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Heroines of Sound goes audiovisual

by Michael Hoh

November 30, 2018

From pioneering sound sculptors to up-and-coming producers, the fem fest’s fifth edition gathers an eclectic variety of artists at HAU2.

It’s been five years since the first ever Heroines of Sound. On the border of electronic underground pop culture and contemporary music, the festival’s mission has always been to not only promote women currently working in music but to also shine a light on pioneering female artists neglected by male-dominated music history writing. And there’s still room for improvement, says Berlin icon Gudrun.

Gut who performed at the fest’s premiere in 2014 and is part of this year’s lineup, too: “It’s extremely important to present and cherish women’s music. Not much has happened since the 1980s. It needs to be said again and again that, in the 21st century, music doesn’t exclusively belong to men.” As part of her second Heroines performance, she’ll be playing songs off her new album Moment.

One of the festival’s main focuses, however, is a tribute to the late artist Mary Ellen Bute. Adding visuals to already existing compositions in the 1930s practically made her one of the first music video directors. Homages include a performance by Laurie Schwartz and Evelyn Saylor, putting new music to Bute’s abstract videos (Dec 6, 20:00), and a film screening, also featuring newly composed music by Lucrecia Dalt (Dec 8, 20:00).

On top, Ensemble KNM Berlin will be presenting a variety of forward-thinking contemporary compositions including new pieces by Katharina Rosenberger and Jessie Marino, while Marta Zapparoli goes retro with cassette recorders and tape machines (Dec 7, 20:00). In general, there’s a big emphasis on how visuals affect the audible and the other way round with a concert by Fågelle and Beate Kunath, performances by Claudia Robles-Angel, StratoFyzika (Dec 6) as well as Neo Hülcker and Antonia Baehr (Dec 7).

To put it all in perspective, a panel with sound artists, composers and producers discussing the latest trends in audiovisual performances precedes the concerts on Friday. A second panel will focus on sound art and the electronic music scene in Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and former Yugoslavia as well as the latest trends of connecting the audio with the visual.

Heroines of Sound Festival Dec 6-8 HAU2, Kreuzberg, full programme at heroines-of-sound.com