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Sisters With Transistors (2020)

Feature Documentary, Music 1h 26m
  • Directed by Lisa Rovner
  • English, French, with English subtitles
  • UK, France
  • Australian

Laurie Anderson narrates the untold history of the women who blazed a trail through electronic music.

The theremin may be named after its male inventor, but it was a woman who popularised one of the world’s original electronic instruments. The first electronic score for a film, Forbidden Planet, was co-written by a woman, as was one of the world’s most iconic televisual scores: the Doctor Who theme music. And it was a woman who pioneered the use of computer software to compose music.

While these women have made vital contributions to the artform’s evolution, their names have, for too long, been forgotten. Lisa Rovner’s feature directorial debut aims to redress that. Clara Rockmore, Bebe Barron, Delia Derbyshire, Laurie Spiegel and more are thoughtfully and contextually profiled in order to rewrite a previously silenced history. Featuring a breadth of illuminating archival footage as well as fascinating insights and interviews, Sisters With Transistors offers a radical revision of a seminal sound.

“The film is a vital historical corrective, inscribing the names of these women into history as the innovators, independent thinkers and trailblazers they were.” – Los Angeles Times

Presented by The Monthly

The Music on Film strand is presented by Triple R


Lisa Rovner


Anna Lena Vaney


Lisa Rovner


Kara Blake


Bebe Barron


Daphne Oram


Delia Derbyshire


Éliane Radigue


Laurie Spiegel


Maryanne Amacher


Pauline Oliveros


Suzanne Ciani


UK, France