Back in January, a Pitchfork interview with Björk (by former L.A. Weekly contributor Jessica Hopper) revealed a lot about the iconic musician. But one point that jumped out for many readers regarded her work in the studio. As she explained, Björk handles plenty of the production duties herself, including making her own beats. But for years, the praise for her albums' productions has gone to the men who co-produced with her.
This isn't an incident that's isolated to Björk. From superstars to up-and-comers, women's role in making music is often diminished. In her Pitchfork interview, Björk offered a simple remedy: Take photos of yourself in the studio with your gear.
That's sound advice for the “pics or it didn't happen” generation, and the women of female:pressure, a network of DJs, musicians, artists and writers, ran with it. The female:pressure blog on Tumblr, curated by electronic music producer Antye Greie-Ripatti (AGF), is dedicated to photos of women making music. There are vintage shots of electronic music pioneers like Theremin player Clara Rockmore and composers Wendy Carlos and Daphne Oram. Women are seen in the mix, in the studio and out in the world making field recordings. There are photos of women at work in Somalia, Japan and Austria. A few Angelenos, like Tokimonsta, Laura Escudé, Lacy IQ and Syd tha Kyd, are represented on the site, as well
This is a new endeavor for a project that has been ongoing for 17 years. Over the years, female: pressure has gained more than 1,300 members from 64 different countries. The membership is heavily European, with an emphasis on Germany. Founder Susanne Kirchmayr (Electric Indigo), explains that a lot of this is because the network's roots are in Austria and Germany, and Berlin is a go-to destination for people who make electronic music. Still, in recent years, they have seen more new members from Middle Eastern and South American countries. “The continent most difficult to reach for us is Africa,” Kirchmayr explains in an email.
The female:pressure Tumblr only goes back two weeks. In that brief time, however, it's already made an impact. After Björk linked up to the site on her Facebook page, the group has seen an upswing in both social media interaction and new members.
Greie-Ripatti, who is based in Hailuoto, Finland, says in an email that there's one positive outcome that can come from this project: “I think it will be harder for them to say: sorry there just isnt [sic] enough women making music.”
If you're interested in contributing to female:pressure, check their Tumblr submissions page.