News Soundbites for a Friday

I look around for stories, but on Fridays all I seem to get is soundbites. People shorten their message to a few words. They have their say, nurdle off for the weekend, leaving LondonJazz with unresolved questions:

1) A friend currently attending the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton sent me an email with this in the subject box

"[Fwd: Listen. Hear! - campaign for safer listening and making the most of music launched today (3 April)]"

The background:
-Deafness UK want to deliver a public health message about the dangers of exposure to loud music
-Classic FM and the Royal Philharmonic Society want us all to know that classical music is a jolly good thing.
-What is the intelligent person supposed to conclude? That nanny knows best and she's wagging a finger at you to tell you you that your thrash rock is a jolly bad thing?

2) Jessica Duchen's blog quotes this:

"Elder: Musicians must stand together in credit crunch.

"LEADING conductor Sir Mark Elder has urged musicians to stand together and speak up for the arts during the credit crunch. Sir Mark was speaking as he was presented with the ISM's Distinguished Musician Award at the Royal Opera House on 2 April 2009."

My question would be whether the ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) and the Musicians Union are now talking to each other. I hope so, because for a long period they weren't.

3) Sharp-eyed Rob Mallows of London's Premier Jazz Meetup group showed me this from a newspaper which allegedly loses about £10m a year, called the Evening Standard.

"THE ROCK EXCHANGE: Ornette Coleman is to be the first jazz artist to curate the South Bank's Meltdown Festival in 16 years. Hopefully it will stimulate fresh interest in an increasingly marginal form."

Your comments, please, on those loaded words "increasingly marginal"


  1. I'm pleased to report that we regularly have productive discussions with the Musicians Union on many issues!

    Best wishes.

  2. As an ISM and an MU member perhaps Callum Thomas could explain when they last met and the subject matter

  3. Callum, has the ISM and the MU published any joint statements on issues of mutual concern?

  4. Our Chief Executive met the MU's General Secretary in January, and we have continuing discussions with the MU on a number of issues - at the moment, we're working on the joint MU/ISM agreements with the BBC (see and for the current versions). We have a lot in common, so like to work together when appropriate.

  5. Callum, is the ISM working with the MU on securing exemptions within the Licensing Act 2003 for small-scale performances?