By: Montse Andreu

One would think that the so long fought for equality of the sexes should have reached the adequate levels with respect to the chances that women have to succeed in the field of alternative musics. This is not so. And nevertheless, there are women who have devoted part (or all) of their careers to electronic, experimental composition, who have a great deal of talent. The objective of this series is to make some of these names known to the interested readers.

This composer born in 1963, obtains the Certificate of Composition from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, Netherlands, specializing in this field with Louis Andriessen. Her works range from chamber music to orchestral pieces to electroacoustic compositions, besides her totalist or postminimalist works, characterized by their fine number systems and beat patterns subtly intertwined in her creations. Furthermore, Cameron has developed a fruitful activity as artistic director and administrator for several New Music groups, among them Sound Pressure and The Arcana Ensemble.

A member of the New York Women Composers Association, Karen Campbell has specialized in New Music, a genre in which most remarkable is her work Mimic, for a four channel tape and flute, among other compositions of hers.

Also within the realm of New Music, experimental music and electroacoustic music, mention must be made of Mercè Capdevila, a Catalan composer born in 1946. Capdevila studied piano at the Academia Marshall, completing her musical studies at the Conservatorio Superior Municipal de Música in Barcelona (Spain) in 1976. A year later she began teaching piano at the Centre d'Estudis Musicals de Barcelona, and later she studied Composition and electroacoustic and recording techniques with Gabriel Brncic at the Laboratorio Phonos in Barcelona. The artist has participated in several courses and Composition workshops, as for instance the ones directed by Carmelo Bernaola in Granada, The Jornadas de Nueva Música (Symposium on Innovative Musics) in Sitges, and the courses organized in la Fundación Miró in Barcelona, directed by Luigi Nono, Coriun Aharonian, Jesús Villarojo, Joan Guinjoan, Mestres Quadreny, Gabriel Brncic, and Lluís Callejo. The composer usually participates in the concerts of New Music held at the Fundació Miró since 1980. In 1983 Mercé Capdevila gave a series of concerts in collaboration with the Taller de Creació Musical (Musical Creation Workshop), sponsored by the Institute of North American Studies and the New University of Barcelona among other institutions, and collaborated with Lluís Callejo in Joventuts Musicals de Barcelona, as well as in the I Muestra de Música Catalana Contemporánea (I Symposium of Catalan New Music). The following year she takes part in the Jornadas de Música Electroacústica in Cuenca, and in the Festival Internacional de Música in Barcelona. In 1985 the artist presents her works at the Festival Varadero in Cuba, Europalia (Belgium), Festival Internacional de Música in Alicante, and in the II Muestra de Música Catalana Contemporánea (II Symposium of Catalan New Music). Within the events of the Festival Grec 85 Capdevila gives a series of concerts, among them the Concert de Música Electroacústica I Raig Làser (Electroacoustic And Laser Concert), in collaboration with Oriol Graus, at the Planetàrium de Barcelona. In 1986 Mercé Capdevila participates in the International Festival of Experimental Music in Bourges (France) and once again collaborates with Oriol Graus and an instrumental ensemble at the Festival Grec 86 in Barcelona. Mercé Capdevila has researched the field of electronic music, specializing in musical experimentation, and has also released several of her compositions, like for instance a monographic CD performed by the Ensemble Solars Vortices, conducted by Jean-Pierre Puy.

Woman composer Inmaculada Cárdenas, from Madrid, Spain, is an expert in the field of the New Music, as well as the electroacoustic and experimental musics, one of whose compositions, "Museos" ("Museums"), composed for voice (featuring the voice of the author herself) and tape was presented at the "Festival de Música Electroacústica" ("Festival of Electroacoustic Music") in Madrid on June, 1996.

Wendy / Walter Carlos, having triumphed as a man, continues to harvest unending success as a woman, after her change of sex. Nevertheless, one may wonder whether her success would have been the same, should she had begun as a woman in the music field. About her and her work an article will be seen soon in Amazing Sounds.

If you wish to purchase any recordings by Wendy (Walter) Carlos you only have to use this link.

Teresa Catalán, born in 1951, specializes in New Music after finishing her musical studies in Spain. In her music, this   composer reflects the typical traits of her cultural background. The RTVE series on women composers from Spain and specially from  the Madrid area releases her composition "Iruñeakotaldea. Piano variaciones Nos. 2 and 7."

(Next chapter: CHEN YI)

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