SONIC POSITIONALITY: CULTURAL, TECHNOLOGICAL, AND ARTISTIC AGENCY AS A FEMME OF COLOR
For her honors thesis at Brown University, Mena wrote, produced, mixed, and mastered an EP of 6 songs and 3 interludes and developed the album for a multimedia live performance. Throughout her time in the MEME (Multimedia Electronic Music Experiments) program at Brown, she committed a great deal of interest and research to the underrepresentation of femmes in electronic music. Evidently, the fields of music and technology are both extremely masculinized, and at their intersection, the exclusion of femmes is only exacerbated. Femmes are seen as less capable with technology, and this prejudice is extremely present in the way we consume both the sonic and aesthetic aspects of music. With her thesis, she challenged our masculinized ears and presented an alternative sonic landscape.
The performance of the thesis took place on April 20, 2018 at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University. There were 15 musicians on stage throughout the night, live generative visuals, and over 185 people in attendance. Photos from the performance below by Cole Moore.
You can hear much of the compositional work from her thesis on Proximity, the debut Ushamami EP, available on all streaming services.