Thursday, May 8, 2014

WOMAN In Creative Music

Now in my ideal world there would be no need for gender differentiation and talk of disparaties.
But in the meantime, here on planet earth it has been pointed out that women are under represented the fields in which i am active: namely electronic music and recording studio engineering.
Though we have made progress since the days that Decca Records told Delia Derbyshire the recording studio was no place for a woman in 1959, we are still apparently less than 5% of engineers/producers.
And according to a report and international press statement published earlier in 2013 by Female:Pressure, only 5% of artists on electronic music labels are female and a a 10% proportion of female artists on festival line-ups can be considered above average.
And so I often get asked about this in interviews, for research or in just plain conversation. And discussion is necessary.
Though I also feel it necessary to be making more visible and heard what we are doing. It has even been said to me that it is ‘hard’ to find electronic women…Hence this page.
A list of sites and resources I have happened across that i hope you may find of interest, benefit and maybe even inspiring for you too.
I also wrote a post in response to a BBC article asking “Why are female producers so rare?”
And here is an interesting article I contributed to by Paula Wolfe who did a Phd around this subject –
A Studio of One’s Own: music production, technology and gender

This is a rolling compendium so please do pipe up and share any links you feel should be included :)
I will start with the electronic music and then further down will be recording studio femmes and stuff.
Women in Electronic Music
Female:Pressure – international database and network founded by Vienna based DJ and composer Electric Indigo. We collectively produced some informal research into the representation of women in electronic music – on labels and festival line-ups. Illuminating results were discussed worldwide – see international press statement and report here.
Pink Noises – also international network founded by Analog Tara and now a book of twenty-four interviews with women in electronic music and sound cultures
Women in Electronic Music (WiEM) – a popular Facebook page, a Last FM playlist and a blog with podcasts
Electronic Ladiez – another collective mainly based in Koeln/Deutschland
Electronic Music Experiment – another electronic music blog showcasing independent producers and labels by competent music maker Sci Fi Sol
Cyn industries – have an alphabetical list of women in electronic music
Shejay – more for DJs, founded by DJ Kelly Sylvia
And articles by Rosa Reitsamer and Anna Ostrom and academic researchers such as Anna Gavanas
Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music – an exhibition recently on in London’s Science Museum
Female music (studio) producers and recording engineer
Now the ladies active in this field are harder to highlight as working ‘behind the glass’ is a more secluded job.
So these are some of the initiatives and professional individuals i have come across and would be keen to hear of more.
Women’s Audio Mission – “WAM believes that women’s mastery of music technology and inclusion in the production process will expand the vision and voice of media and popular culture.”
Smart Women’s Recording Club – a London based project (upon which I have a guestblog) run by Felix MacIntosh. Resources include a free download guide to recording your first CD for musicians.
Tape Op magazine – do include the odd woman in their creative recording interviews. It is here that I came across Terri Winston (founder of Women’s Audio Mission), Women’s Audio Mission and many more competent engineers with interesting approaches and careers.
Lodge Mastering – thought to include this high profile NYC company as 2 out of 3 of the mastering engineers here are of the female persuasion.
And while we are on the suject of mastering engineers, I only recently came across Mandy Parnell who worked on Bjork’s latest offering Biophilia.
An informative feature on NPR called Women Music Producers lists some names from 1950’s to now.
Other higher profile studio ladies I can think of are Leanne Ungar, Andrea Wright, Trina Shoemaker and Silvia Massy Shivy, the only woman to make it into Howard Massey’s interview compendium of great producers Behind the Glass


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