Conversations in Berlin: Discourse on Gender, Equilibrium, and Empowerment in Audio Production

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Statistics on gender in music production have documented the imbalance of participation, in education and across a number of related industries (Born and Divine). A situation that is witnessed, but somehow unseen. Like the stereogram image: understanding a gendered sociality of music production requires differing degrees of effort, as for some, this a gendered framing of music production is not a choice but a fact highlighted through difference.

This chapter shares insights from eight Berlin based international music producers, including DJ producers, an instrument maker/performer, electroacoustic composers, electronic music producers, and a collaborative performance duo. All identify as women, or non-binary because I wanted to understand the experience of people not typically associated with the studio. In all of these conversations I asked two questions: how they came to work with technology for music, and also if they have ever become conscious of their own gender while working as a music producer.

I was not investigating how contributions are characterized by gender, or exploring their feminist voice in production practice, (such as the contributions discussed in Bosama’s work on women’s contribution to electroacustic music, 2006). I was interested in a sociality of practice; in journeys into music production and how these have been socially and culturally: particularly as society associates technology and masculinity, positioning women as other, or different (Green, 1997).

These conversations revealed various ways that a sociality of music production privileges the normative male identity, while other people are assumed to know little or nothing about their technical contribution. Also, examples of how minority genders can come to feel responsible for to representing others, and how this affects risk taking, learning and self-confidence.

Drawing on Bourdiou’s theory of power, I point to examples of how social, cultural and economic capital are influenced by gender, becoming significant mediators of a gendered experience of music production.

The interviews focused my conviction on a need to generate capital for women and non-binary people by creating a community for knowledge sharing, where members share social, cultural and economic capital. I hosted a gathering and a temporary community called the EQ+- Network was formed. Later I co-founded the Yorkshire Sound Women Network, which provides low risk opportunities for learning, knowledge sharing, and structured education for girls. The network has developed an extensive understanding about how women and girls experience music production environments, and a knowledge of how relevant industries might

This work focuses on experience through a cultural theory lens – doing more than offering a range of experiences – providing their stories and mine and through this hopefully thought provoking questions about the moments that dissolve barriers for minorities in electronic music.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender in Music production
EditorsRuss Hepworth-Sawyer, Jay Hogson, Liesl King, Mark Marrington
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter16
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781138613379
ISBN (Print)9781138613362
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Sep 2019

Publication series

NamePerspectives on Music Production
PublisherRoutledge

Fingerprint

Berlin
empowerment
conversation
music
discourse
gender
sociality
producer
experience
minority
electronics
participation in education
cultural theory
composer
industry
self-confidence
masculinity
privilege
knowledge
learning

Cite this

Dobson, E. (Accepted/In press). Conversations in Berlin: Discourse on Gender, Equilibrium, and Empowerment in Audio Production. In R. Hepworth-Sawyer, J. Hogson, L. King, & M. Marrington (Eds.), Gender in Music production (1 ed.). (Perspectives on Music Production). Routledge.
Dobson, Elizabeth. / Conversations in Berlin : Discourse on Gender, Equilibrium, and Empowerment in Audio Production. Gender in Music production. editor / Russ Hepworth-Sawyer ; Jay Hogson ; Liesl King ; Mark Marrington. 1. ed. Routledge, 2019. (Perspectives on Music Production).
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Dobson, E 2019, Conversations in Berlin: Discourse on Gender, Equilibrium, and Empowerment in Audio Production. in R Hepworth-Sawyer, J Hogson, L King & M Marrington (eds), Gender in Music production. 1 edn, Perspectives on Music Production, Routledge.

Conversations in Berlin : Discourse on Gender, Equilibrium, and Empowerment in Audio Production. / Dobson, Elizabeth.

Gender in Music production. ed. / Russ Hepworth-Sawyer; Jay Hogson; Liesl King; Mark Marrington. 1. ed. Routledge, 2019. (Perspectives on Music Production).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Dobson E. Conversations in Berlin: Discourse on Gender, Equilibrium, and Empowerment in Audio Production. In Hepworth-Sawyer R, Hogson J, King L, Marrington M, editors, Gender in Music production. 1 ed. Routledge. 2019. (Perspectives on Music Production).