Starting the Organization
WoNoMute stands for Women Nordic Music Technology and started in August 2018 together with the beginning of the master Music Communication and Technology, both activities supported conjointly by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and University of Oslo, in particular from the Faculties of Humanities of the two universities. This is important to highlight as it showcases how the humanities are adapting to the technological challenges and changes with a critical spirit! It is also worth mentioning the vision of the MCT master, a master’s programme originated by Alexander Refsum Jensenius and Sigurd Saue.
The WoNoMute organization was founded by Anna Xambó upon her arrival at NTNU in alignment with the music tech group’s, Department of Music’s and Faculty of Humanities’s will to improve the underrepresentation of women in techno-scientific fields. The organization’s aim is to promote and connect the work of women in music technology at local, national and international levels.
WoNoMute started with a series of monthly seminar talks over the course of one year with 10 relevant local, national and international women figures in the field who have been invited to talk for audience in Trondheim, audience in Oslo and online viewers: Miranda Moen, Alexandra Murray-Leslie, Tone Åse, Tami Gadir, Angela Brennecke, Pamela Z, Sofia Dahl, Natasha Barrett, Liz Dobson and Sølvi Ystad. The guest speakers have been also interviewed in a video-sketch format combined with a textual format. This material has been, in turn, kept in an online archive for future access. The principle has been that if the community values what we do, we should be able to become sustainable after one year.
It is worth mentioning how the organization has evolved. Starting with the invaluable contributions from the MCT students, whom have brought their expertise and developed new skills: Karolina Jawad (co-chair of WoNoMute, production in Trondheim, interviewer, editor-in-chief of the blog), Mari Lesteberg (production in Oslo, musician and responsible of the WoNoMute directory from Autumn 2018 until Spring 2019), Ane Bjerkan (production in Oslo and workshops organizer from Spring 2019 to present), Tejaswinee Kelkar (workshops collaborator), Ada Mathea Hoel (artistic collaborator), and the AV and streaming team formed by Eigil Aandahl, Sepehr Haghighi, Jørgen Varpe, Shreejay Shrestha, Ulrik Antoniussen Halmøy, Espen Wik, Elias Andersen and Jarle Folkeson Steinhovden, among others. Continuing with the technical contributions from MCT teachers Robin Støckert (NTNU), Anders Tveit (UiO), Daniel Formo (NTNU), Thomas Henriksen (NTNU) and Alexander Refsum Jensenius (NTNU), who is also co-chair of the organization, as well as administrative and executive contributions from our departments with special thanks to Ellen Karlsen Holmås, Maj Vester Larsen, Øystein Marker and Inna Aalmo. To the influential conversations from our consultants. To the fantastic work by the logo designer Robin Mientjes (KOSO) and the illustrator Oscar Martinez Castells with the illustration “9 Women in Music Tech (WoMuTe) Heroes”, which has become our identity image. And the list of people who have helped on one way or another is uncountable.
The organization has been designed as an horizontal network so that it can grow organically and let their members take ownership by proposing new ideas and ways of doing. WoNoMute has currently two defined nodes in Trondheim and Oslo, respectively, and hopefully there will be more! WoNoMute has also an important presence in social media, with almost 400 hundred followers in total if we sum all the networks.
At present, WoNoMute has produced a range of material for the online archive:
- 7 written interviews (expected 9 in December 2019)
- 7 biosketch videos (expected 9 in December 2019)
- 6 videoed presentations (expected 8 in December 2019)
- 7 blog posts of diverse topics
We have also spread the word and have done artistic collaborations and dissemination activities:
- 1 artistic residency @SARC with 2 WoNoMute members
- 1 open call of women in music tech figures
- 1 playlist of WoNoMute members
- 2 presentations about the organization (Trondheim GirlGeekDinners 2019, FAEN 2019)
- 2 MCT presentations (NTNU, FilmUniversität Babelsberg)
- 2 workshops at UiO
- 1 winter camp at UiO
The impact of the WoNoMute’s online archive during the first year can be summarized as follows (data ranging from September 2018 to August 2019):
- Visits from +60 countries
- More than 1800 new visitors
- More than 240 returning visitors
- An average of 155 visitors per month!
In terms of the WoNoMute YouTube channel, we have received almost 400 views.
Towards a Sustainable and Meaningful Organization
All together, we could not imagine that this would grow so fast and we would have so much support at so many levels. However, we are still facing the issues of women underrepresented in our master and the uncertainty of how sustainable this initiative is. We are aware that this will not be solved in the next weeks or months, but we should work on the following goals so that the next WoNoMute edition can become more impactful and consistent with its vision:
- Having more women at all stages of their academic careers represented in the master’s program and WoNoMute network.
- Becoming a sustainable organization.
- Keep growing sustainably, making activities that are relevant to their WoNoMute members, and connecting between the WoNoMute members at both local and transversal levels, so that we make sure that the information and opportunities move throughout the network.
If you would like to get involved, check our webpage on “How you can help us”. See you in the next WoNoMute seminar talk!