Her Sound Her Story: Celebrating Australian Women in Music
“Her Sound, Her Story is an intimate conversation unveiling the personal experiences, histories and significant social impacts of women in the Australian music industry. Featuring more than 45 artists spanning six decades, its unique narrative brims with rage, strength, beauty and triumph: a powerful dialogue that extends beyond the music industry to ask, "Where do we want women's voices to sit in the world today?”
The recent climate of the Australian music industry has centred around one glaring reality; that women are under-represented and under-appreciated. Her Sound Her Story is an expository documentary that delves into the darkest realities of the music industry to try and understand why it is that women are still not seen as equal.
This sombre fact of inequality was highlighted in Triple J’s Annual Women in Music investigation, which revealed the extent of the disparity in the industry. Their study found that on average Australian music festival line-ups are composed of only 35% female artists and only 28% of songs played on mainstream radio are by female artists. In response to this, there has been growing conversation about this issue, which came to a head following the all-female band, Camp Cope’s scathing takedown of sexism in the industry at Falls Festival this year, with their new song ‘opener’. It is strong, defiant artists like this that are driving the conversation and forcing people to recognise the inequality in the industry.
The theme of the documentary is summed up perfectly, with the question- ‘what is it to be a woman in a man’s world?’ The film focuses on 40 powerful female artists, including: Montaigne, Vera Blue, Julia Stone, Meg Mac, Ecca Vandal, Sampa The Great, Coda Conduct and Nai Palm, who share their intimate, personal experiences with sexism, ageism, body image and under-representation, driving home the point that there are hundreds of strong, talented women in this industry, who will not be silenced until there is a change. This is the real charm of this film, not once do they display women as a disenfranchised and beaten-down minority, instead they show and celebrate the strength, perseverance and determination of every woman who has ever worked in the Australian music industry, showing that they are here and they’re not backing down.
The film makes a jarring comparison by first looking back at big artists from the 90’s including icons like Kylie Minogue and Tina Arena through archival footage that shows that the conversation back then was an almost exact replica of the one we are having today. Although pointing out the obvious downfalls and resistance to change in the industry this older generation of artists show joyous confidence and hope for the future generation of artists saying that this powerful group of women, who won’t be silenced will be the ones to bring the change.
This documentary is a must see for all Australians, that will transform the way you see Australian music and Australian gender attitudes forever. It is currently showing in select locations around Australia, as listed below:
Melbourne- Cinema Nova NOW
Coffs Harbour- BCC Cinema, 15th October
Newcastle- Events Cinema 16th October
Sydney- Events Cinema George Street, 17th October
Melbourne- Darebin Arts Centre, 18th October
Cairns- Tanks Art Centre, 28th November
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