"Pink Noises" brings together twenty-four interviews with women sound artists and electronic musicians, including club and radio DJs, re-mixers, composers, improvisers, instrument builders, and performance artists. The collection is an extension of Pinknoises.com, the critically-acclaimed website founded by musician and scholar Tara Rodgers in 2000 to promote women in electronic music and make information about music technologies more accessible to women and girls. That site featured interviews that Rodgers conducted with women artists, exploring their personal histories, creative methods, and role of gender in their work. This book offers new and lengthier interviews, a critical introduction, and resources for further research and technological engagement. 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 software for digital audio, 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, mainstream media representations of women in electronic music scenes, and the role of social networking in their careers. 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 analogue circuits or performing wearing a BodySynth that translates muscle movements into electronic sound, these artists expand notions of who and what counts in matters of invention, production, and noise-making.
"Pink Noises is a breath of fresh air when you look at how many electronic music books are about more of the same: boys with toys. From the Middle Eastern-inflected electronica of DJ Mutamassik, to the Punjabi rhythms of DJ Rekha, to the academix of Pamela Z and Pauline Oliveros, Tara Rodgers's examination of women as central figures in the creative processes of twenty-first-century art and music is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of music in our hyper-connected and hyper-post-everything contemporary life."--Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky "A wonderfully diverse international mix of interviews, essays, reviews, and links."--Michael Paoletta, Billboard "Great practical advice on music making."--URB "Everything you ever wanted to know about electronic music and the women making it."--Tamara Warren, Nylon "Pinknoises doesn't just talk girl power, they enable it."--Soo-Hyun Chung, Mixer "Acknowledges women's space in the world of electronic music and celebrates it with information, education, and innovation."--Flavorpill "Go girls!"--Anne Hilde Neset, The Wire "Rodgers clearly understands many disparate modes of music making, and sounds equally authoritative whether she's talking about elaborate programming schemes, the language of analog synthesizers, or record buying. She doesn't shy away from the occasional use of technical language, but the talks are generally clear and lucid." - Chicago Reader "Overall, though, the book's weaving of cultural theory, biography and personal experience is cogent in its readability, revelations and range of perspectives. And while it is not meant to be a comprehensive history of women in electronic music, it fills a much needed gap in the coverage of women in experimental and improvised music, it fills a much needed gap in the coverage of women in experimental and improvised music, in particular. With its in-depth discussions of technical equipment, the book also severs as a resource for practising musicians and leaves open the possibility of inspiring the uninitiated to plug in and turn on." The Wire "[T]he interviews offer rich, multi-generational accounts of lives spent creating in the field of electronic music... One of the signal values of the book is the multiplicity of practices it encapsulates... Again and again the books' presentation of such neglected variety implicitly highlights the degree to which the standard story of electronic music history has been weighted on the side of male innovation and production." - Nichola Scrutton, Popular Music "The introductory essay is smart, political, thorough, thoughtful and filled with interesting references... Acknowledging labourers, manufacturers, producers, musicians, composers, listeners, consumers and attendees as contributors to electronic music, Rodgers cracks open a narrow divide of written history and offers an inspiring read and dialogue for readers to engage in." - Deanna Radford, Herizons "[A] good book that champions the musical output of a variety of female electronic instrumentalists who continue to challenge how we conceptualize popular music." - Feminist Music Geek "[A] welcome rethinking of the theory and practice of electronic aesthetics... Though this volume cannot ultimately resolve the questions raised by the inherent conceptual incongruity between female difference and sonic difference (and given their disjunction, how could it?), the collective exuberance, eloquence, and authority conjured up within these conversations is ample compensation." - Drew Daniel, Journal of Popular Music Studies