Mindy Abovitz of Tom Tom Magazine put together another iteration of The Oral History of Female Drummers at Mana Contemporary in New Jersey.
The one-day event was an immersive sound installation performed by ten female-identifying drummers, each set up in different locations throughout the one million square foot cultural center during their Fall 2016 Open House.
Designed to explore the undocumented history of female drummers, the participants were both hidden (an empty studio space, a distant corridor) and visibly featured (the BSMT courtyard and outside on the grass). They played simultaneously, out of sight and sound range of each other. The performances began short and quiet, and grew longer and louder throughout the day to reflect the growth of visibility and presence of female drummers.
This event seeks to inspire and challenge viewers through their engagement with the musicians. Women and girls are traditionally seen and not heard; here, in these art spaces, they are both seen and heard. The artist Itta painted the drum heads and the drum sticks graciously provided by ProMark and Evans with a drumset sponsorship by DW Drums. See a documentary of the movement on Red Bull TV. This event was first performed in January 2013l a similar piece, titled First Beat, was presented at Miami’s Perez Art Museum Miami in December 2013. Most recently, The Oral History of Female Drummers was performed at the Brooklyn Museum in March 2016 to an audience of 10,000. Project (cover) photograph by Nick Gordon. All other photographs by Keka Margazao.
Drummers: Chloe Saavedra, Kiran Gandhi, Pippa Kelmenson, LaFrae Sci, Sean Desiree, LaTreice V Branson, Aiko Masubuchi, April Centrone, Paola Viteri, and Riesha Fayson.
The story of MINDY ABOVITZ, founder of Tom Tom Magazine, the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers. Mindy believes “the only way forward is with confidence and courage, and that being yourself should never feel like a risk.” With that sentiment she brought some of the best female drummers together to create a series of drumming performances titled, “Oral History of Female Drummers: Getting Louder.” The immersive sound installation has been performed at prominent institutions and museums across the Tri-State area and is on the precipice of becoming a national program.
On Sunday, September 25, Mana Contemporary hosted their Fall Open House, featuring open artist studios, a performance by Tom Tom Magazine featuring 10 female drummers, and eight new exhibitions, including Andy Warhol: The Original Silkscreens; John Chamberlain: Photographs; Marilyn: Character Not Image; Ronald Jones: 16 Isarstrasse; Textile—Territory—Text; Amy Khoshbin: The Myth of Layla; and more.