Conversations with Women in Music Production: The Interviews

Backbeat: Rowman & Littlefield. Jun. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9781493065066. pap. $24.95. MUSIC
Production and engineering are a frequently overlooked element of the music/audio recording industry; even less discussed are the experiences of women working in those areas. Marie (a music producer and recording engineer in her own right) addresses this little-explored area with a collection of interviews with women in the profession, including industry notables like Sylvia Massey and Ebonie Smith. Each chapter begins with Marie’s own summary of the topic, followed by questions and responses on sexism and gatekeeping in the recording industry, the idea of a ‘feminine’ sound in music production, mentorships and the lack of them, and work-life balance and parenthood. The partial academic slant of Marie’s questions sometimes causes hiccups in her questioning, but she proves adept connecting with her subjects over shared experiences. While Marie’s pool of subjects is relatively small at nine interviewees, the variety of responses and opinions expressed (and the interesting stories shared) show that this topic ought to be fervent ground for future study and discussion.
VERDICT A thought-provoking look at an oft-neglected facet of the music industry, most valuable for the diverse viewpoints and thoughts expressed by its subjects.
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