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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2021 » April » 23

Sisters With Transistors: inside the fascinating film about electronic music’s forgotten pioneers

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Fri 23 Apr 2021 4:22 pm

They turned drawings into symphonies and made black boxes sing. Why were they never given their due? The maker of a new film, full of revealing archive footage, aims to put this right

Wearing a black cocktail dress and a foil-bright silver headscarf, a woman stands in the corner of a drawing room performing The Swan by Saint-Saëns, while a group of men look on. Although the scene has a sedate Edwardian air to it, this is actually 1976. The woman whirls her red nails around a mysterious black box, making it sigh and lament, whisper and sing. This is Clara Rockmore, the first virtuoso of the theremin, and her audience – all there to learn – includes Robert Moog, inventor of the synthesiser.

A year later, aged 66, Rockmore would release her first album, recorded by Moog, 35 years after she made her concert debut on the instrument at New York’s City Hall, where she arranged spirituals for a black male sextet with composer Hall Johnson. Rockmore also toured widely with the bass baritone Paul Robeson in the 1940s, and turned down a request to perform on the spooky soundtrack for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1945 thriller Spellbound, as she wanted her instrument to be valued, not treated like a novelty.

Some of them wanted to do nothing less than change the way people listened

Related: ‘It has never been more pertinent’ – Margaret Atwood on the chilling genius of Laurie Anderson’s Big Science

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Experience: I accidentally became a global fashion brand

Delivered... Peter Boothroyd | Scene | Fri 23 Apr 2021 10:00 am

People across the world were wearing unofficial merch with my band’s logo on it. I decided to cash in, but do it ethically

I’ve been playing and recording music since 2012. Working under my surname Boothroyd, I’ve gained a small committed fanbase through releasing on independent labels and performing live. But in 2015, I decided to give up touring after a final headline show at Milton Keynes Gallery. I’m a big fan of the Beatles, and much like they stopped playing live in 1966, I did the same, in order to concentrate on studio material. Also, I wasn’t getting many bookings – it wasn’t exactly Boothroydmania.

Five years later, having yet to come up with my Sgt Pepper, I was living alone in a caravan in Morecambe. One morning, I received a message on Instagram: it was a photograph of the Argentinian pop star Chule Von Wernich wearing a T-shirt with my name on the front and the poster for that final gig on the back.

Related: Experience: I carried a twin in each of my wombs

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Sisters With Transistors review – an electrifying study of musical heroines

Delivered... Leslie Felperin | Scene | Fri 23 Apr 2021 9:00 am

The unsung trailblazers behind electronic music are paid harmonic homage in Lisa Rovner’s enchanting documentary

Lisa Rovner’s superb documentary pays a deeply deserved, seldom-expressed tribute to the female composers, musicians and inventors from the brief history of electronic music. The focus falls on about nine or 10 women in the field, from experimental music pioneer Clara Rockmore, a Theremin maestro in bias-cut evening dress, through to the British composer and mathematician Delia Derbyshire (probably best known for co-creating the Doctor Who theme), up to Suzanne Ciani, the first woman to score a major Hollywood movie (The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1981) and her contemporary, composer and early software designer Laurie Spiegel.

Related: The 20 best music documentaries – ranked!

Sisters with Transistors is released on 23 April in virtual cinemas.

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Dawn Richard: Second Line review – joy and mess from a musical eccentric

Delivered... Kemi Alemoru | Scene | Fri 23 Apr 2021 8:00 am

(Merge Records)
The former Diddy collaborator brings Black female perspective to the fore in an ambitious collection of electronic sound

Dawn Richard has a buoyant track, Bussifame, on her sixth solo album, Second Line, which explains that the album’s title refers to a New Orleans funeral parade in which passersby are invited to join in and celebrate the dead person’s legacy.

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