The music scene here in Scotland is one of the most vibrant. But behind the scenes, the figures for women in music aren’t always encouraging. Hoping to change that is a charity organisation called SWIM – or Scottish Women Inventing Music. I caught up with them to discuss their work, experiences and goals to help women in music.
Could you tell me a bit about SWIM?
SWIM is a charity organization. It stands for Scottish Women inventing Music. It was set up to try and address the gender imbalance that’s currently in the music industry as well as be a space for women where they can network and to also advocate for women in the music industry.
What are the services that SWIM offer?
We have informal networking nights usually once a month and this is a chance for members to come and meet each other in person and can discuss current work situations and any issues they’re having. We also have a database on our website where as a member you can input your skillset and then you can search the database for other members and their skills and you can connect with them that way as well. We also have an initiative called GirlPool which is a full day of workshops for young girls between the ages of 12-17. Throughout the day they get the chance to look at all aspects of the music industry. So not just pay they get to perform what they’ve done that day.
Is there a cost of joining?
There is a minimal cost of £5 a year for membership which runs from September to August each year. For that you get a newsletter full of information from all our fantastic members and things that are happening, opportunities, collaborations etc. There are also monthly casual meetups for members as well.
SWIM are doing a lot to help women in music in Scotland. If you would like more information on SWIM you can visit the website at www.scottishwomeninventingmusic.com
Jen Athan is a composer and producer based in Glasgow. Her work spans many different styles and genres and typically features her love of sampling and experimenting with new sounds. She has written music for theatre shows and short films and enjoys creating music to accompany a narrative.