Jem Finer Performing Harpo as part of the First Last LMC Festival at Cafe Oto.

LMC Funding Crisis: UPDATE 5 February 2008

Sadly the LMC has not been reprieved by the Arts Council of England, and our funding will stop from 31 March 2008.

We wrote to the Arts Council answering their points of criticism, but clearly failed to dent their intentions. The ACE were particularly worried about our level of subsidy per audience member and our level of dependence on Arts Council subsidy. The fact is that events like the LMC Festival cost a lot of money, eg just one visa for a visiting musician runs into hundreds of pounds. As for our dependence on their subsidy, ironically enough we are currently presenting the Self-Cancellation event (2-9 February; see more at ), which is a major collaboration funded largely from non-Arts Council sources. Corporate funding for the LMC’s type of work is virtually impossible to achieve – few merchant banks are happy to be associated with this neck of the musical woods – and anyone who has tried to engage commercial sponsorship for a LMC-type event knows how thankless a task that is. The reality is that, for better or worse, the LMC has always been dependent on the Arts Council, but currently our relationship with them is at an all-time low. We sense that no one in the ACE Music Department actually supports the kind of work the LMC does, and that this, rather than the war of statistics, may be the true reason why we are being cut off. This is further evidenced by the fact that no one from the ACE Music Department has attended an LMC event for the past five years, in spite of repeated invitations. The LMC Board of Directors is meeting to discuss our next step. Meanwhile, as our thirty years of work perhaps draws to a close, our spirits are cheered by the letters of support received from across the world.

Once more, please note that Arts Council funding for Resonance FM is NOT under threat.

Our letter to the Arts Council ended thus: “We believe that LMC represents a search for excellence in contemporary music, being an artist-led organisation with innovation and risk-taking at its heart, in line with the spirit of Sir Brian McMaster’s recent report.”

LMC Funding Crisis: January 2008

The LMC currently finds itself among nearly two hundred arts organisations who are having their Arts Council funding severely cut back. In December we received notice that Arts Council funding, which has always been fundamental to the LMC’s survival, will be cut off from 1 April 2008. We have until 15 January to make our case.

The Arts Council has criticised the LMC on several grounds: failure to expand membership or grow audiences, a high average subsidy at LMC events, ACE subsidy representing too high a percentage of LMC turnover, and failure to develop new funding partnerships. We believe that we can answer all these points. Two quick examples:

  1. Resonance FM, the radio station which LMC founded in 2001 and of which it remains the licensee. We think – and the acres of positive press coverage seem to support us – that Resonance FM is the most significant single development in terms of the capital’s audience for the arts in the last decade. It has not only developed LMC’s core audience (listenership is in excess of 100,000), it has substantially developed the audience for many other organisations.

  2. The Self-Cancellation project in London and Glasgow, February 2007: ten experimental sound artists will explore in public the principles of self-cancellation in sound through conferencing, workshops, event security and performance. A team of musicians prominent in both improvisation and contemporary composition will be led by experimental harpist Rhodri Davies and veteran subversive artist Gustav Metzger. : Our funding partner here is the PRS Foundation, and we are working in collaboration with Arika, Beaconfield, the Scottish Arts Council, and with the Esme Fairbairn Foundation, all on the PRSF joint commissioning project.

So we are writing to the Arts Council in the hope of persuading them to reconsider. We believe the loss of the LMC would mean the removal of a key agency promoting experimental music, and we hope you agree! We have invited artists who have worked with us to send in a few sentences in our support, detailing why the LMC is fantastic. Finally, Arts Council funding for Resonance FM is NOT under threat, and in fact has been increased by 2.7%.

You Tube LMC festival


The London Musicians’ Collective has been active on London’s new music scene for over 30 years, promoting the best in experimental and improvised music concerts, running festivals, tours and workshops, producing special events and publications, and realising radio broadcasts via the acclaimed Resonance 104.4 FM. Among our recent successes have been our Among our recent successes have been this year’s 30th Anniversary concert series; 2005’s “Immaterial” series; and summer 2004’s “Feedback: Order From Noise” tour for the Contemporary Music Network, curated by Knut Aufermann and featuring Alvin Lucier, Otomo Yoshihide, Nicolas Collins, Sarah Washington, Billy Roisz, Xentos Fray Bentos and Toshimaru Nakamura. Our current plans include a second volume of the best-selling Your Favourite London Sounds CD, compiled by Peter Cusack, the launch of our new CD series, more issues of Resonance magazine - as well as regular concerts and our pivotal activity in the ongoing 24/7 broadcasts at Resonance 104.4 FM, a project reliant on two hundred volunteers and which uniquely showcases the work of thousands of radical artists. LMC is proud to have established and to run this incredible venture. The only arts organisation in Britain with a truly 24/7 public presence, LMC continues to expand and respond to new demands, encouraging access to and use of this unique resource - and forging collaborations with the leading musicians, sound artists, agencies, writers, thinkers and activists in the capital and beyond: no other arts organisation thinks like us or acts like us.


NOW AVAILABLE: Resonance magazine, volume 10 number 2. Edited by Caroline Kraabel and with cover photography by Richard E. Harrison, this issue is entitled Locality & Reproduction and features articles by Susan Alcorn, Joe Banks, John Butcher, Michael Chanan, Chris Cutler, Evan Eisenberg, Phil England, Sylvia Hallett, Caroline Kraabel, Michael Parsons, Sachiko M, John Tilbury, Matt Wand and Sarah Washington. The issue comes with an enhanced CD featuring music from Haydn, Susan Alcorn, P Sing Cho, Disinformation, John Butcher, Sylvia Hallett and John Tilbury. The CD also features “Hand Made”, a film by Matt Wand. To have us post you a copy, send seven pounds (cheques payable on a British bank) to LMC Ltd, 3.6 Lafone House, 11-13 Leathermarket Street, London SE1 3HN, UK.

ALSO AVAILABLE: Resonance magazine, volume 10 number 1. Edited by Martin Williams, this issue is devoted to adventures in international radio art. With writing by David Bellos, Steve Beresford, David Grubbs, Mira Katbamna, Esther Leslie, Toshimaru Nakamura, David Quantick, Martin Spinelli, Sarah Washington, Chris Weaver and more. Plus accompanying CD of audio by ClingRadio, Sherre DeLys, David Grubbs and RLW, Elsa Justel, Georges Perec, Ergo Phizmiz, Walter Ruttmann, John Wynne and more. Free to LMC members, seven pounds direct from us or from all good record shops. To have us post you a copy, send seven pounds (cheques payable on a British bank) to LMC Ltd, 3.6 Lafone House, 11-13 Leathermarket Street, London SE1 3HN, UK.


Resonance Supplement: Sound Art. Produced to coincide with the “Six Sites for Sound” exhibitions in London, curated by Dosensos. A beautifully designed 80pp magazine devoted to explorations of contemporary sound art. With articles and interviews by a dozen contributors including Anna Colin (editor), Mathias Gmachl and John Wynne. Plus 60 mins audio CD featuring Douglas Henderson, Michael J Schumacher, farmersmanual, o.blaat, Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Brandon Labelle. Free to LMC members, seven pounds direct from us or from all good record shops. To have us post you a copy, send seven pounds (cheques payable on a British bank) to LMC Ltd, 3.6 Lafone House, 11-13 Leathermarket Street, London SE1 3HN, UK.