Female-only Electronic Festival in Berlin: Heroines of Sound


Curated by Bettina Wackernagel, Mo Loschelder and Sabine Sanio, the Heroines of Sound Festival, now in its forth year, presents past and present heroines of electronic sound. In concerts, performances, videos and discussion events, early female electronic music is showcased together with female artists who are transforming and performatively interpreting electronic sound today at the highest levels of pop and electronic music. By opening up new perspectives, the Heroines of Sound make the quality and variety of female artists in the area of electronic music both audible and visble.

For the first time in 2017, the Heroines of Sound Festival is awarding two composition commissions. Festival contributions from Iris ter Schiphorst und Electric Indigo are commissioned works that will be presented to audiences in world premiere performances. The two outstanding artists typify the festival profile featuring composition and performance, as well as new music and experimental avant-garde pop. A spotlight of the festival is focused on Elżbieta Sikora, the Polish pioneer of acousmatic music. After completing training as a sound engineer in Warsaw at the end of the 1960s, Elżbieta Sikora (*1943) studied electronic music in Paris with François Bayle and Pierre Schaeffer, composition in Warsaw with Tadeusz Baird and Zbigniew Rudzinski, and finally, computer music at IRCAM in Paris and with John Chowning at Stanford University in California. Having lived in France since 1981, the composer is widely regarded as a French artist. In 2004, Sikora was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her body of work. Despite countless international awards for her compositions, to this day Sikora is
hardly known in Germany. In addition to Elżbieta Sikora´s portrait the programme will be complemented with recent works by Polish composers such as Jagoda Szmytka, Katarina Glowicka and Joanna Wozny.

Alongside Electric Indigo, Heidrun Schramm’s conceptual electroacoustic music for multi-channel loudspeaker systems based on recordings of acoustic musical instruments and objects as well as field recordings (WP), presents yet another new approach to acousmatic music in the festival program. Furthermore Alessandra Eramo, Jasmine Guffond, Chra, hiTHər’too, Heidi Mortenson and Pilocka Krach will showcase fresh remarkably varied facets of contemporary live electronic performance. An extra highlight of the festival is the evening-length concert of Ensemble Mosaik with currant works by Iris ter Schiphorst (WP) Joanna Wozny, Oxana Omelchuk, Lisa Streich and the young Mexican composer Marisol Jiménez (WP). The Heroines of Sound Festival focuses a musical spotlight on women artists who take electronic sound transformation in cutting-edge pop and contemporary classical music a step further and interpret it performatively. To place these new approaches within an historical context, pioneers of early electronic music are also featured each year in performance. Thus the programme will be rounded off by panel discussions
on the key aspects of the festival.

In the run-up to the festival, the Heroines Editions present electronic sounds and film screenings in more intimate settings at the Moviemento Kino (April 22nd) and the Roter Salon of the Volksbühne (April 23rd) with more events set to take place at the Berghain Kantine (June 17th), during the Musica Electronica Nova Festival in Wroclaw (May 27th) and at Festival KONTAKTE17, Akademie der Künste, Berlin (Sept.30th ) .

This years lineup includes Electric Indigo (female:pressure), Chra (Editions Mego), Alessandra Eramo Vocal manipulation & Electronics), hiTHər’too (Sound artist & Composer), Jasmine Guffond (Ambient, Experimental, Drone), Katarina Glowicka (Modern Classical, Minimal, Glitch), Marisol Jiménez (Classical Electronic), Pilocka Krach (Experimental), Heidi Mortenson (Leftfield, Synth-pop, Electro), Oxana Omelchuk (Contemporary Jazz), Elzbieta Sikora (GRM, Electroacoustic), Iris ter Schiphorst (Contemporary), Lisa Streich (Modern Classical), Heidrun Schramm (Abstract, Field Recording), Jajoda Szmykta (Classical, Experimental), and Joanna Wozny (Classical).

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