Sound and Music ‘Sisters with Transistors: Film screening and Panel discussion – Then, Now and Next’

Sisters with Transistors is the remarkable untold story of some of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers and innovators who embraced the emerging potentiality of machines and their liberating technologies to utterly transform the sonic landscape – how we create, produce and listen to music and sound today.

The film maps the lesser known history of electronic music through these visionary women, whose radical experimentations with machines reimagined and redefined the boundaries of music, from Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani and Laurie Spiegel.

To mark the release of Sisters with Transistors, to celebrate this story and those involved in electronic composition (past and present), Sound and Music were thrilled to host a free, online panel discussion, Sisters with Transistors: Then, Now, Next, on Thursday 6th May 2021.

The panellists included Lisa Rovner (film’s director), Laura Murden (Music Hackspace), Poulomi DesaiLoula Yorke and Annie Goh.

Moderated by Victoria Johnson-Henckel and Heather Blair from the Sound and Music team, our discussion explored the making of Sisters with Transistors and why it’s important that this music (and story) is heard today. We also asked: Who is missing from this picture? What challenges and barriers do women and gender-minority composers still face in the electronic music world? What changes do we need to see? And what do we want the future to look and sound like?

Each of the panellists also shared an extract of music or sound, their own or someone else’s, that particularly inspired them.