New York, NY (March 10, 2021)—Emily Lazar, the Grammy Award-winning founder of The Lodge mastering and mixing facility in Manhattan, has introduced We Are Moving the Needle, a new initiative to bring equity and inclusion to the music industry.
Lazar launched the nonprofit organization on Mar. 8, the same day that the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released its latest annual “Inclusion in the Recording Studio?” study, breaking down the gender and race/ethnicity of artists, songwriters and music producers. The report found that women are “missing,” “muted” and “written off” in the music industry, an ongoing trend that has not improved during the nine years covered by the study.
“Today, the new USC Annenberg Inclusion in the Recording Studio report has revealed that in 2020, the percentage of women in music production/engineering has DECLINED (!!!) from 2.6% to 2%. This is unacceptable!” Lazar wrote on Twitter. “I’ve seen firsthand how few women are in studios, but to see that number decrease breaks my heart. I am committed to continuing to do my part to change that.”
According to We Are Moving the Needle, the organization is “working to create measurable change by empowering women in the recording and professional audio industry with the education, equipment and the mentorship needed to succeed at the highest levels.” The organization has been launched in partnership with Blackbird Academy, Dolby, The Lodge and Sonos. Founding sponsors include pro-audio product developers such as API, Aston Microphones, Eventide, iZotope, Splice and Universal Audio, as well as the Recording Academy, SoundGirls and others.
The organization’s stated mission is to provide educational programming and to award scholarships and grants to music technology and recording programs at academies, colleges and universities. As a part of the initiative, the venture promises to guarantee the development of future generations by awarding female and female-identifying applicants with a full scholarship to a top audio school.
Applicants (there is an online form) may be awarded equipment including software, hardware and other recording technologies. According to a report in Variety, the organization has plans for dedicated internships and entry-level positions designated and reserved for women who are part of the program.
Lazar has assembled an advisory “soundboard” of prominent women artists, producers, engineers and audio professionals, including Brandi Carlile, Christine Thomas, Erica McDaniel, HAIM, Karrie Keyes, Linda Perry, Liz Phair, Maggie Rogers, Maria Egan, Oana Ruxandra, Sara Quinn (Tegan and Sara), Shirley Halperin and Tracy Gershon.
The extensive list of mentors also includes AG, Carolyn Malachi, Catherine Marks, Claudia Brant, Denise Barbarita, EveAnna Manley, Gena Johnson, Jenna Andrews, Jennifer Decilveo, Jordan Hamlin, Kaitlyn, Aurelia Smith, Leslie Ann Jones, Lisa Kaplan, Louise Burns, Lucy Kalantari, Marcella Araica, Piper Payne, Sad13, Shani Gandhi, Simone Torres and Wendy Wang.
Lazar has 10 projects in the running for Grammy Awards this year, including Coldplay, Jacob Collier and HAIM, all nominated in the album of the year category. The eight-time-nominated mastering engineer holds the distinction of being the first woman to win a Grammy in the best engineered album, non-classical category.
We Are Moving the Needle • www.wearemovingtheneedle.org