Switched On – The Dawn of Electronic Sound by Latin American Women

Contingent Sounds


Switched On: The Dawn of Electronic Sound by Latin American Women, edited by Alejandra Cárdenas and Luis Alvarado / 208-page hardback, 6.75 x 9.4 inches, illustrated with photos, published in 2024 by Contingent Sounds (Berlin) / ISBN 9783000777523


The official history of 20th-century avant-garde electronic music has been predominantly narrated from the point of view of Anglo-American and Western European experiences and largely remained focused on its male protagonists. To destabilize this history, this editorial project presents a collection of perspectives, essays, interviews, archival photos, and work reviews centered on the early electronic music production by Latin American female creators, who were active from the 1960s to the 1980s. The book also brings us closer to the work of a new generation of researchers who have focused on offering a non-canonical reading of the history of music and technology in Latin America. The publication is the record of a new vision, an account of the condition of being a woman in the field of music technology at a time when this was a predominantly masculine domain.

The book has been edited by independent curator, researcher and label head of Buh Records, Luis Alvarado, and experimental musician, multimedia artist and researcher Alejandra Cárdenas (also known as Ale Hop). Composers and sound artists featured in this historical account include: Alicia Urreta, Beatriz Ferreyra, Elsa Justel, Eulalia Bernard, Graciela Castillo, Hilda Dianda, Ileana Pérez Velázquez, Irina Escalante Chernova, Iris Sangüesa, Jacqueline Nova, Jocy de Oliveira, Leni Alexander, Margarita Paksa, Marietta Veulens, Mónica O'Reilly Viamontes, Nelly Moretto, Oksana Linde, Patricia Belli, Renée Pietrafesa Bonnet, Rocío Sanz Quirós, Teresa Burga, Vania Dantas Leite, among others.

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