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Read the article written in the online magazine the Conversation
WISWOS members Dr Linda O Keeffe and Dr Rebecca Collins will present a paper at the Irish Sound, Science and technology Conference this September titled Research in a Box: A Toolkit for Researching Women in Sound. This is the first time WISWOS will present an academic paper on its activities in a conference.
In September 2017 we launched the Research in a Box toolkit at Lancaster University, the box funded by Lancaster University is a loanable toolkit available for schools within the UK to borrow. The box aims to encourage research within schools linked to research taking place within universities and elsewhere. Our Box is called Activating Women in Sound in a Box and is both a physical box, see image below, and an online toolkit. Contributors to the box include women who have created video tutorials in areas including instrument building, the history of women’s contribution to music technology, working with live coding software and studio engineering - Eva Petersen, María José Ibarbo and Nina Richards.
In addition, we have created an online research space of women’s writers in the area of sound studies, music technology and the sonic arts, this space was developed by Linda O Keeffe, Joanna Helms, Diana Chester with the support of Tony Doyle. This space will support researchers, artists, educators and students who wish to locate female authors in a wide variety of sound fields.
This September are launching the new and improved WISWOS website, working with the composer and web developer Tony Doyle, a long time WISWOS network member. We developed a space that would showcase all the activities of WISWOS from our London events activities to our Lancaster Symposiums, our online Research in a Box project and our research space.
In May of 2017 WISWOS posted a list of female authors on sound to make visible women’s contribution to the field of sound studies. The response to this list was phenomenal, it has been shared over 20,000 times and to this day it has been dowloaded over 15,000 times. As part of the Research in a Box project (see below), currently under development, WISWOS decided to develop an online interactive space expanding on the list. Two women, Joanna Helms and Diana Chester took on the role, alongside web developer Tony Doyle, to generate this space, which will be made accessible in September when WISWOS will launch its new website. Please read their mission statement below.
The Women In Sound / Women On Sound Reading List aims to construct a resource of written, sonic, and visual materials created about and by women who work with sound. The Reading List began as an informal collection of resources compiled for a music-related masters program concerned with the underrepresentation of writing by and about women in the field. First launched in conjunction with the WISWOS Research in a Box project, the List continues to grow and serves as a resource for students, educators, and researchers. The List strives to be inclusive and representative of women working in and on Sound from around the world, in a myriad of languages, in both historical and contemporary settings. In working toward this mission, our aim is to build a well-rounded collection of materials on women in sound so that no educational program will lack the resources to develop balanced, intersectional gender representation in their own reading lists. The Reading List will be launching a public submission form in September 2017 to solicit resources and input on how to further shape the scope and depth of the collection.
Diana Chester is an artist, musician, technologist, and educator. Her work draws from sound studies, archival studies, and ethnography. Her research is focussed on the sonic nuance of religious traditions and festivals around the world. Diana holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Porto.
Joanna Helms is a musicologist and educator with research interests in music and sound production for broadcast media and the early history of electronic music. Joanna has presented work on the development of sound effects on early American radio at the National Broadcasting Company, and on new media and participation in the promotion of contemporary classical music in the US and Europe. She is currently writing a dissertation on mid-twentieth-century electronic music production at Italian state media network Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI). Having played and taught flute for many years, Joanna has more recently taken up electric bass. She has also been active as a fundraising committee member and camp band manager at Girls Rock North Carolina, and previously organized concerts, lectures, and participatory events as a co-founder of the Experimental Music Study Group in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area.
We are delighted to announce the three women who have been commissioned to create video tutorials for our Research in a Box project, Activating Women in Sound. They are Eva Petersen, María José Ibarbo and Nina Richards. These women will be designing a series of video tutorials for our new website, which will be launched as part of a larger education program for secondary schools in September 2017. See below information about women and tutorials.
The British Female Pioneers of Electronic Sound Part One: Delia Derbyshire
The British Female Pioneers of Electronic Sound Part Two: Daphne Oram
Eva is a visual artist, composer, vocalist and performer. In 2002, Eva founded Liverpool band The Little Flames as lead singer, and was signed to Deltasonic /Sony BMG. The band toured the UK, Europe and Japan with The Arctic Monkeys and The Coral and released their album The Day Is Not Today (released 2016) to critical acclaim. In 2012, Eva released her solo album Emerald Green Eyes, a collaboration with guitarist Will Sergeant from Echo and the Bunnymen, to critical acclaim. Eva has also been commissioned to produce recordings by Mojo magazine and filmmaker John Davide, and she is currently writing an album due for release December 2017.
Eva lectures on the BA (Hons) Fine Art and History of Art undergraduate degrees at Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University and is working toward her PhD at the university. Her practice-led thesis is entitled Voices of Winter Palace: A Practice-led Exploration of the Visibility of Women in Sound.
Nina has designed a simple PCB for the sound making kit that's based on an old design known as the Stepped Tone Generator. In this video, Nina will demonstrate basic soldering techniques in the process of showing you how to assemble the sound making circuit. Once soldered together, this can be used to make experimental sounds.
Nina has always been interested in electronics, computers and making music. Recently, she's been designing and building electronic music synthesiser modules that are sold all around the world and used by noteworthy musicians.
María José Ibarbo
These video tutorials are aimed to encourage women of all ages to know about Live Sound, what it is to be a Sound Engineer, and to inspire them to become one by showing them what other female Sound Engineers have achieved.
María José Ibarbo is a current second year Music Technology Student at Leeds Beckett University from Colombia, South America. In her 2 years living in the UK she’s volunteered for Sofar Sound Leeds, a non-profit organisation that runs free secret music events, at Latitude Festival on 2016 and Live at Leeds on 2016 and 2017 as a Backstage Assistant.
Her passions have always been becoming a FoH engineer and touring all around the world, and becoming a producer in her home country to help promoting Latin American talent, but most of all, learning about ways to empower women through sound. She’s been recently accepted into WAM’s (Women’s Audio Mission) Studio Internship Program in San Francisco, U.S., where she hopes to learn how to get more women into the industry.
‘Research in a Box’ is a loanable kit aimed at GCSE or A-Level school students that fits in with the appropriate curriculum and at the same time showcases resources used by researchers. The aim is to inspire the next generation of researchers and to aid in the transition of pupils from school to University.’ (Lancaster University)
The aim of the box is to first, make practical interventions into the current pedagogical apparatus for the teaching of sonic technologies in schools, and second, to interrogate and generate the construction of virtual and physical sites of knowledge exchange on gender, sound and technology.
Discussions and focus groups with young women and teenagers at the WISWOS symposia, which began in 2015, indicated that girls felt the model for the teaching of technology and music was inherently gendered and excluded their participation with these subjects. Recent research shows that it is increasingly clear that existing ideologies of gender and technology are being absorbed into pedagogical constructs shaping the teaching of music technology and influencing the perception of technology in general.
The loanable box will contain a series of toolkits for would be noise makers, tutorials on sound design, instrument building and live coding. We will also be commissioning women makers and composers to create tutorial videos for young girls to access, which will be located on a dedicated learning website. The boxes will be available from Lancaster University from September 2017.
Linda O Keeffe, Rebecca Collins
With thanks to the core network for consulting on this proposal
Andrew Deakin (Octopus Collective)
Updated list as of June 20th 2017
So the reading list has been updated, and authors will be appended to it every so often. I want to say a huge thank you to those sending us authors lists, its incredibly helpful as this is a big job. We are currently negotiating with several people to work on this project in an official capacity, and a web developer to create a searchable space on the WISWOS website over the summer: a wiki of female authors on sound and music. This will be taking place next to a total redevelopment of the website as we engage with secondary schools with our new project, A toolkit for activating women in sound in a Box. This group will be responsible for collecting and helping archive this information. More news on this to follow after the 21st of April.
We are so excited by how enthused the response has been to this idea and how valuable a resource this list will be to artists, composers, researchers, technologists and educators. Our hope is to create a space where you can locate female authors who have contributed to the widest variety of fields and disciplines in sound and music. But in the interim please feel free to download our current document and browse the authors and publications.
We now have live tools that include a searchable table to view the current list along with other visualisation methods to encourage exploration.
I am delighted to say that WISWOS is starting a new project of collecting and making visible women authors in the fields of sound and music. Our list is not exhaustive and we hope to grow it through writers or readers sending us in new or old published works for us to showcase. To add a reading to the list please use our submission form here. To read the current list please download The PDF here
We are looking for someone to take on the more difficult task of turning this list into something searchable, grouped by genre or style. So if you are interested in being a part of the WISWOS network and taking on this role please contact us
We now have live tools that include a searchable table to view the current list along with other visualisation methods to encourage exploration.
WISWOS are delighted to promote this series of events taking place to promote the life and works of Delia Derbyshire.Delia Derbyshire 80th birthday electronic music heritage project
Electronic music charity Delia Derbyshire Day (DD Day) have just announced an exciting heritage project that will celebrate what would have been the 80th birthday of electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001). Delia's output was extensive and very varied though she is most famous for her realisation of the Dr Who theme for the BBC in 1963. Delia's archive was donated to the University of Manchester in 2007 and is now housed at John Rylands Library. DD Day consider this a rich source of electronic music heritage that deserves to be celebrated, explored and learned from.
With Heritage Lottery Fund support, DD Day will offer a series of public events and activities that will bring the archive to life, unlocking the heritage through the arts. Acting as a platform for female artists past, present and future, Delia's fascinating archive, work and working methods will be explored to make new music and inspire music lovers and makers of all ages.
By animating the archive in partnership with John Rylands Library, we will engage the public with this unique heritage of early electronic music through 2 educational short films, a "Deliaphonica Soundbank" (an interactive web platform), 3 public events (DD Day MCR 10 June 2017, DD Day at Full of Noises Festival 5 August 2017 and a DD Day/DWAN symposium event in December 2017) and participatory activities (hands-on music making workshops for families and an 8-week education project in 2 primary schools), all inspired by Delia and her working methods.
To follow the HLF supported Delia Derbyshire 80th birthday electronic music heritage project and get involved in events and activities you can find DD Day at:
WIWOS has submitted a funding bid for the Lancaster research in a box grant.
‘Research in a Box’ is a loanable kit aimed at GCSE or A-Level school students that fits in with the appropriate curriculum and at the same time showcases resources used by LU researchers. The aim is to inspire the next generation of researchers and to aid in the transition of pupils from school to University.
Linda O Keeffe and Rebecca Louise Collins have designed a call to develop a tool kit for teenage girls in school that we hope will bring on board a number of female composers, sound designers, instrument makers and coders. Fingers crossed we get this. Our initial goal is to introduce girls to instrument building with the support of instrument maker Nina Richards.
So after 6 months of travelling, researching, writing, sweating blood and tears, sometimes literally, myself and Rebecca Louise Collins have finally submitted our grant application to the AHRC for a networking grant with WISWOS. We have a bunch of fantastic people who have helped us put this together and who have come on board as part of the WISWOS network. This includes Lisa Busby from Goldsmiths, part of our London WISWOS collective, Liz Dobson of the Yorkshire Sound Women's Network, Andrew Deakin of the Octopus Collective, composer Tony Doyle, Lilian Campeseto and Isobel Nogueira of Sonora in Brazil, Milena Droumeva from Simon Fraser University in Canada. We all have our fingers crossed that we get this grant because it will mean the creation of a boatload of ideas, art works, commissions, festivals, workshops, websites, symposiums etc.
A sample of our call is below to let you know some of what we plan to do if we get this grant approvedAims
The overarching aims of this international network are three-fold: first, to critically engage with and influence existing knowledge structures within sound-based institutions, namely the British Music Collection (BMC), second to make practical interventions into the current pedagogical apparatus for the teaching of sonic technologies in schools, and third, to interrogate and generate the construction of virtual and physical sites of knowledge exchange on gender, sound and technology.Objectives
- Working with the BMC archive to unlock lost histories and create responses to women´s contribution to the history of the sonic arts
- Working in schools with teachers and young girls to create a transferable methodology of technological gender inclusion, which can be adapted and applied to other contexts, nationally and internationally
- Create a space for knowledge exchange through events, symposia and networked connections, to reflect on the projects we have undertaken and workshop our future projects. The entire project is using poststructuralist feminist models or iterative engagement.
Last summer I travelled from Lancaster to London, Huddersfield to Leeds and Barrow in Furness. I met with women artists, sonic arts collectives and researchers, collecting stories and experiences to consider where WISWOS goes from here. I have attached a document I wrote about what people shared with me and where WISWOS should go in order to support women in sound. Having met with the artist and researcher Rebecca Louise Collins at Leeds and having discovered a great working collaborator I decided that together we would put together a research application for the AHRC networking grant to create a two year project networking with national and international researchers. The title of our project is Women in Sound Women on Sound: Legacies of the Invisible.
Read Notes on a Journey Wiswos travel Mission ST.
Interviewed by Alea Balzer on NTS radio about WISWOS this month, really nice piece to support the event. If you want to hear the full interview check here. She also plays some really great tracks, so listen to those as well.
The British Music Collection has asked us to select two presenters from the symposium to contribute an essay or paper for the launch of their new website, these papers will be part of the Spotlight collection. The idea of a Spotlight article is that the writer focuses on an artist in the Collection whose work they find interesting.
Dr. Rebecca Collins had a paper selected for this.