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Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound Paperback – March 23, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822346737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822346739
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“[Rodgers] conducted thoughtful, detailed interviews with a wide range of artists. . . . Even when I don't much care for the artist Rodgers is talking to . . . the discussion is lively and interesting. . . . Rodgers clearly understands many disparate modes of music making, and sounds equally authoritative whether she's talking about elaborate programming schemes, the language of analog synthesizers, or record buying.” - Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

“One of the best music books of 2010, Tara Rodgers’s Pink Noises, gave an accessible window into what looks to be many years of research into gender, identity and electronic music. . . .” - Frances Morgan, The Quietus

Pink Noises is an extremely well informed, informative and inspiring discussion of some of the most crucial aspects and developments in electronic music. The innovators and actors behind these developments happen to be women and Pink Noises thereby highlights the astounding male centeredness in standard accounts and representation in electronic music.” - Anna Gavanas, Dancecult

“[A] vitally needed book, and it really is wonderful to read so many women talking passionately about the subject.” - Emily Manuel, Bitch

Pink Noises touches upon nearly every aspect of female involvement in the evolution of electronic music and sound. . . . This book would be worthwhile if only for its excellent, clearly written glossary of essential terms and its basic primer on the history of the speed-of-light changes of a mega-industry and tools that most westerners use—in our current climate of relatively affordable consumerism: (if not necessarily civilization)—on a virtually daily basis and that we take for granted.” - Deborah Frost, Women’s Review of Books

Pink Noises is an original and important contribution to discourse in
electronic music, musicology, and gender studies. Rodgers’s unique background as both electronic musician and scholar allows her to ask incisive questions about both creative process and cultural situation. And the introductory essay is nothing less than groundbreaking in its attempt to birth an alternate historiography for electronic music and to theorize the language and systems of electronic music.” - Betsey Biggs, Women & Music

Pink Noises is a breath of fresh air when you look at how many electronic music books are about more of the same: boys with toys. From the Middle Eastern–inflected electronica of DJ Mutamassik, to the Punjabi rhythms of DJ Rekha, to the academix of Pamela Z and Pauline Oliveros, Tara Rodgers’s examination of women as central figures in the creative processes of twenty-first-century art and music is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of music in our hyper-connected and hyper-post-everything contemporary life.”—Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky

About the Author

Tara Rodgers (Analog Tara) is an independent writer, composer, and musician, and the founder of, a website devoted to women DJs, electronic musicians, and sound artists. Her electronic compositions have been released on several recordings and exhibited at venues including the Eyebeam Museum in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto. She has received the New Genre Composition Prize from the International Alliance of Women in Music and a 2006 Frog Peak Experimental Music Award. Rodgers has an MFA in electronic music from Mills College. She is a Ph.D. candidate in communication studies at McGill University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CPARK on February 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
5 stars. Everyone involved in the experimental + electronic music / arts should have a copy of this book at home. It should be the topic of discussions both formal and informal. PINK NOISES belongs in every syllabus for any electronic music course (especially electronic music history, but really, any course) taught in every university, and especially universities who pride themselves on their electronic and experimental composition and music / arts programs. The interviews are insightful and unique to each artist, and the book represents a fair slice (FINALLY) of women, ethnicities, genres, from backgrounds of all sorts (creative / musical / non), in the field of electronic music / technology-related arts. Thank you, Tara.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steward Willons TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Rodgers assembles a nice selection of prominent women composers in the field of electronic music, giving each around six pages of interview space, plus one page of biography. Her questions tend to be fairly journalistic, so don't expect anything too theoretical. It's not fluff, but it's still pretty casual and easily accessible. I would have liked to see more depth in the questioning. Everyone gets asked how they got into music, which invites almost universally banal answers. Likewise, the biographies are just career snapshots containing nothing that you couldn't find with a quick Google search.

However, it's nice that someone is at least taking steps to cover these composers/musicians/artists. This is most definitely a first-step; there is ample room for much more detailed, substantive analysis, but I suppose the overall project of bringing people like Ikue Mori into academic awareness is still aided by these little interviews. It's also convenient to have them all in one place, and all done by the same person. That said, the interview quality tends to reflect that of the artist. Mira Calix's interview is breezy whereas Jessica Rylan's interview is much more interesting. Nothing against Mira Calix, but she is a thoroughly intuitive musician who prefers not to think too hard about her compositional process, and that leads to a rather uninteresting interview.

This isn't a great book, but it's a start and I appreciate the effort. I might recommend it to those interested in contemporary music, and who are relatively unfamiliar with the artists interviewed within. I doubt that I would recommend this to many people familiar with a significant number of these artists, as there isn't much depth here (again, by necessity, as the interviews are six pages long, not counting the obligatory photo).
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