Review of Tara Rodgers. 2010. Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound. Durham and London: Duke University Press

Keenan, Elizabeth K.

In her interview in Pink Noises, DJ Rekha Malhotra says, "Electronic music is such a vast landscape" (173). To one person, "electronic music" can mean the bhangra-influenced sounds that DJ Rekha produces in her sets; to another, music influenced by musique concrete; and to yet another, circuit bending or the use of synthesizers such as the ARP 2500 and the Buchla. "Electronic music" describes music produced in a variety of social and temporal con-texts, from composer Kaffe Matthews performing subtle electro acoustic compositions in the darkest rooms she can find in order to "make music that is completely about listening and is not about watching," (39) to feminist dance punk band Le Tigre playing their sequenced and sampled pop-oriented, feminist music to dancing indie-rock crowds. These vastly different styles, contexts, and practices come together in Tara Rodgers's book, a collection of twenty-four interviews with women composers, producers, and practitioners of electronic music. Through these interviews, Rodgers moves fluidly between musical styles and practices in ways that illustrate the extensive involvement of women as creators of electronic music from the 1950s to the present and that make a strong counter-argument to popular and academic histories that have often relegated women's contributions to the arena of performance.


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August 18, 2022