Contemporary electronic music practices are illuminated through the stories of women artists of different generations and cultural backgrounds. They include the creators of ambient soundscapes, “performance novels,” sound sculptures, and custom software, as well as the developer of the Deep Listening philosophy and the founders of the Liquid Sound Lounge radio show and the monthly Basement Bhangra parties in New York. These and many other artists open up about topics such as their conflicted relationships to formal music training and mainstream media representations of women in electronic music. They discuss using sound to work creatively with structures of time and space, and voice and language; challenge distinctions of nature and culture; question norms of technological practice; and balance their needs for productive solitude with collaboration and community. Whether designing and building modular synthesizers with analog circuits or performing with a wearable apparatus that translates muscle movements into electronic sound, these artists expand notions of who and what counts in matters of invention, production, and noisemaking. Pink Noises is a powerful testimony to the presence and vitality of women in electronic music cultures, and to the relevance of sound to feminist concerns.
Interviewees: Maria Chavez, Beth Coleman (M. Singe), Antye Greie (AGF), Jeannie Hopper, Bevin Kelley (Blevin Blectum), Christina Kubisch, Le Tigre, Annea Lockwood, Giulia Loli (DJ Mutamassik), Rekha Malhotra (DJ Rekha), Riz Maslen (Neotropic), Kaffe Matthews, Susan Morabito, Ikue Mori, Pauline Oliveros, Pamela Z, Chantal Passamonte (Mira Calix), Maggi Payne, Eliane Radigue, Jessica Rylan, Carla Scaletti, Laetitia Sonami, Bev Stanton (Arthur Loves Plastic), Keiko Uenishi (o.blaat)
Tara Rodgers (Analog Tara) is an independent writer, composer, and musician, and the founder of Pinknoises.com, a website devoted to women DJs, electronic musicians, and sound artists. Her electronic compositions have been released on several recordings and exhibited at venues including the Eyebeam Museum in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto. She has received the New Genre Composition Prize from the International Alliance of Women in Music and a 2006 Frog Peak Experimental Music Award. Rodgers has an MFA in electronic music from Mills College. She is a Ph.D. candidate in communication studies at McGill University.