Terry Tyldesley: ‘Get stuck in, be true to yourself and your art will be more powerful’

It’s thrilling to see so many female musicians around right now though, and they are very supportive of each other. A lot of this is happening at grass roots level and isn’t always reflected in the music press or festival bookings, but things are changing – innovative female artists are too explosive to be ignored

This week we welcome Terry Tyldesley’s story and advice to the new generation of female musicians. Terry is the founder of Kitmonsters music & tech website, she is also a musician and award winning film-maker.

If you would like to nominate women and supportive men who are active movers and shakers in the field of digital creativity to share their stories and thoughts with our readers in the coming months  please do get in touch

FeralFiveTerryTyldesleyStrong female figures in arts and science fired my imagination

I grew up in a very can-do family environment, which embraced technology and also the arts. One of my Dad’s jobs was trialing the use of computers in manufacturing, and my Mum ran a small business and did car rally driving for fun.

I studied languages at university, and then journalism. I got a radio slot covering clubbing while I was a student, and then started working in newspapers covering absolutely everything, including music. I moved on to TV and became a producer and director at the BBC where I won an RTS award and a BAFTA nomination. I devised one of the first programme websites at the BBC and used to do bits of coding at home to get content up. Now I run my own music and tech website, Kitmonsters

Strong female figures in arts and science fired my imagination when I was young – Chrissie Hynde and her guitar, Siouxsie but also science presenter Maggie Philbin. The DIY spirit that came out of punk was also a big influence.

Where’s everyone else? Get in there girls!

I started playing guitar at ten and as a young teen I managed to sneak into some amazing gigs. I always loved writing, and think lyrics are really important. My current band Feral Five has been played on BBC 6 Music, we’ve used 3D printing in our work, and are on the soundtrack of a new film about drag queens, ‘Dressed As A Girl’. I’m pleased to be a PRS-registered songwriter, but only 14% of members are female. Where’s everyone else? Get in there girls!

Innovative female artists are too explosive to be ignored

It’s thrilling to see so many female musicians around right now though, and they are very supportive of each other. A lot of this is happening at grass roots level and isn’t always reflected in the music press or festival bookings, but things are changing – innovative female artists are too explosive to be ignored. With Kitmonsters I set out to make a music and tech website that was fun, accessible and inclusive. You’d be amazed at how few women get asked about their songwriting, production and music gear.

Get stuck in, be true to yourself and your art will be more powerful

My top advice to budding musicians is get stuck in. Whether that’s bedroom producing or picking up a guitar and finding some mates to jam with. There is a lot of free info, software, and encouragement around. It’s not about perfection, making music is about experimenting, and often it’s the odd things or accidents that are the best bits. Try and pick up some production skills along the way so you can sound exactly how you want to, and get your music out there with Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Be true to yourself and your art will be more powerful. Have a go at making your own instruments – keep learning. I made a mini synth at Music Tech Fest Hack Camp and haven’t looked back.

As women we have to be hands on and shape our world

It’s vital that women pick up digital skills at a young age, not least because it’s exciting. I’ve done 3D printing with kids, and seeing six-year-old girls design and print their creations and realize they have that power is great. Interestingly the things they build the most of are castles. Just like the boys.

As women we have to be hands on and shape our world. I was shocked to hear Helen Lewis (Deputy Editor at The New Statesman) at FutureFest talking about technology fails where companies hadn’t had a diverse enough team working on new products. We have to be right in there to make and influence the future of design, ethics, and business.

Getting X-Ray crystallography into a song is long overdue!

Currently I’m inspired by pioneers and creators such as Bjork, FKA Twigs, and Myriam Bleau – who push the boundaries of technology and art. Also people who find clever ways of changing and mobilizing society – like Laura Bates with Everyday Sexism. Historically people like Delia Derbyshire, and also Rosalind Franklin whom we name check in my band’s new track ’Neurotrash’. Getting X-Ray crystallography into a song is long overdue!

 

TerryTyldesleyTerry Tyldesley

Terry Tyldesley founded the Kitmonsters music and tech website and is a musician and award winning film-maker. She is on the advisory board of Music Tech Fest. AKA “Kat Five”, Terry sings, writes and plays in the band Feral Five. She also works with Printcraft, a 3D printing education project, and writes songs about science and technology concepts such as 3D printing humans.

http://kitmonsters.com/

https://soundcloud.com/feralfive

http://www.printcraft.org/

 

 

 

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