Female Music Master Laurie Spiegel was born in Chicago (September 20, 1945) where in her teens she played guitar, banjo, and mandolin, and through them cultivated a devout philosophy of amateur music making. After receiving a degree in the social sciences, she returned to music. Having taught herself notation, she studied classic guitar and composition privately in London, then baroque and renaissance lute at Julliard, and composition with Jacob Druckman and Vincent Persichetti.
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“Spiegel pinpoints a more pragmatic reason for why women might have found their way to electronics: the DIY aspects of the synthesizer enabled them to bypass a schlerotic system that made it challenging to get your compositions performed. “You could create something that was actually music you could play for people, whereas if you wrote an orchestral score on paper, you’d be stuck with going around a totally male-dominated circuit of orchestral conductors trying to get someone to even look at the score. It was just very liberating to be able to work directly with the sound, not just creating but presenting. Then you could play it to people, get your work taken up by a choreographer, or used to score a film. Or put out your own LP. You could get the music out to the ears of the public directly, without having to go through a male power establishment.” At the same time, the gender drum is not something Spiegel particularly cares to bang. “The number of people making music with computers when I started was so small, every person was simply treated as an individual,” she insists. “I always felt like an outsider anyway, that was more important than being a woman. In a way I didn’t identify as a woman, I identified as an individual.” – PitchFork