosey & Hawkes, Ricordi London, and Faber Music) enable copyright controlled works to be commercially available in this way (within Australia and New Zealand Territories) through the AMC (exclusively), with royalties returned to the publisher.

     

    During 2015, 3,839 facsimile scores were produced (2,870 in 2014; 2,830 in 2013). See under Retail / Wholesale activities below for details of published and unpublished score sales.

     

    During 2015 performance materials for 24 existing works were hired from the AMC for performance (17 in 2014; 20 in 2013) - several of these transactions were with overseas orchestras and ensembles. These transactions vary greatly from year to year, dependent on programming policies of programmers and presenters, and the number of performances of published works, or of newly commissioned works, which are usually not managed by the AMC.

    2.2.2 Retail / Wholesale Activities

    The AMC continues to be active in providing access to a broad range of Australian music products. In addition to facsimile scores, materials available through the AMC’s retail activities include recordings, published scores, books, educational resources, and other materials, representing the largest collection of Australian music products available anywhere.

     

     

    2015

    2014

    2013

    Products available

    26,864

    25,127

    24,828

    AMC inventory value

    $9,008

    $10,253

    $13,062

    Total sales

    $108,830

    $98,772

    $97,708

     

    Notes:

    ·        

    Products available as at 31 December each year

    ·        

    Inventory values significantly reduced from ~$150k over last decade

    ·        

    80% of all sales are for AMC produced product; 17% from 3rd party suppliers under drop-ship arrangements; and 3% from existing physical inventory.

    ·        

    65% of all sales transactions take place online (65% in 2014; 67% in 2013)

    ·        

    2015 sales made up of 2,233 customer orders from 1,812 unique customers (2,098 orders from 1,629 unique customers in 2014)

     

    Since 2010, content from 3rd party suppliers (publishers and record labels) is only sold under drop-ship arrangements, where the suppliers deliver directly to the customer in response to orders lodged on the AMC website.

     

    Suppliers with formal dropship arrangements with the AMC include Tall Poppies, Move Records, Rufus records, Wirripang Publications, Rimshot Music, and Alfred Publishing, amongst others.

    The AMC continues to work with significant suppliers such as ABC Classics and Jazz to make products available for sale, who are bound by restricted or exclusive arrangements with distributors.

     

    Total sales for 2015 were $108,830 ($98,772 in 2014; $97,708 in 2013). 80% of these sales are of AMC produced products (providing a royalty flow to creators), 17% are from 3rd party suppliers, and the remainder from inventory holdings. And 65% of the total sales income is from online sales on the AMC website.

     

    Internally produced products continue to perform well, particularly facsimile scores, which reflects the usefulness of the “repertoire navigator” functionality on the AMC website to performers, teachers and students seeking repertoire to purchase. AMC will be expanding sales of digital facsimile scores over time, which will add further revenue opportunities in our most lucrative product segment.

     

    Selected 2014 sales figures are detailed in the table below.

     

     

    2015 Sales $

    2014 Sales

    2013 Sales $

    2012 Sales $

    External CDs (from other suppliers)

    8,662

    8,753

    9,228

    10,588

    Internal CDs (AMC labels)

    452

    764

    958

    1332

    MP3 downloads

    606

    808

    921

    1243

    External Scores (published)

    10,861

    9,984

    9,228

    10,246

    Internal Scores (AMC facsimiles hard copies)

    77,779

    68,343

    67,406

    74.375

    External Books (from other suppliers)

    699

    476

    740

    1,625

    Internal Books (AMC produced)

    435

    517

    491

    3,652

    Internal Education Kits (AMC produced)

    8,258

    8,459

    9,452

    16,183

    Digital Score downloads (sales)

    1,643

    503

    384

    -

    DVD (from other suppliers)

    95.44

    53

    129

    -

    2.2.3 Membership

    In 2014 there were 1,024 financial members across individual, institution, and secondary school student members (1,223 in 2014; 1,268 in 2013). Of these, around 70% live in metropolitan areas, 24% in regional areas, and 6% are overseas.

     

    A larger community of some 3,045 non-financial members (3,473 in 2014; 2,977 in 2013) continues to interact with the AMC at various levels. Non-financial members are defined as those having held membership at some stage over the past 5 years, and who are still engaged with the AMC in other ways. Membership income in 2015 realised $90,223 ($91,284 in 2014; $90,155 in 2013) representing a 3.2% decline on 2014 figures.

     

    These income figures do fluctuate from year to year according to the mix of institution / individual members. Membership renewal rates remain consistently around 73% - with the majority of lapsed members being students no longer requiring AMC services.

     

    Membership Services

    During 2015 the AMC continued to publish through the online Resonate Magazine, news and blog items, feature articles, and interviews, recognising the important contribution that this publication makes in the documentation and discourse of the Australian music scene.

     

    This content is highlighted through the monthly AMC eNews , which for AMC members also includes the Composer and Performer Opportunities Listing, compiled from a range of sources including our ISCM and IAMIC colleagues around the world. AMC eNews reaches a larger audience beyond AMC members, a population that is steadily growing – it was sent to 4,275 recipients in December 2015 (4,001 in Dec 2014; 3,696 In Dec 2013), a 6.8% increase on the previous year.

     

    The Australian Music Calendar provides a vital promotional tool for composers, performers, and presenters, and a useful reference tool for audiences. Statistics from the Australian Music Calendar listings are provided in the table below.  

     

     

    2015

    2014

    2013

    2012

    2011

    No. of event listings

    1,132

    1,105

    1,140

    1,179

    1,687

    No. of works performed

    2,841

    2,787

    2105

    1,770

    3,257

    World premieres

    479

    530

    666

    399

    366

    Australian premieres

    n/a

    12

    22

    15

    12

     

    Events are lodged in the AMC database via an online form, submitted by composers, performers or presenters. AMC staff also log significant performance events not submitted, particularly international performances. Direct links from performance data to “work” pages (including audio/score samples) and “artist” pages are a feature of the website, enabling audiences to preview works being performed in concerts. (This also applies in reverse – “work” pages and “artist” pages feature links to performances).

     

    In conjunction with APRA AMCOS, AMC presented a meeting of members in Melbourne in June, with an invitation for those in the jazz community to connect. The event was very successful and further such meetings will take place periodically.

     

    2.3 COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING

    2.3.1 Overview

    AMC approaches its communications activities in a strategic way, co-ordinating general website content, Resonate magazine content, emails to members, and social media postings, to ensure maximum impact and return.

    2.3.2 Communications

    In 2015 particular highlights of AMC communications activities covering promotion, advocacy, and news included:

    • Launch of the Digitisation Project in April (see 2.5.1 below)

    • AMC’s advocacy activity in 2015 included advocacy in relation to cultural funding, with AMC lodging a detailed submission into the Senate Enquiry into Commonwealth Government Budget decisions impact on the arts, appearing as a witness at the Sydney hearing of the Senate Committee, and actively participating in the broader advocacy undertaken by the cultural sector.

    • In partnership with our UK colleagues Sound and Music, AMC undertook a major commissioning survey. 165 Australian composers took part in the survey, representing a diverse range of contemporary practice. SAM undertook an analysis of the results and included Australian results in their detailed report. This partnership will be undertaken again periodically, and strategies developed and implemented from the resulting trends.

    • During 2015 AMC undertook a survey of Artistic Administrators of the major Australian orchestras, seeking data on commissioning new works, programming of extant works, and decision-making processes.

    • In 2015 AMC had ongoing discussions with documentary maker and television writer Nicholas Searle, who is developing a pitch to ABC TV for a documentary series on new art music in Australia. Discussions included: identifying initial interviewees including composers, performers, and philanthropists; potential storylines; and scope of the project. More information on this will unfold during 2016.

    • As usual, AMC’s Resonate Magazine included feature articles celebrating significant birthdays of senior artists, including Judy Bailey, Martin Wesley-Smith, and Nigel Butterley. Milestone anniversaries also occupied attention, including those of Ensemble Offspring, Synergy, and Gondwana Choirs. Such articles inevitably attract much web traffic, and generate positive feedback.

     

    2.3.3 Marketing and Promotions

    The AMC’s marketing activities play a vital role in maintaining our relationships with our diverse constituency, and beyond. Many clients are recognising the richness and specialist nature of our constituency base, and approach us for advertising or cross-promotional opportunities, and we have ongoing relationships with various networks that provide a diverse range of avenues for promotional activity.

     

    Examples of some of these in 2015 include:

     

    • Exchange relationships, including with RealTime, and Australian Music Examinations Board;
    •  Advertising relationships, including with performing organisations such as Australian Chamber Orchestra, Musica Viva Australia; competitions and prizes including The Trust, and Michael Kieran Harvey Travelling Scholarship; Chamber Music Australia’s Australian new works award;
    • Content sharing arrangements, including with Limelight Magazine, and Artshub;
    • Promotional materials tailored to meet specific interests at conferences and in-service training courses, such as the Summer School for Choral Conductors, Choral Singers, and Piano Accompanists; and the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference.
    • Attendance, presentations, or representation on panels at conferences and other events, including the CEO presenting the Keynote speeches at the International Association of Music Librarians (Australian Branch) annual conference, and the Australian Society of Sound Archivists conference. Presentations also made to students at Sydney Conservatorium, and students from Melbourne Tertiary Institutions.
    • Access through various networks, and mailouts to their members, including those such as state Music Teachers Associations; Australian Music Examinations Board and Australian Society for Music Education; the major symphony orchestras’ education programs; and the Regional Conservatoria in NSW.

     

    Through its relationship with APRA - AMCOS, AMC enjoys access to their various communication channels, which in addition to the APRA AMCOS website, include APRAP, and Chalkboard, a newsletter specifically aimed at the primary and secondary education sectors. 

    2.3.4 AMC Web Page

    Webpage statistics can be summarised as follows:

    AMC public website

     

    2013

    %Change

    2014

    %Change

    2015

    Per day

    Visits (Sessions)

    329,481

    -9.05%

    299,661

    2.04%

    305,787

    837

    Unique users

    222,188

    -7.21%

    206,168

    2.11%

    210,508

    577

    Pageviews

    1,190,364

    -11.39%

    1,054,775

    3.21%

    1,088,592

    2,982

    Local / international

    Countries

    69%/31%

     

    208

     

    71%/29%

     

    211

     

    71%/29%

     

    215

     

    Referrals:

    Search engines

    Direct

    Referring sites

     

    74.6%

     

    13.3%

    12.1%

     

     

    80.9%

     

    10%

    9.1%

     

     

    81.4%

     

    10.4%

    8.2%

     

    New visits

    64.88%

    1.66%

    65.96%

    0.46%

    66.27%

     

     

    AMC’s website continues to rank very highly in search results in Google and other search engines – composer name searches generally result in AMC listings appearing in the top 3, whilst unique work title or product title searches generally placing AMC as number 1 in search results. 

     

    Content in the AMC database contributed by AMC Represented Artists continued to expand in 2015, as demonstrated in the table below. The ongoing addition of new works by Represented Artists, submitted through the online artist interface Contribute provides users with continually updated data, and enables composers to manage their catalogue in AMC’s database, and in 2015 97% of collection submissions were lodged in this way (96% in 2014; 90% in 2013; 73% in 2012).

     

    Contribute website

     

    2013

    Change

    2014

    Change

    2015

    unique users

    556

    28.42%

    714

    34.59%

    961

    pages/visit

    7.14

    1.46%

    7.25

    -8.91%

    6.60

    Average time

    0:07:23

    28.76%

    0:09:31

    -24.19%

    0:07:13

    % new visits

    19.71%

    3.46%

    20.4%

    77.91%

    36.29%

    Total visits/sessions

    2,379

    29.63%

    3,084

    -20.91%

    2,439

    Notes

    • Pages per visit and Average time decreases show that users are becoming more efficient at using the Contribute system - expending less effort to add to the collection- it is also an impact of FAQs and other tools developed to ease Contribute usage.

    2.3.5 Social Media

    During 2015 the AMC continued to develop its engagement with audiences on social media, reinforcing its presence with regular postings on facebook and twitter, strategically managed in regards to content and regularity. The tables below summarise our activity.

     

    Facebook

     

    2012

    2013

    2014

    2015

    No. likes

    1,139

    1,342

    1,589

    2,002

    No. visits/impressions

    39,420*

    218,131**

    297,396

    328,765

    Referrals to AMC site

    6,66

    6,983

    8,490

    8,969

     

    Twitter

    AMC Twitter followers represent a small but well-targeted, engaged audience, including new music practitioners, educators, and key arts organisations including from other artforms. 

     

     

    2015

    Followers

    2,347*

    Impressions

    193,489

    Engagement average

    1.63%

    Clicks

    1,022 (2.8 per day)

    Retweets

    599 (1.64 per day)

    Likes

    497 (1.36 per day)

    Gender of followers

    49%f / 51%m

    * 1,864 in 2014; 1,489 in 2013; 977 in 2012

    75% of followers are from Australia; 7% from the UK; 6% from the USA; and 1% NZ, Canada, and Germany each.

     

    Twitter referrals to AMC website

     

    Visits

    Pages / Visit

    Avg. Visit Duration

    % New Visits

    Jan-Dec 2015

    1,526

    1.98

    0:02:53

    30.70%

    Jan-Dec 2014

    1,225

    2.27

    0:01:40

    30.88%

    Jan-Dec 2013

    1,246

    2.095

    0:01:06

    43%

    Jan-Dec 2012

    695

    2.06

    0:01:41

    36%

    Jan-Dec 2011

    443

    1.6

    0:01:00

    10%

    % Change

    56.88%

    28.74%

    69.33%

    270.59%

    2.4 FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

    2.4.1 Governance

    2.4.1.1 Overview

    In 2014 the Board developed and adopted a new Board Charter, and Corporate Governance Statement, taking into account the organisation’s new structure, new Board structure, and the relationship with APRA AMCOS in providing accounting services.

    No further policy revisions took place in 2015, however the review of the Board structure commencing in 2014 continued, resulting in new appointments made in 2015 (see below).

    A strategic planning day was held in October 2015, bringing together the AMC Board with invited leading representatives from across AMC’s diverse constituents. The exercise provided a rich content for the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, prepared by consultant Caroline Sharpen, which sets an exciting template for AMC’s future direction.

     

    2.4.1.2 Board Meetings and Membership in 2015

    In 2015 there were 5 Board meetings (5 in 2014; 4 in 2013; 4 in 2012; 4 in 2011).

     

    Under the AMC’s arrangements with APRA AMCOS, the Board’s scrutiny in considering the organisation’s day-to-day financial performance is carried out by APRA AMCOS accounting staff. AMC’s CEO meets at weekly or fortnightly intervals with APRA AMCOS’s External Consultant, Member Services, in relation to operational matters.

    Following the expansion of the Board from 4 to 6 Directors in 2013, in 2015 the Board was further expanded from 6 to 8 members, with Cat Hope and David Francis joining the Board, providing further representation of AMC constituents. Dr Hope as a creator and a performer brings cross-genre expertise across a diverse range of contemporary practice, and strong connections in academia; Mr Francis brings extensive management and strategic planning experience, curatorial and programming expertise, and a regional perspective. Together these skills significantly add to the Board’s expertise.

     

    At the September 2015 Board meeting, the Board unanimously elected Genevieve Lacey as Chair Designate, to take effect from February 2016 when Nigel Westlake’s 6-year term (as required in the constitution) expired.

     

    Membership of the Board during 2015 was:

     

    Prof. Margaret Barrett

    Head of Music, UQ; President, International Society for Music Education.

    Director since December 2013

     

    Sally Howland

    Former Head APRA AMCOS Member Services

    Director since December 2013

     

    Benjamin Northey

    Associate Conductor, MSO

    Director since December 2013

     

     

    Chris Gardoll

    Finance Consultant, APRA AMCOS

    Director since February 2010

     

    Genevieve Lacey

    Freelance musician/artistic director

    Director since December 2013

     

    CHAIR: Nigel Westlake

    Composer / Director, APRA AMCOS Board

    Director since February 2010

     

    David Francis

    Executive Director, Four Winds Festival

    Director since December 2015

    Dr Cat Hope

    Associate Dean, WAAPA

    Director since December 2015

     

     

    2.4.1.3 AMC Advisory Committee

    The AMC constitution provides for an Advisory Committee convened by the AMC Board, and from 2010 to 2015 this committee was comprised of people representing 3 key stakeholder groups of the AMC’s membership base, covering: creators; performers and presenters; and the education sector.

     

    During 2015, with the expansion of the Board, the Board considered the role of the Advisory Committee, and concluded that with the higher representation of AMC constituents serving as Directors of the company (including former members of the Advisory Committee), the role and function of the Advisory Committee should change.

     

    Whilst this transition is not yet complete, a group of advisors with specialist expertise has been convened to advise the AMC on its plans for the rebuild of its IT infrastructure. The Board currently feels that this process provides a more direct and effective aid to assist with specific strategies that are expressed in AMC’s 2016-2019 Strategic Plan.

    2.4.2 Organisation Change Management and Staffing

    2015 represented the first full year of operations under the new organisational structure implemented in 2013 following the relocation from The Rocks. The digitisation project during 2014 provided additional infrastructure support in relating to staffing, and so accurately assessing core organisational capacity has not been possible until 2015.

     

    In the core structure 2 staff members are full-time, and a range of part-time and casual staff, some working remotely, totalling 4.9 f/t equivalent. Whilst this enables the organisation to maintain a level of business activity, and a range of reactive services, our capacities to be constantly proactive are limited.

     

    As a result of the new business model, and as a result of the staff reduction, there is a need for some AMC staff to be working across several roles with more generalist skills, rather than specific roles with specialist skills. Managing these matters continues to be a priority for the AMC, and they are closely monitored to ensure that AMC’s operations are efficient and effective.

     

    AMC staff do outstanding work, and show outstanding loyalty to each other, to the organisation and its ideals, and to AMC constituents.

     

    2.4.3 Finance

    The 2015 financial results are available in other documentation provided. The Company generated a surplus of $47,711 (surplus of $52,708 in 2014; surplus of $106,975 in 2013; surplus of $18,357 in 2012).

     

    With this 2015 result the AMC has built further on its reserves, which at the close of the reporting period total $105,423. This represents 18.3% of 2015 expenses, and the budget forecasts for 2016 will see AMC achieving the accumulated reserves benchmark (mandated by the Australia Council as 20% of annual expenses) by end 2016.

    2.5 PROJECTS

    2.5.1 Digitisation project

    In August 2013 the AMC was successful in accessing $182,000 from the then DEWHR (now Department of Education) to “complete the digitisation of the AMC collection”, making 13,000 digital materials available to the education sector to support the implementation of the new Australian Curriculum. The digital resources include music scores, audio (LPs, cassettes and other audio tape formats), text based materials, and images, and make available a wealth of Australian music resources to teachers and students around the country.

     

    The completed project was launched in April 2015, having digitised the following materials:

    • 12,508 scores, and sets of performance parts
    • 1,084 audio files
    • 508 images and photographs
    • 6 other publications

    Total items digitised: 14,106; Project target: 13,000 digital objects.

    A web page was established for the project on the AMC website, including a photo exhibition, and a video tutorial on how to effect a digital library loan.

    2.5.2 ARC Research Project - MARS

    The AMC is an industry partner with APRA, Western Sydney University, and Waikato University in NZ, in a three year ARC Linkage Grant (2015-2017) project, of $645,000 over 3 years, which will develop MARS – the Music Affect Recommender System. Led by Prof Roger Dean at the MARCS Institute, this project will support users in discovering music based on their own individual preferences. Importantly, this aspect of AMC’s IT infrastructure development is designed to foster ‘cultural omnivores’ – providing recommendations to users which encourage the discovery of new works, artists and genres. This system will be integrated into AMC’s IT infrastructure, and provide a significant leap forward in engaging audiences with Australian Art Music.

    2.5.2     

    AMPlify: Art Music Plus - Artist and Repertoire Development 

    The AMC has historically been involved not only in initiating and presenting composer development projects, but also in providing advice and encouragement to other organisations and institutions who express an interest in investing in this area.

     

    2014 saw the initial implementation of AMPlify, AMC’s new artist development framework that emphasises cross-genre and/or cross-artform elements in each incarnation, the development of new repertoire, and engagement with new audiences as essential elements.

     

    In 2015 AMC entered into a partnership with APRA AMCOS’s Song Hubs initiative to pair an art music composer Piotr Nowotnik with Trance artist MaRLo to create new repertoire, and provide a range of other outcomes. The project will be completed during 2016.

     

    Funding to support a pilot project to establish a regular Indigenous Composers Initiative, in partnership with Eora College, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and Ensemble Offspring, failed to be realised. AMC is continuing to seek ways for this important project to be supported.

    2.5.4 AMC Publishing

    AMC publishes from time to time CDs, books and education resources. In 2015 there were no publications released, however during the year discussions took place in relation to several projects in the pipeline, including and education resource kit on Nigel Westlake and Lior’s Compassion, which was subsequently released in early 2016.

     

    Other publication projects are underway for release in 2016.

    2.5.5 The Art Music Awards, and Paul Lowin Prizes

    2.5.4.1 Art Music Awards

    The 2015 Art Music Awards returned to Sydney after being held for the first time in Melbourne in 2014.

     

    The awards attracted 229 nominations across the categories (262 in 2014; 214 in 2013), and national and state panels were convened to assess them, selecting a shortlist of finalists and identifying the winners. The event, held at Sydney Recital Centre in August, was again highly successful, and stimulated much positive feedback.

     

    The winners of the National and State/Territory awards represent a diverse range of music creation, presentation, and promotion, of the highest quality:

     

    2015 Art Music Awards - winners

    Distinguished Service to Australian Music: Larry Sitsky (more about this announcement on Resonate 4 August 2015)
    Performance of the Year: Ashley William Smith soloist, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Baldur Brönnimann conductor for the performances of Lachlan Skipworth's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
    Work of the Year: Vocal/ChoralThe Riders, composed by Iain Grandage, libretto by Alison Croggon, based on the novel by Tim Winton, performed by Victorian Opera
    Jazz Work of the YearMusic for Average Photography, composed by Mace Francis, performed by Mace Francis Orchestra
    Instrumental Work of the YearThe Secret Noise composed by Damien Ricketson, performed by Ensemble Offspring
    Orchestral Work of the YearDramatis Personae - Music for Trumpet and Orchestra composed by Brett Dean, performed by Håkan Hardenberger, soloist, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Brett Dean conductor (publishers: Hal Leonard/Boosey & Hawkes Group obo Bote Bock Der Boosey Hawkes Bote Bock Gm)
    Excellence by an Organisation: Gondwana Choirs for the 2014 artistic program, and significant contribution to Australian music since 1989
    Excellence by an Individual: Ross Edwards for his contribution to Australian chamber music
    Excellence in Music Education: Lorraine Milne for sustained contribution to music education
    Excellence in a Regional Area: New England Conservatorium of Music for New England Sings!
    Excellence in Experimental Music: Richard Johnson for the SoundOut Festival of Experimental and Improvised Music
    Excellence in Jazz: Julien Wilson for recording and touring associated with the establishment of Lionsharecords

    2015 State Awards
    ACT
    In the category of Excellence in Experimental Music: Richard Johnson, for SoundOut Festival of Experimental and Improvised Music

    New South Wales

    In the category of Excellence in Music Education: Moorambilla Voices, for education work in North West NSW

    Queensland
    In the category in Excellence in Music Education: Topology, for Top Up music education program

    South Australia
    In the category of Excellence by an Organisation: Adelaide Festival, for 2014 Tectonics Adelaide

    Victoria
    In the category of Excellence by an Organisation: Speak Percussion, for 2014 international touring

    Western Australia
    In the category of Excellence in a Regional Area: West Australian Symphony Orchestra, for WASO on the Road Touring, and Onslow Kids Music Education (OK Me!) in West Pilbara

    2.5.6 International Promotions and Market Development

    In 2015 the AMC continued to supply performance materials to international performers, resource materials on all genres of Australian music to broadcasters, libraries, universities and Australian diplomatic posts, and general promotional materials to international conferences. Interactions in 2015 were again significantly more modest than in previous years, due to the digitisation project. Interactions included those with: Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Sweden, the UK, and USA.

     

    The AMC’s involvement internationally is important not only in raising the profile of Australian repertoire, our composers, and ensembles, but also in establishing and nurturing relationships that benefit Australian artists.

     

    2.5.6.1 Classical: Next and Jazzahead

    Following roundtable discussions in November 2014 convened by the Australia Council, AMC entered into a partnership with Sounds Australia to develop the Australian presence at 2 important industry showcases: Jazzahead in Bremen, held each April; and Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, held each May.

     

    In 2015 Sounds Australia took out a display stand at Jazzahead, providing support to the Australian delegates, and to the Australian Art Orchestra who had been selected in the Jazzahead showcase program.

     

    In 2015 AMC’s CEO accompanied by Sounds Australia’s Glenn Dickie and 5 other Australians, attended Classical:NEXT, an industry showcase gathering in Vienna, which included live performance showcases, conference sessions, and an exhibition space for a diverse range of stakeholders in the classical and new music sector. This forum holds some significant potential for a focussed and strategic initiative from Australia, and Sounds Australia subsequently committed to mounting an Australian stand at the 2016 edition.  

     

    AMC’s international promotions and advocacy will continue to be a priority, and the ongoing relationships with Sounds Australia, APRA AMCOS, the Australia Council, and other key stakeholders, are vital in achieving appropriate international outcomes for art music repertoire and practitioners.

     

    2.5.6.2 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC)

    In 2015 the AMC continued to enhance its relationships through IAMIC and ISCM, and actively participate in the further development of these networks. Through these relationships, opportunities are created for Australian artists, through collaborations and exchanges, and by the sharing of information relating to the international music landscape.

     

    IAMIC

    As a prominent member of IAMIC, AMC is invited to attend the annual conference each year, and the IAMIC Spring meeting held alongside Classical: NEXT.

     

    This network is an important one for the AMC, setting benchmarks for AMC to measure itself against, and benefiting from the sharing of information and experiences on the functioning of a music centre. AMC achieves the highest level of earned income of any MIC, at above 45%, well ahead of Canada (22%) and Slovakia (20%). Most MICs (including New Zealand) only manage to achieve 5% or less of earned income against their subsidies from government or performing right society sources.

     

    ISCM

    As the Australian National Section for ISCM, AMC submits 6 works each year to be considered for inclusion in the annual ISCM World Music Days Festival, the largest international festival of contemporary music.

     

    At the 2014 ISCM Festival there was 1 Australian work performed (1 in 2014 in Slovenia; 1 in 2013 in Vienna, 3 in 2012 in Belgium), by Perth-based Lachlan Skipworth, who also represented Australia as the First Delegate at the ISCM General Assembly.

     

    AMC is pro-actively engaged in representing Australia across the ISCM network, and is in regular communication with other ISCM members, exchanging information and opportunities. The composer commissioning survey undertaken in partnership with ISCM member Sound and Music is an example of how our common interests across the ISCM network can be exploited.

     

    AMC will continue to contribute to ISCM, and promote Australian artists and their repertoire through this important international network.

    3.  

    SUMMARY

     

    In 2015 the AMC provided a large and diverse audience with access to the music created by Australian composers, improvisers and sound artists; 2,469 scores and recordings were loaned for perusal (2,549 in 2014; 3,247 in 2013), 3,839 scores were produced for sale (2,870 in 2014; 2,830 in 2013), not to mention additional sales of MP3 recordings, CDs and published scores. Additionally, 956 new works were catalogued in AMC’s database (990 in 2014; 758 in 2013, 851 in 2012). The digitisation project added over 13,000 digital items to the database, including 12,508 scores and parts, 1,084 audio files, 508 images and photographs, and 6 out of print AMC publications.

     

    The AMC represented an additional 16 artists in 2015 (22 in 2014; 21 in 2013), working across the spectrum of notated composition, experimental/non-notated composition and sound art, jazz and in pedagogy. The AMC catalogue now captures the works of 683 Australian composers and includes over 36,000 scores, recordings and information resources by or relating to these composers.  Through representation, each of these artists (591 of whom are active/living) have a dedicated profile on the AMC website (accessible to the high traffic volumes achieved there), and a specific online management system to maintain their catalogue of work with the AMC. These composers also have access to the AMC facsimile publishing and sales services.

     

    The financial results achieved in 2015 contribute to building reserves provide more stability for the AMC, and more appropriately mitigate against the inherent risks of retail operations.

     

    Working with stakeholders from creation, through to performance, publishing and recording and end audiences, the AMC has actively aided the creation, documentation and dissemination of the music of Australian art music creators. In 2015 we have continued to provide essential infrastructure support to the vibrant and diverse art music community.

     

    The continuing survival of the AMC in meeting the significant challenges presented each year are indeed a testament to the many who contribute to the organisation. First and foremost, the committed staff, who have such passion and care for the work that they do, and whose contribution to Australian music continues to be truly significant, and inevitably under-acknowledged. I thank them for their outstanding work in 2015, and the loyalty to the organisation that they continually demonstrate, and more broadly, loyalty to the sector.

     

    The often unseen work of the AMC’s Board of Directors, and that of the Advisory Committee must also be acknowledged. We are grateful for what they bring to the organisation, the skills and expertise that they offer, and the support that they provide to AMC’s management and staff, both directly and by example.

     

    Similarly, the role that APRA AMCOS has taken on with the AMC is marked by a great respect for the value of the AMC’s work, and what it brings to the sector. We greatly appreciated the warmth of APRA AMCOS’s welcome when AMC relocated in May 2013, and the ongoing daily support of the APRA AMCOS staff since then, in various ways, is gratefully acknowledged.

     

    The support of the AMC’s key funding partners is vital during this period of significant change for the organisation. The Australia Council, Arts NSW, and APRA AMCOS’s essential support of AMC to continue its important work on behalf of Australian music is vital to the AMC’s survival, and this support is gratefully acknowledged.

     

    There are many in the Australian music community who contribute to the scene in so many ways, through the work that they do. The composers, performers and presenters, and the many others who assist in the work of the AMC as a national service organisation for Australian music, is also gratefully acknowledged.

     

    John Davis, CEO

    April 2016

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

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