Tara Rodgers at Stamp Gallery, 2012


I make music and research the cultural history of sound and audio technologies. Over many years, I have advocated for women and girls to have access to resources for producing music and to be recognized fully as sound and audio-technical creators. More generally, I am interested in how people use audio technologies creatively to express identities and form communities, in the politics and power of those modes of expression, and in the ways that sounds and electronic musical instruments carry ideas about bodies and social differences.

My research questions emerge from fundamental questions I encounter while making music: Whose lives and priorities are foregrounded in electronic music cultures, whose are backgrounded or marginalized, and why? What are the histories behind those familiar waveform icons on a synthesizer interface and the common terms in acoustics textbooks?

I think of my compositions, performances, writings, teaching, and public lectures as complementary pieces of an ongoing art and research project that explores sound and sonic meanings from many angles. My publications take various forms, including ethnography, history, music criticism, curation, artist statements, and interviews. Likewise, as a musician and composer, I rove among multiple instruments, music production tools, and genres. Because I learned to play music by ear, and tinkered with audio technologies and computers from a young age, I have long been interested in the knowledge that emerges from working with sound creatively. I remain captivated by what about sound and audio cultures is to be critiqued, and what in all of it can inspire better worlds.


Tara Rodgers (Analog Tara) is a multi-instrumentalist composer and historian of electronic music and sound, originally from upstate New York and now based in the Washington, DC area. She earned an MFA in Electronic Music & Recording Media at Mills College and a PhD in Communication Studies at McGill University. Her work has been presented at the Tate Modern (London), the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto), Eyebeam (NYC), on the Le Tigre Remix album, and in many other forums. Recent events include Loop (Berlin), Sonic Circuits (DC), and keynotes for Sound:Gender:Feminism:Activism (London), opensignal (Providence), and CTM (Berlin). She is the author of numerous essays on music, technology, and culture, and of Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound (Duke University Press, 2010), a collection of interviews that received the 2011 Pauline Alderman Book Award from the International Alliance for Women in Music; her work has been translated into multiple languages and reviewed around the world. She has taught at Dartmouth College, the University of Maryland, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and has served on the editorial boards of Leonardo Music Journal and Women & Music.

Selected reviews

“One of the most fascinating writers on the topic of gender and electronic music history… Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound (2010) is a must for any electronic musician.” — LANDR

“[Pink Noises] challenges us to listen differently, and more musically, to the electronic musics these women have made.” — International Alliance for Women in Music

“Feminist and queer musicology in the U.S. has [an] established presence… and Rodgers is one of its most interesting voices.” — The Wire


Tara Rodgers CV (PDF) – last updated 8/2017

Contact: analogtara {at} gmail {dot} com.

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