Sisters with Transistors — Documentary

There is a new documentary out about the women visionaries who pioneered in the development of electronic music.

Included in the documentary are:

  • Clara Rockmore
  • Daphne Oram
  • Bebe Barron
  • Pauline Oliveros
  • Delia Derbyshire
  • Wendy Carlos
  • Maryanne Amacher
  • Eliane Radigue
  • Suzanne Ciani
  • Laurie Spiegel.

Laurie Anderson narrates.

The Trailer:

Feel free to discuss any of the above electronic music pioneers, or someone else perhaps you think is also deserving mention. If you see this movie please let us know. There are some other videos at YouTube, with people discussing this documentary.


This looks really cool. I’ll definitely watch this when available.


The film promotion includes a overview of the innovators with a small biography for each of the artists they cover.

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Damn, CTM in Berlin screened it online until the end of January as part of their festival this year. I missed it - did anyone catch it there?


No Wendy Carlos??


Listening to the NPR show she gets mentioned there, so perhaps she’s in the movie too, i’m guessing she is.

ADDED: I’ve confirmed she is definitely a part of this !

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Hope so! Would bum me out if some weird transphobia was part of this film…


This looks so good! Some of my favorites.
I wonder if Laurie Anderson’s narration will be through the vp330 or via magnetic tape bows?

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It will be streamed on Metrograph in the USA only on April 23rd.

Metrograph is an independent two-screen cinema on New York’s Lower East Side that went digital during the pandemic to raise funds. It looks like Metrograph is $50 / year, or $5 / month.

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I watched it when it was streaming during CTM. It was super insightful and inspiring. Already a big fan of Ciani and Radigue. It really got me into Laurie Spiegel’s work.



Pardon my ignorance, but whose voice is it on the trailer?

Sounds like Laurie Anderson.

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Wendy doesn’t play well with others.

One of the artists i was not yet familiar with is Éliane Radigue. So I found a more recent video (it’s short 3 minutes only) with her explaining using the ARP 2500. It’s in French with subtitles, the last half of the video is the start of a sort of industrial ambient kind of sound. You can find other places to hear a more extensive exploration of her sounds and music.


I really started getting into a lot of these artists when I was at uni.

Radigue was an absolute boss.

But then Oliveros could be a total savage.

But my absolute hero will always be Derbyshire.

I mean, she did this one in 1971!

These lot really did have all the ideas.


'63? thats fucking nuts!
it really does touch on so many corner stones…


Well I think it was actually 1971, but still, it’s nice to know even AFX isn’t that original.


Yes, I have a trans kid, and I AM alert for the way trans people are treated and portrayed. Trans people have levels of risk for depression, suicide, drug abuse, abusive relationships, etc. that are orders of magnitude higher than the general population. Are you suggesting that transphobia doesn’t really exist, or just that you personally don’t care about it?

So yes: I am alert for whether a documentary about women pioneers in electronic music includes one of the most notable female synth pioneers, who happens to be trans. Because I want my kid to live in a world where trans people are valued and respected and included. Do you have a problem with that?


No, I don’t. But I have a problem with the issue being raised in places, where it does not belong. Did you take any time to research if it was actually the case, or did you just come to a very unlikely conclusion, among a wealth of reason, why a person might not be in a given documentary?

It is great disservice to an important issue, to push it in a way, that is making people sick and tired.