SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS
(Lisa Rovner, 2020, 84 min, DCP digital)
SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS presents an eye- (and ear-) opening survey of some of the 20th century’s most inventive and overlooked electronic music composers–who all happen to be women. Director Lisa Rovner draws on rarely-seen archival footage and incisive interviews to craft portraits of ten artists, from theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore to modular synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani, who created new horizons of sound. Narrated by Laurie Anderson, SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS is both an overdue corrective to male-dominated histories of experimental music, and a primer on the waves of technological and social transformation that brought electronic sound from the fringes of the avant-garde to the forefront of popular culture.
Following the screening, the Block will host a discussion between Jes Skolnik, senior editor of Bandcamp Daily, and Jennifer Iverson, associate professor of music at the University of Chicago and author of Electronic Inspirations: Technologies of the Cold War Avant-Garde.
Presented with support from the Sound Arts and Industries program at Northwestern University.