Femme identifying, gender non-conforming, queer and women creators have always been at the center of modern dance music history. But despite their robust role in forwarding these musics and their surrounding cultures, their contributions and innovations have too often been erased, downplayed, or passed off as the ideas of men. This has led to a contemporary pop and electronic dance music eco-systems that are hindered and damaged by patriarchy. The ratio of male to female music producers in the industry is almost 50:1, and femme and non-binary deejays and producers constantly face a barrage of challenges; rampant disrespect behind the decks/in the studio, not getting booked for shows, not getting writing/publishing credits, the expectation, gender erasure and pressure to conform to narrow gender roles prescribed and outlined by male counterparts in the industry, etc. This is what makes Girls Rock Louisville(GRL)(and projects like it) so crucial and transformative, providing a space for learning and community for young femme and non-binary musicians. Put simply, we need more opportunities for femmes in music. We need more femmes on stage, in control rooms, behind the decks, running labels, etc.
In many ways, the world of technology mirrors the gender dynamics of the music industry, and at the same time, the world of music is being evermore intertwined with and built upon technology and digital production skills. This means we must prioritize both the teaching of traditional musicianship along with the digital skills and approaches of contemporary music production. We must ensure that young musicians have all the tools in their kit...as we encourage them to follow their passions and joy into musical livelihoods.
This sample pack was created to both celebrate and support the work of GRL, by providing tools that help bridge the gap between traditional instrument-based musicianship and the world of digital music production. RSS in collaboration with GRL instructors and mentors spent a day jamming and recording at La La Land studios(operated by head engineer Anne Gauthier). These recordings were then taken into the RSS lab where they were sampled, chopped, remixed, and reimagined to create a collection of digital instruments, loops, sequences and rhythms. We hope these sounds find their way into the hands(and hard-drives) of femme musicans in Louisville and elsewhere, and are used for producing new music and serve as a set of tools for music practice and experimentation. We also hope that these sounds help carry and amplify the message that girls not only rock, but they also mix, produce, engineer, program, sequence, synthesize, etc, etc, etc.
Learn more about GRL at GirlsRockLouisville.org