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So far, the crop of International Women's Day-themed ads we've received have leaned heavily toward activism, and have largely stayed away from being celebratory. Instead, they've focused solely on issues. Whether it's depicting women with the constant weight of the world on her shoulders, or a woman who can't get a word out without being interrupted The Cause™ seems harder than ever. There have been one or two brands that have made a positive message. Like Brawny's Strength Has No Gender. But without the donation to STEM attached, it still seems like a virtue signal and not much else. So it really is refreshing to see something different for International Women's Day: Namely, an initiative that chooses to focuses on individual women, highlighting their extraordinary talents.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Bristol-based Syncsmith and London/LA collective shesaid.so have collaborated to curate a selection of 20 compositions from international female artists that are at the very forefront of experimental and cinematic level composition. From the radiophonic workshops of Delia Derbyshire to Mica Levi’s Oscar-nominated score for Jackie, you could say we're in a zeitgeist for female composers. It's about time the spotlight was shined brighter on them. This mix is just one step towards highlighting the impact women are making in music. Sequenced by Bristol's Kayla Painter, this continuous mix flows seamlessly from female artist to female artist, drawing influences from anamorphic to the ethereal. I took a quick listen before posting this article, and it's fantastic. You can snag the hour and thirty minute mix for free right here. It's the perfect ambient soundtrack to a leisurely evening.
Here's the track list
1. Initial - E-Saggila [Opal Tapes]
2. Closed Circuit - Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani [RVNG Intl]
3. Before I Started To Dance - Lisa Li-Lund [Versatile Recordings]
4. Assisting God - E-Saggila [Opal Tapes]
5. Adera - Aïsha Devi [Houndstooth]
6. Spring Ballade - Anastasia Kristensen [Nous Disques]
7. Uchi's House – rRoxymore [Don’t Be Afraid]
8. Face A - Beatrice Dillon [Where To Now?]
9. Slight Drift - Nadia Khan [Where To Now?]
10. About Finding The Right Balance – rRoxymore [Don’t Be Afraid]
11. Olympic Mess - Helm (Beatrice Dillon Remix) [PAN]
12. ASP – Alis [Opal Tapes]
13. Lentil - Karen Gwyer [No Pain In Pop]
14. Revert - Kayla Painter [Turnstile]
15. Initiation To An Illusion - Aïsha Devi [Houndstooth]
16. Waukon - Karen Gwyer [No Pain In Pop]
17. Dowager - Anna Meredith [Moshi Moshi]
18. Retrograde – Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani [RVNG Intl]
If you're not familiar with Kayla Painter, you should be. She is a composer, producer and sound design artist whose academic leaning never gets in the way of a stellar live performance. She's done a set at Simple Things Festival 2016 and performed at Glastonbury, too. Sometimes her music is evolutionary. Other times, exploratory. And the music is always paired with diverse media, like stop motion animation, installation, or film.
Currently championed by Mary Anne Hobbs, Kayla has spent two years as a lecturer at the University of South Wales, lecturing in the philosophy and political economy of music, as well as creative product development and research. She is also the course leader of songwriting at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM), and has recently been awarded her Masters in Music (Mmus) from Bath Spa University.
shesaid.so is a curated network of women with active roles in the creative industries. Their vision is to create an environment that supports collaboration, creativity and positive values. They've been active in the female empowerment space since their inception in 2014, amalgamating a diverse international community comprising of female entrepreneurs, business owners, and senior role models across all sectors of the industry. Based in London and LA, the community continues to grow worldwide and develop an active membership through events and other projects in the Bay Area, NYC, Paris, Berlin and other cities around the world. shesaid.so curates panels aimed at promoting exceptional work by women, organizing interactive events for their members and extended network, as well as showcases that shed a light on talented female artists and their representatives. Since its beginnings in London, shesaid.so has become a place where members can openly ask for advice, share jobs and events and announce new projects. There are currently over 1700 members worldwide. shesaid.so are also presently pioneering the “Alternative Power 100 List”> an initiative that aims to strike the balance amongst male-dominated opinion polls.
Bristol-based Syncsmith provides a hand-forged, audio-acquisition service that is tailored to the Film, TV and Creative Industries. Their aim is to remove the burden from the film directors, game producers and creative directors by providing an experimental, avant-garde catalogue of audible material to enhance visual projects. Syncsmith represents individual artists, forward thinking recording labels and sound design specialists including Aïsha Devi, Beatrice Dillon and Karen Gwyer.