Sunday, November 20, 2005

Radiophonic ladies

I found my paper topic... At last! That is, for my Sonic Cultures seminar with Shaviro. My *other* paper, for Dr. Grusin will supposedly be a reading of Massumi's _Parables of the Virtual_. Wish me luck (on both). What I want to extract from the BBC ladies is what it means that women helped-- no, strike that-- what it means that women have indeed shaped the hisotry of sound (not just *helped*) and what this focus might teach us. I want to focus on Pauline Oliveros, Cosi from Throbbing Gristle. Kim Gordon, Jessica Rylan, Lindsay Karty, and many others. Oh, and the women who recently put together the installation Her Noise. Need to start a bibliography of some sort....The quote below is a tidbit from the website linked above.

"Radiophonics’ was a term adopted by the BBC (perhaps borrowed from Schaeffer’s "Essai Radiophoniques" in the early 1950s) to identify the nature of this new dimension in sound and music for radio drama. It referred to the collective endeavours of music composers and sound engineers who worked together with dramatic artists to optimise the stimulation of the listener’s imagination. Among them were three women, Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire and Maddalena Fagandini who all worked under enormous pressure to meet deadlines, in an environment where the only rule was to satisfy the drama producer, with no guidelines as to how that was to be achieved. In the absence of digital ready-mades, they designed and built their own filters, effects units, and synchronisers including a special oscillator, the ‘Wobbulator’and the ‘Crystal Palace’ a switching device that was used to create a chorus effect, and they devised their own unique composing techniques. Delia Derbyshire holds the record for the longest tape loop which extended beyond the studio walls and down the corridor. "

I am very tempted to write some cheesy feminist slogan here in response.

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