Music Festivals

Why Victoria Lundy Is Launching Electric Ladyland: Women In Electronic Music Night

Electric Ladyland: Women In Electronic Music Night debuts tonight, June 25, at the Walnut Room. The event will focus on local women in the general electronic music world, although it will expand its scope slightly beyond that. Tonight's debut features Dream Council, a dream-pop band from Illinois, alongside locals Church Fire, Mirror Fears, Lanx Borealis, ping and Victoria Lundy.

Lundy, the organizer of the night, has long been involved in making experimental music of various kinds in Denver, but she is most often associated with the theremin, an instrument she has mastered.

For many years, Lundy was one of a very few female-identified people making electronic music in Denver. A visit to the Denver Synth Festival inspired the kernel of Electric Ladyland. “It was one of those moments of satori, where I had the realization — and maybe said out loud — 'Good God! There are no women here!' It was really shocking.

"It wasn't exclusionary...they just weren't there. Women seem very isolated in the community. The synth community can be kind of like the He-Man's car club. Nothing scares me, and I just show up anyway at the Boulder Synth Meet-Up. At the Denver Synth Festival, I was the only woman for the first hour and a half, and there are so many women that play synth in Denver.”

A longtime fan and historian of electronic music, Lundy can tell you names and biographical details of the many women who have contributed directly to the development of the genre in general, and experimental music specifically.

“They've been there from the beginning,” says Lundy about the presence of women in the world of electronic music. “Clara Rockmore, BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Delia Derbyshire. The woman on the [Electric Ladyland] flyer is Daphne Oram...there were huge numbers of women that have made electronic music.”

On the local level, Lundy sees the event as the first attempt to follow the advice of Mark Mosher and gather a tribe of like-minded people. And yet Lundy is well-aware that she is not doing the first event showcasing women making experimental electronic music.

“It's reaching a critical mass now,” says Lundy. “There was the Surfacing showcase, affiliated with Titwrench, and Sara Century's events. When Century transitioned to the more electronic music and embraced it, that changed everything. It just brought her material to a whole new level. If you have a strong idea you can bring it to reasonable fruition now. You can say, 'I want to try this sound but I don't know how to make it.' With something like Ableton your palatte is so much bigger.”

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If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.