Even though the Maltese mainstream is not really lacking in its female quota, there’s more to the islands than the Eurovision. And as far as other scenes like the electronic and alternative ones, female musicians are sparse. One new organisation is planning on changing all of that and spearheading a new movement within Malta’s music scenes.
Malta Sound Women Network only just showed up on Facebook yesterday morning, but it’s been gaining a lot of traction online. It’s affiliated with the Yorkshire Sound Women Network and supported by the Malta School of Music, and their aim is just what you’d expect it to be.
“We aim to bring like-minded women together,” Yasmin Kuymizakis told Lovin Malta. A Maltese sound artist who’s more famously known as YEWS on the island, Yasmin runs MSWN with UK composer and musician Jess Rymer. “We want women to share knowledge and skills in music and
sound technology, sonic arts, production, audio-
electronics, and anything to do with using kit to create
Yasmin Kuymizakis (aka YEWS) and Jess Ryder have had multiple performances around the country
MSWN is a project which has been slowly brewing since summer, and the two aim on getting started immediately. “We are looking for women who’d be interested in joining our free workshops, which we’re starting in a few weeks’ time,” Yasmin told Lovin Malta.
Courses and workshops start as early as 11th November, but some go on until end of March 2018. They’re all scheduled for Saturdays, and even though spaces are limited, MSWN would love to start compiling a database of interested women.
As it stands, there are only a handful of female musicians in most scenes like YEWS’ own alternative one, with acts like all-female band Stolen Creep having paved the way back in 2012 for others like Cryptic Street and Fuzzhoneys to shoot to fame in more recent years.
In a detailed statement, MSWN give a long list of reasons why they felt it was necessary to start a group “specifically for women, and women only”. In it, they quote everything from exhausting it eventually gets to be “the only woman in the room”, to how intimidating it can be for women entering hugely male-dominated sound technology spaces.
“Women need safe, collaborative spaces where we can share our experiences, learn from each other and support one another,” they told Lovin Malta. In fact, they specifically lay down zero-tolerance rules on harassment, be it physical violence or prejudiced behaviour, around all their meetings.
Apart from giving free workshops, MSWN also plans on organising networking events and concerts as early as November, with an exhibition confirmed for 2018 at Valletta’s Spazju Kreattiv.