Noise Pop Festival 2024
Sisters With Transistors Electronic Music’s Unsung Heroines
This documentary screening is part of Noise Pop Festival 2024. Free RSVP to this screening is included with your Festival Pass.
SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS tells the remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to utterly transform how we produce and listen to music today, including Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani, and Laurie Spiegel.
The history of women has been a history of silence. Music is no exception.
As one of the film’s subjects, Laurie Spiegel explains: “We women were especially drawn to electronic music when the possibility of a woman composing was in itself controversial. Electronics let us make music that could be heard by others without having to be taken seriously by the male dominated Establishment.”
With the wider social, political and cultural context of the 20th century as our backdrop, this all archival documentary reveals a unique emancipation struggle, restoring the central role of women in the history of music and society at large.
With Laurie Anderson as our narrator, we’ll embark on a fascinating journey through the evolution of electronic music. We’ll learn how new devices opened music to the entire field of sound, how electronic music not only changed the modes of production but in its wide-ranging effects also transformed the very terms of musical thought.
Sisters with Transistors is more than just the history of a music genre: it's the story of how we hear and the critical but little-known role female pioneers play in that story.
- Lindsay Zoladz, New York Times
One of 2021's very best films... a portrait of revolution that feels strangely timeless.
- Criterion Cast
Electrifying... Feels less like a film and more like a manifesto.
A vital historical corrective."
- Los Angeles Times
Lisa Rovner is a filmmaker based in London. All of her films and writings reflect a clear engagement with historical precedents and predecessors, with a desire to confront History with her story. As a storyteller, she has always been drawn to shining a light on the underdogs. Her interest lies in affecting social change through dissemination of information and aesthetic experience.
All of her creative projects, ranging from short films, music videos, adverts and art exhibitions are strung together by a fascination with archives and sound and her underlying aspiration to transform politics and philosophy into cinematographic spectacle.
Rovner has collaborated with some of the most internationally respected artists and brands including Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick, Sebastien Tellier, Opening Ceremony, Maison Martin Margiela and Acne.
Her films have been presented internationally including at the FIAC Art Fair, Art Basel Switzerland, the Paris Film Festival, the Anthology Film Archives, the Center for Contemporary Art Santa Monica, Barcelona, the FRAC Museum in Normandy, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Bruce High Quality Foundation Brucennial and at White Columns in NY. And featured in Acne Paper, Nowness, Interview Magazine, Dazed Digital, Art Log, NYTimes Style blog, among others. She has received grants from Image/Movement (Centre national des Arts Plastiques) and from Agnes b.
Anna Lena Films (France) is dedicated to bold subjects and new formats produced in collaboration with esteemed international contemporary artists and authors. The film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2005) was a festival hit premiering at Cannes (2005) while Punk premiered at the BFI London Film Festival (2012).
Independent producer Elizabeth Benjamin (UK/US), brings expertise from a distribution, outreach and communications standpoint, having worked across critically acclaimed political, art and music driven films, notably They Will Have To Kill Us First (2015), Citizenfour (2014) and This is England (2007) and on women-led film initiatives such as Birds Eye View and UnderWire.
Associate producer, Marcus Werner Hed (Pundersons Gardens) explores contemporary arts and culture, through documentary and fiction, and has several award-winning films under his belt, notably The R&B Feeling (2016 co-production with the BBC).