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Pioneering Electronic Music Producer Releases First Album at 83: Listen

| August 16, 2021

After years of adversity as a woman producer in the early 50s, Janet Beat has released her “Pioneering Knob Twiddler” album.

Pioneering British electronic music producer Janet Beat has released her first album at the age of 83.

The synthesist and composer began experimenting with music in the 50s after hearing the sound poems of French musician Pierre Henry. However, she faced difficulty advancing her career after being told that women “simply do not do” music technology,” according to MusicRadar.

Embracing the stigma, Beat found herself in the academic realm as a music educator and went on to establish recording studios at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She was able to publish recordings and handwritten music scores through the British Music Collection’s archives, but it wasn’t until now that her collection was distributed publicly.

Released via Trunk Records, Pioneering Knob Twiddler comprises seven electroacoustic compositions from Beat’s 70s and 80s recordings. While most electronic music today emphasizes the use of plugins and digitized sounds, her collection pays homage to frequency modulation with sounds created using synthesizers, tape machines, and acoustic instruments.

Today Beat stands as a pioneer in the music industry, advocating for and paving the way to gender equality. Due to her groundbreaking work in early electronic music composition, she was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by Scottish Women Inventing Music, a collection of music creators and industry professionals pushing for gender equality in the music industry. 

You can listen to Beat’s Pioneering Knob Twiddler below.

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