Sisters with Transistors

Lisa Rovner and Marcus Werner Hed
Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 12:30PM

“Why have there been no great women composers?”
—Pauline Oliveros, New York Times, 1970

Please join us for a talk by the director Lisa Rovner and producer Marcus Werner Hed of Sisters with Transistors: Electronic Music’s Unsung Heroines, an award-winning documentary that maps the history of twentieth century women experimental music pioneers. 

Narrated by Laurie Anderson, Sisters with Transistors features the work of visionary composer and Rensselaer professor Pauline Oliveros alongside Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Delia Derbyshire, EMPAC-alum Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani, and Laurie Spiegel. Through rigorous research, interviews, and archival footage, the film follows the electronic music composers’ radical experimentations with machines that redefined the boundaries of contemporary music.

The talk will include an educational screening of the film in Zoom. Students, staff, and faculty at Rensselaer were able to access the film throughout the semester. 

Sisters with Transistors opened at Metrograph on April 23, 2021.



Talk recording, Sisters with Transistors with Lisa Rovner and Marcus Werner Hed, March 18, 2021.

Trailer: Sisters with Transistors

Pauline Oliveros discusses Deep Listening at Tedx Indianapolis, 2015. 

Dates + Tickets

Sisters with Transistors
Lisa Rovner and Marcus Werner Hed
Thursday 18
12:30 PM
March 2021
Presented By


Press Links


Production Credits

This event is a collaboration between EMPAC and the iEAR Presents series.

Rensselaer Union sponsorship provides ongoing streaming access to the film for the Rensselaer Community through the end of the semester.

With special thanks to Jordan Mattos at Aspect Ratio and George Schmalz at Metrograph.


This event is a collaboration between EMPAC and the iEAR Presents series, with support from RPI’s ARTS department and School of Humanities, Arts and Social Science, and the Rensselaer Union. Funding has been provided by the Electronic Film and Media area of the New York Council on the Arts. 

EMPAC Spring 2021 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with additional support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; and Vlaamse Gemeenschap, department of Culture, Youth, and Media. Additional project support by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; New Music USA; CCS Bard; National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund; Creative Capital; the Graham Foundation; and the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan; Music on Main and PuSh Festival (with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, Lēna, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Action at a Distance, SFU Woodwards, The Scotiabank Dance Centre, and CCOV, as well as the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Jim and Lisa Peers and an anonymous sponsor.)