Rosa Ronsdorf: The Electronic Tide: Feminist Sound Waves and Archival Feedbacks

 

Advisor/tutor: Hypatia Vourloumis

June 2021

Abstract

This thesis revolves around the unheard women of electronic music. I wrote this not only as a way to acknowledge the women themselves, but also to acknowledge that there is always more to the (hi)story. An archive is an ongoing process of transformation and elaboration. Exploring the archive of female pioneers of electronic music gives insight into a larger perspective and takes a closer look at the unheard sounds of society. Therefore, this thesis investigates the space-creating qualities and political possibility of sound, and tells the story of sonic consciousness as well as the importance of the invisible, inaudible, soft and silent.

How can we listen to the sounds of this sonic feminist wave and what can we hear in these feminist waves of sound? My thesis uses feedback as a practice and performance of creating and sounding out a counter-archive of women in electronic music. This feedbacking archive, consisting of the sisterhood between the female pioneers of electronic music, is attached to an ecological way of listening. Not only do they tell us the stories of our ecosystem on planet earth, but they form an ecology themselves. An ecology that can be understood as a whole, consisting of our surroundings and relationships that grow like roots and interweave human and non-human matter, environment and atmosphere. In order to hear this entangled reality, you are asked to practise deep listening like Pauline Oliveros, to move within the different wavebands of Daphne Oram, to orchestrate the sunrise like Suzanne Ciani, to listen in detail like Alexandra T. Vazquez, and to keep digging into the ecological assemblage of the world around us.