The Blow hosting WOMANPRODUCER events at National Sawdust w/ Neko Case, Zola Jesus, Mirah & more
The Blow‘s Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne launched WOMANPRODUCER.com a while back, which is an internet archive of “data on female and non-binary music producers.” They’ll be expanding the site’s reach with a series of events this month at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust:
October 18: Concert and Conversation with accordionist and early electronic innovator Pauline Oliveros and The Blow (tickets)
October 20: ‘Performance Night’ with Suzi Analogue,
Deradoorian,Yuka C. Honda, and Val-Inc UPDATE: Deradoorian had to drop off this, Mirah replaces her. (tickets)
October 28: Panel Discussion with Neko Case, Suzi Analogue, Zola Jesus, and Miho Hatori (tickets)
A series of short video interviews of artists in their studios is also being produced and will accompany the live events. For more on WOMANPRODUCER, read The Blow’s mission statemement, below:
WOMANPRODUCER is an exploration of women as creators of sonic worlds.*
The project started as a web-based archive of the history of female artists working with the technologies of sound. In fall 2016 WOMANPRODUCER is expanding into a series of live events aimed at bringing together producers and technologists from across genres and eras. The events include performances and conversations, and are being documented with the aim of generating more materials to add to the ever growing body of information about production and the broad range of artists contributing to the field. The first series of events is taking place in Brooklyn at National Sawdust, with others to follow around the U.S. and internationally. A series of short video interviews of artists in their studios is also being produced and will accompany the live events.
The impetus to create WOMANPRODUCER came to us a couple of years ago when we started learning how many of the early pioneers of sound recording and production were women. It seemed strange to us that despite this historical fact, for some reason we had grown up with the sense that “music producer” meant something that didn’t look like us. Among the women producers we’ve come across are some of the best-known musical performers in the world, many of whom have never been recognized as the authors of their own sound, such as Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, and Björk, as well as artists who’ve challenged not only the definition of a producer but also old-fashioned conceptions about the rules of gender, such as synthesist Wendy Carlos, who was among the first public figures to transition genders back in the early 70’s. Many of the initial developments in recording, production and software-based composition programming were made by women, and the way that we create music now has been directly influenced by the accomplishments of these trailblazers. However for as many materials as we’ve found about the history of women in production mysterious gaps still remain, and we’ve had difficulty finding documentation of even well-known female producers working in the studio. If the accomplishments these artists have been overlooked, the potential for adding to the body of knowledge about producers and sonic innovators must no doubt be limitless- likely as limitless as the scope of the potential sonic landscapes that could be created by this ever growing field of participants.
*The words “woman” and “producer,” as we’re using them, are generous terms, with room to include those who fall at less-defined points along the gender spectrum as well as others who have similarly been under-represented in the old-fashioned definition of “music producer.”