In an earlier blog post, I introduced you to women's college alumna Ebonie Smith, an accomplished music producer, singer-songwriter and audio engineer who is passionate about having more women in her field. With this in mind, she founded Gender Amplified.
From the Gender Amplified Web site:
Gender Amplified is a movement that aims to celebrate women in music production, raise their visibility, and develop a pipeline for girls and young women to get involved behind the scenes as music producers. The movement connects passion for music with technical skills that can be used in a wide range of scientific- and arts-based fields, areas in which women are traditionally underrepresented.
In 2013, Gender Amplified produced a highly successful music festival, which was held at her alma mater, Barnard College in NYC.
Ebonie is at it again, this time partnering with the Apollo Theater Education Program to facilitate a music engineering and production workshop. It takes place at the Apollo Theater in New York City and starts at 4:30 PM on March 23, 2015.
The first question I asked Ebonie was, "Why create workshops on music production and engineering?" Followed by, "Why is this an important time for these types of events?"
Music technology has become a great tool to organize people. More than ever before, people are using affordable sound-generating technologies to artistically express themselves, affirm their unique perspectives, and form communities. Consequently, many are searching for resources like workshops to learn more about the fields of production and sound engineering. Women and girls are a subset of this larger group. It is exciting to witness and nurture this demographic shift and to use it as a means of addressing the greater conversation of gender neutrality in culture and society.
I went on to ask Ebonie several additional questions about the workshop.
Tell us a little about your upcoming workshop, what's it all about?
The workshop is called Engineering Culture: How Tracks + Beats Reinforce Cultural Ideas and Agendas in Popular Music. It will be 90 minutes in length. We will take a look at some of the technical tricks, tools and ideas that contribute to the beat making and music production process. We'll be listening to a few hit songs and taking them apart element by element to get to the core of the production. Then, I plan to introduce the audience to some affordable music production applications that they can use to create their own tracks and beats.
Will this workshop only be for girls and women or is the event open to everyone?
While the workshop is free and open to the public, so anyone can attend, I would love to see a healthy turnout of girls and women in the audience, a group that is typically underrepresented at technical gatherings such as this. The way to change the conversation about women in the studio and behind the console is by fostering dialogue between the sexes and creating balance in spaces that are traditionally gendered.
What would you like young women and girls to take away from the workshop?
On the most basic level, I'd like them to leave the workshop knowing that music production and audio engineering careers are out there and available to them. I hope that by exposing the craft and telling my own story some of them will be inspired to learn more and research opportunities to join the field.