Music Producer and Engineers’ Guild Launches, Calls For Membership
Australia’s community of music producers and sound engineers now have a national lobby body.
The Music Producer and Engineers’ Guild (MPEG) launches today (Sept. 5) to provide a voice for its members, and to represent their commercial interests and community through advocacy and engagement.
MPEG is founded by producer/engineer Anna Laverty, alongside foundation directors Cath Haridy and Tom Larkin, and boasts such foundational members as Mark Opitz, Nick Launay, Eric J Dubowsky, Nina Las Vegas, Uncle Kevin Starkey, Virginia Read and Aroha Harawira.
The organisation was shaped by the pandemic and the often-forgotten needs of producers and engineers, with the objective to “nurture and support up-and-coming talent, build upon the work of established and mid-career members, and advocate for the interests of the music production sector within the music industry at large,” a statement reads.
Its representation will feature traditional current and new producers and engineers, with a core part of its mission to foster diversity and inclusion and to focus on pathways for those who’ve been excluded in the past.
Historically, women were discouraged from pursuing careers in the studio. Those roadblocks no longer remain, though there is “more work needed to reach inclusion in this business,” explained Dr. Stacy L. Smith in her 2021 publication “Inclusion in the Recording Studio?”
In her research, Smith found that producers are the most challenged among the female music-makers in the research study, logging just 2% of production credits from songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2020.
“Women producers — and particularly women of color — are virtually erased from the music industry,” Dr. Smith has said. “Only 5% of the songs in our sample spanning nine years of popular music had a woman producer. Harnessing the opportunity to showcase women’s talent and their creative contributions is essential if the record business wants to reach equality.”
From today, the Guild is calling for applications, from music producers, sound engineers and mastering engineers to mixing engineers, producers/writers, remixers, programmers, assistant engineers and audio students.
“I’m so excited to finally be launching MPEG in Australia, there has been a need for this organisation for years,” comments Laverty in a statement.
“I know that we can make a huge difference by supporting our members and ensuring our rights are understood and advocated for.”
Australia’s MPEG is inspired by the U.K.’s Music Producers Guild (MPG), which was formed in the mid-1980s.
An unofficial information session with the MPEG team will take place Thursday afternoon (Sept. 8) at 4000 Studios at Bigsound, and an online information session will be announced in due course.
Visit mpeg.org.au for more.