Musician Wendy Carlos wrote the score to Stanley Kubrick‘s “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Shining,” Disney’s “Tron” and helped popularize the Moog synthesizer in the 1960s and 1970s. Clara Rockmore helped popularize the otherworldly theremin instrument in the 1960s, but both figures are essentially still just obscure cult figures in music. That’s hopefully going to change a little bit with “Sisters With Transistors,” a new documentary about the female pioneers in electronic music whose radical 20th-century experiments redefined the boundaries of music.
Directed by Lisa Rovner, the documentary features notable musicians like Carlos, Rockmore, Suzanne Ciani, Laurie Spiegel, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Daphne Oram, Éliane Radigue, Maryanne Amacher, and Bebe Barron. It is narrated by ’80s electronic trailblazing artist Laurie Anderson.
Metrograph Pictures presents “Sisters with Transistors,” opening Friday, April 23, exclusively at Metrograph.com for an extended digital engagement. A national virtual cinema rollout will follow. The film had its world premiere at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, won the Next Wave Award at CPH:DOX, and screened at AFI Fest and Sheffield Doc Fest, among many others. Here’s the official synopsis:
Lisa Rovner’s superb Sisters with Transistors, narrated by legendary multimedia artist Laurie Anderson, showcases the music of and rare interviews with electronic heroes: theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore; “Dr. Who” theme composer and master of tape manipulation, Delia Derbyshire; Daphne Oram, one of the founders of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop; Éliane Radigue, known for her work in musique concrète, tape feedback techniques and meditative compositions; sound artist Maryanne Amacher, known for using psychoacoustic phenomena in which the ears themselves produce audible sound; co-creator of the world’s first electronic film score for Forbidden Planet, Bebe Barron; five-time Grammy award-nominated composer, recording artist, performer and master of the Buchla synthesizer, Suzanne Ciani; San Francisco Tape Music Center founding member and director, Pauline Oliveros,who formulated the concepts of “deep listening” and “sonic awareness”;Laurie Spiegel, developer of the groundbreaking computer program Magic Mouse, one of the first in-demand commercial music applications available to consumers; and three-time Grammy winner Wendy Carlos,who was key in popularizing the Moog synthesizer with her album “Switched-On Bach”, and composed film scores for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange & The Shining and Disney’s Tron.
Sisters With Transistors will premiere exclusively on Metrograph.com, starting with a live screening and panel discussion at 8pm ET on April 23rd, followed by a limited on-demand window and a series of special events. Watch the first official trailer for the film exclusively below.