For over 20 years, the Pink Noises project has promoted women and gender diversity in music technology fields and made information on music production more widely accessible. The title embraces “pink” for its gendered connotations, “noise” as a metaphor for disturbance, and “pink noise” as an audio-technical term describing equal distributions of power across the frequency spectrum (Rodgers 2010, 19).
Musician and writer Tara Rodgers (Analog Tara) founded Pinknoises.com in 2000. The website predated social media platforms and was one of the first online communities to promote and connect women DJs, electronic music producers, and sound artists. Pinknoises.com was widely praised in the press and nominated Best Music Web Site at the 2003 Webby Awards. (It lost to The Flaming Lips, who were backed by Warner Bros. at the time!) As a DIY project supported by a small group of contributors, Pinknoises.com was online for about five years; it lives on through a page on Facebook. Materials related to the project, including many feminist zines and electronic music magazines from the late 1990s, are now accessible in the Tara Rodgers/Pink Noises Collection at NYU Fales Library.
In 2010, Tara published the Pink Noises book with Duke University Press, including 24 artist interviews, a critical introduction on gender and electronic music history, and a bibliography and discography for further research. The book was one of the earliest to pair “music and sound” in an effort to break boundaries in music and art curricula and celebrate a range of creative methods, from club DJing to electroacoustic composition to experimental turntablism. Using a thematic organization – grouping interviews under categories such as time and memory; space and perspective; and language, machines, embodiment – Pink Noises also also opened connections between sonic practices and feminist theories.
Featured artists: Pauline Oliveros, Kaffe Matthews, Carla Scaletti, Eliane Radigue, Maggi Payne, Ikue Mori, Beth Coleman (M. Singe), Maria Chavez, Christina Kubisch, Annea Lockwood, Chantal Passamonte (Mira Calix), Jessica Rylan, Susan Morabito, Rekha Malhotra (DJ Rekha), Giulia Loli (DJ Mtuamassik), Jeannie Hopper, Antye Gueie (AGF), Pamela Z, Laetitia Sonami, Bevin Kelley (Blevin Blectum), Le Tigre, Bev Stanton (Arthur Loves Plastic), Keiko Uenishi (o.blaat), and Riz Maslen (Neotropic).
Pink Noises received the 2011 Pauline Alderman Book Award from the International Alliance for Women in Music, has been reviewed in dozens of blogs, websites, newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals, and is taught in music courses around the world.