A number of years ago there was a movement on twitter to create transparency in the work force around salaries to help combat the gender pay gap, especially in the tech industry. I noticed such transparency was lacking among musicians as well, especially when it comes to commissioning rates for composers. Fees for performing gigs can vary wildly, and many wonder if they are being offered a ‘fair’ amount of their time and talent
Around the beginning of 2018 I was approached about a project by the artistic director of a theater company that creates experimental new works based on Jewish mysticism, history, and mythology. This post isn’t about the theater company or the project I worked on (you can read about the show which has sold out for all six performances here), it’s about being confronted and dealing with my own unconscious bias.
I’m all about musical storytelling, and this theater company’s spiritual and mystical themes aligned with my own research and creative interests enough for me to want to get involved. But, during our initial discussions, I was also aware there was something inside myself I would have to put aside to work with a Jewish organization. I suddenly saw firsthand how real my unconscious bias is, and between Arabs and Jews it is sometimes more conscious than I’d like to admit. The amount of political and cultural baggage can be overwhelming, and over the last few months I’ve become hyper-aware of it.