Screening: Sisters with Transistors (2020)
by Lisa Rovner
Location: Black Room

Directed by Lisa Rovner – 86 minutes – 2020

SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS is the remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to utterly transform how we produce and listen to music today. Theremins, synthesizers and feedback machines abound in this glorious ode to the women who helped shape, not just electronic music but the contemporary soundscape as we know it.

Avant-garde composer Laurie Anderson narration accompanies fascinating archival footage to trace the history of the technological experimentation of sound, the deconstruction of its parts and the manipulation into something altogether other. While traversing a range of musical approaches and personalities, from academia to outsider art to television commercials, we meet Clara Rockmore, Bebe Barron, Suzanne Ciani, Laurie Spiegel and Eliane Radigue, among many other fascinating and enigmatic musical geniuses and their peculiar way of hearing the world.


Lisa Rovner is an artist and filmmaker based in London. All of her creative projects, ranging from short films, music videos, adverts and art exhibitions are strung together by a fascination with archives and sound and her underlying aspiration to transform politics and philosophy into cinematographic spectacle. Rovner has collaborated with some of the most internationally respected artists and brands including Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick, Sebastien Tellier, Maison Martin Margiela and Acne. Her films have been presented internationally in art venues and theaters. Currently, she is in development on an episodic comedy about the art world and on a television series about revolutionary architecture. SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS  is her first feature documentary.

Narrated by Laurie Anderson.

Laurie Anderson is a highly acclaimed performance artist who also became an unlikely pop star in the 1980s. She was a pioneer of multimedia Performance and Installation art, before crossing over into the popular music industry with songs from her large-scale performance pieces, later producing full albums for commercial release. As one of the first artists of her downtown New York context to achieve a level of commercial fame, she was at the forefront of debates around the influence of mass media on the art world. She has since been recognized as being remarkably ahead of her time in embracing of new technologies in art and performance practice, and in her engagement with new media to share her work.

Produced by Anna Lena Vaney. 

Anna Lena Vaney (Anna Lena Films, France) is the producer of Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait which was a festival hit premiering in Cannes (Official Selection 2006), Sundance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, while Punk premiered at the BFI London Film Festival (2012). Her company is dedicated to bold subjects and new formats produced in collaboration with esteemed international contemporary artists and authors. She is now developing feature length films by Philippe Parreno, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Jesper Just and Sophia Al- Maria.

Visit the website by Sisters with Transistors – 

Photo: Film still, Daphne Oram Trust

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Event dates
30 April, 17:30