In a world where artists as renowned as Björk and Grimes have to justify themselves to idiot male sound engineers and producers who somehow refuse to believe that a woman could be in charge of her own art, a group like Women’s Beat League is sorely, sadly needed.
This new project is a four-week workshop to, as the Facebook event page tells us, “will introduce beginners to the process of creating an electronic based dance track. Students will gain insight into computer-based music production through the use of Ableton Live. Students will learn the basic principles behind synthesis, looping, sampling, and more. At the end of the 4 part series, participants will have gained the skills necessary to feel comfortable composing music in Ableton, and will leave the workshop having created their own song. SciFiSol (Christina Broussard) has been working in Ableton Live and Apple Logic for over 8 years producing complex song arrangements and live performance sets with attention to detail and sound design.”
Hell yeah fucking right.
The caveat to all this is that the set of classes that kicks off tonight at S1 is all booked up. When you only have 12 open spots, that’s gonna happen quickly. But wait…there’s more: the WBL have another event on the way, happening on January 17th at S1. Called “Decolonizing Sound,” this all ages workshop puts the spotlight on Oakland-based sound artist Beast Nest and will “attempt to teach mindfulness, listening, resistance, and improvisation as sides of the same die.”
Here, though, is the true mission statement: “Most importantly, we will shed light on ways in which improvisation and playing music can help marginalized people reclaim and create new identities and languages despite the distortion of and violence upon our cultures, work, and genders that have historically oppressed us.”
If you’re a female or female-identifying musician, I hope you are already signed up for the first workshop, are planning on attending the second workshop, or will at least keep WBL in your sights in the future. I know I will.