Heroines of Sound Festival Opens 11th Edition at Radialsystem

June 28, 2024

The 11th edition of the Heroines of Sound Festival showcases historical and contemporary heroines of experimental electronic sound that continue to leave an imprint on current aesthetic discourses. The festival’s objective is to excavate feminist histories of music—including those of gender non-conforming artists—and to increase their presence in the public sphere. Taking place from July 11th to 13th at Radialsystem in Berlin, the three densely packed festival days offer a diverse program of video art, film portrait, workshop and on-hand sound bar, rounded off by panel discussions on the key aspects of the festival program.

Farida Amadou: ‘Â’ // Copyright Elodie Meunier

The curatorial approach of the program emphasizes bringing the FLINTA* pioneers of electronic music into conversation with feminist composers of the present day, who take electronic sound transformation in cutting-edge pop and contemporary classical music a step further and interpret it performatively. The aim of this contrast is to open up new perspectives for an analysis of historical and current strategies of feminist practice. Heroines of Sound also strives for international cooperation: since 2014, the Berlin-based festival has featured more than 350 top FLINTA* artists from over 30 countries and presented showcases with partner festivals and institutions in more than a dozen other countries around the world. 

Katalin Ladik: ‘Androgin3,’ 1978 // Courtesy of Katalin Ladik and acb gallery Budapest

A special curatorial spotlight of the 11th edition of Heroines of Sound shines on Katalin Ladik (born 1942), one of the few female protagonists of the avant-garde scene in the former Yugoslavia and a forerunner of acoustic poetry. Known colloquially as the ‘Yoko Ono of the Balkans,’ Ladik employs her body and voice as instrument and medium to bring into question conventional gender roles. At Heroines of Sound, Ladik debuts a new work entitled ‘Membrane Universe,’ as well as a collaboration with the artist Natalia Pschenitschnikova, ‘Desire for Entanglement.’ Ladik is also the central focus of Kornél Szilágyi’s 2015 essayistic documentary ‘Sound Cage: A Portrait of Katalin Ladik,’ which traces the extraordinary career of the Serbian-Hungarian poet, actress and visual artist Katalin Ladik, from the “happenings” in Novi Sad in the 1960s to her groundbreaking work as a performance artist, and will be screened at the festival. 

Tatiana Heuman and Florencia Curci // Photo by Susi Maresca

The program of ‘Heroines of Sound,’ however, goes far beyond the headliner. The ensemble of performing artists dispense with the myth of a neutral and disembodied figuration of electronic music in favor of sound art that interweaves voice and percussion into digital compositions. For example, the visitors of the festival are invited to experience drum and electronic sets performed by groundbreaking percussionists including Katharina Ernst, Tatiana Heuman, Florencia Curci, Teresa Riemann, Robyn Schulkowsky and Laura Robles. Further highlights include works by Karen Power, Kathy Hinde and Anna Murray with the Irish Quiet Music Ensemble, which appears for the first time in Berlin. The festival is rounded out with artworks that explicitly engage politics and history, such as guest curator Julia Mihály’s agitprop influenced ‘18 WEST – Songs for the Downfall’ and Ukrainian electronic sound artist Zavoloka’s engagement with Ukrainian folk instruments. Overall, the festival promises a multi-faceted look at the broad panorama of contemporary electronic music from the perspective of FLINTA* artists. 

Additional Info

Heroines of Sound

Festival: July 11–13, 2024
Radialsystem, Holzmarktstraße 33, 10243 Berlin, click here for map

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