‘She’s at the Controls’, The F-Word review – Aug 2021
30 August 2021
Why are there so few women producers?
Cazz Blase salutes Helen Reddington’s book She’s at the Controls, a forensic examination of the gendered power play in the music sound engineering and production industry
“In her newest book, She’s at the Controls, Helen Reddington reflects on her own experience as a young musician, surprised to hear of Elton John’s marriage to his sound engineer, Renate Blauel, in 1984. Not because (as was widely known at the time) John was gay, but because his sound engineer was a woman and, despite being five or six years into her own music career at the time, Reddington had never previously heard of a woman sound engineer.
Flash forward 35 years to 2019 and Reddington is interviewing a woman who refers to herself as “The only female sound engineer in Britain”. This anecdote highlights in two ways just how little the situation has changed since 1984. For a start, Reddington knows that her interviewee’s description is not an accurate one, because she has already spoken to another British woman sound engineer – Felix Mackintosh – who also appears in She’s at the Controls. Secondly, her interviewee’s self-description reflects a continuing lack of awareness of women sound engineers within the music industry itself.
It was this 2019 interview, along with Reddington’s growing frustration about the high dropout rate of women students from studio training on the various university courses she teaches on, which provided the stimulus for She’s at the Controls. …” continue reading here
She’s At the Controls: Sound Engineering, Production and Gender Ventriloquism in the 21st Century by Helen Reddington
Cazz Blase on The F-Word website (Books), 28 August 2021: thefword.org.uk
‘She’s at the Controls’, Louder Than War review – June 2021
21 June 2021
“She’s At the Controls is essential reading. Helen Reddington reshapes our knowledge of sound engineering and music production in the twenty-first century, foregrounding the power and limits of feminism in a male-dominated industry while offering hope for a more egalitarian future.
In She’s At the Controls, Helen Reddington illuminates the varied ways in which women producers have been marginalised within the music recording industry and reshapes narrative of sonic technologies. Indeed, women play a prominent role despite the myriad manifestations of misogyny that have prevented them from acquiring funding, education, training, and sheer opportunity over the decades. …” continue reading here
Audrey J. Golden on the Louder Than War website (Book Reviews), 18 June 2021: louderthanwar.com
‘She’s at the Controls’, BBC Robert Elms show – June 2021
10 June 2021
Robert Elms discussed She’s at the Controls: Sound Engineering, Production and Gender Ventriloquism in the 21st Century with it’s author Helen Reddington on his radio show on the 9th June 2021.
Listen here: www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/…
(From 36:08 – 44:55, available for 29 days)
BBC Radio London Robert Elms show: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09j3n95
Interview in Deviation Street online zine – June 2021
09 June 2021
“Singer-songwriter Helen McCookerybook musical ventures first came to light as the bass player and co-singer with The Chefs in the late 1970s and early 80s. She then formed Helen and the Horns. John Peel admired both bands and between them recorded six BBC Radio 1 sessions. Then came the long break filled with the stuff of life. In 2005 Helen started again as a solo artist and up until the pandemic was regularly playing live gigs, and releasing recordings. Thankfully ( at least in the UK and for the time being) we seem to be emerging from that crisis. So a good time to chat with Helen about the past ,present and future .. Enjoy.” continue reading
Deviation Street Online Zine (Sound), 7 June 2021: deviationstreetmagazine.com