"In the 1920s, the Russian physicist Leon Theremin debuted an electronic
instrument that could be played without any physical contact. Players stood in
front of a box and waved their hands over antennas, summoning otherworldly
sounds seemingly from thin air. The theremin might have been regarded as a
passing novelty if not for the late Clara Rockmore, a virtuoso who helped to
refine the instrument's design, and wowed concert hall audiences with her
Rockmore is but a single figure in a long line of women who have changed the
shape and sound of modern music — often invisibly, says filmmaker Lisa Rovner.
"I think when most people think of electronic music, in most cases they'll
picture men pushing the buttons, the knobs, and the boundaries."
Rovner's new documentary, Sisters with Transistors
, corrects the record.
Narrated by Laurie Anderson, the film celebrates the achievements of early
pioneers such as Daphne Oram, who was hired by the BBC as a studio engineer in
the 1940s. After hours, Oram began recording and manipulating sounds on
magnetic tape, experiments that led to the co-founding of the BBC's Radiophonic
Workshop in 1958. Another pioneer, Delia Derbyshire, crafted sounds for nearly
200 BBC programs, including the iconic theme music for the sci-fi series
, which debuted in 1963."
Via Muse, who wrote "ZOMG!!! Our friend Laurie Spiegel is in this! I want to
see the documentary about women in electronic music!"
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics