1970s experimental artist Alice Coltrane. Photo from here.
Women in experimental music are some of the most underrepresented artists working today. There are handfuls of organizations like Audible Women and Women’s Audio Mission who, along with fellow sound artists, strive to uncover and document women artists who create completely individualistic soundscapes. Woman-made experimental music can sound like minimal hums and whispers, noisy clanks, repetitive loops, hollers and shrieks, or wordless songs that can last for 1 minute or 25 minutes without a break.
Women in this field go unrepresented because this music represents freedom. It proves that women can create without boundaries or major record labels, and can live off of artist commissions, mini-tours, or a belief that the truest art is free. Here’s a mix of women pioneering a path in experimental music.
1. Stopover Bombay - Alice Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders
2. Bone Music - Pamela Z
3. Cosmogeny - Björk
4. Autumn to Autumn - Bonnie Jones
5. Sundown - Strange Times People Band
6. 1953 Blue Boogie Children - Sonny & Linda Sharrock
7. A New Day - Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
8. Circle of Light, Pt 2 - Delia Derbyshire, Elsa Stansfield
9. Creation Myth - Moor Mother
10. Gold E’ - Nik Colk Void
11. Made of Metal - Grouper
12. Sparrow - Mira Calix
13. A.D. 2000 - Erykah Badu