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Her Sound, Her Story: giving a voice to women in the music industry

This project has given us a huge wealth of wisdom. In a really beautiful way, the film was made by women, for women.”

Her Sound, Her Story is a vibrant and powerful perspective on the turbulent music industry, encouraging and empowering women to seek visibility through conversation and most importantly, to help celebrate their successes.

Established by independent art makers and long-time friends Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore and Michelle Grace Hunder, the duo are about to release the Her Sound, Her Story documentary after a well-received photographic installation and concert in 2016.

The project, which will showcase at this year’s Face The Music conference, will feature the likes of Tina Arena, Julia Stone, Zan Rowe, Banofee, Mama Kin, Jen Cloher, Mojo Julu and more.

Her Sound, Her Story as a project started three years ago when I saw a continuing conversation about the gender disparity in the music industry,” says Hunder, the project’s creator and photographer.

“I wanted to do something about it, and wondered how I could add to the conversation. Originally, I thought of doing portraits, but I realised the conversation was so much bigger than that, so that’s when I asked Claudia to come on board as a filmmaker and document and interview all the women we were taking photos of.”

With the documentary spanning over three years, Dalimore says it amassed interviews with up to 55 all-female industry professionals.

“Last year, when we had a successful concert and photographic exhibition, I hadn’t fully formed how this conversation, that was so large and so broad, could become something digestible to watch as a full piece,” she says.

“It was an incredible responsibility trying to decide how to tell their story, because many of these women are very well known and respected. But in the end, what we pulled out of the interviews is that all of their experiences and struggles as women in the music or media industry were very similar, even to our own.”

Despite tackling some often complex and difficult to navigate topics, Hunder and Dalimore believe positivity and hopefulness is the driving force of the documentary, and anticipate that it will be received with inspiration.

“We want people to know there is change happening, and it is very inspiring to hear these women talk about the different issues they navigate, and still come out on the other side,” the pair say.

“It gives us goosebumps to hear these successful women talking about it, and it’s very optimistic and uplifting. There is hopefully a huge learning tone in our project, where we celebrate and encourage young women, women of colour and women in the LGBTI community to keep going and inspire to achieve.”

In the documentary making process, Dalimore and Hunder admit the experience of piecing together Her Sound, Her Story was as equally educational for them as they hope it will be for their audience.

“We imagined we were our 15-year-old selves when creating the documentary, and thought about what it would teach us in that moment, what we needed to hear or see,” they say.

“We often hear the voice or advice of a person we have interviewed in our minds as we go about our daily professional or personal lives. This project has given us a huge wealth of wisdom. In a really beautiful way, the film was made by women, for women.”

Despite Her Sound, Her Story promoting conversation and not a definite solution, Hunder describes the unconscious bias that lies within the daily decisions made by the music and creative industries, as something that needs to be reassessed and changed.

“I don’t think people mean to be discriminatory or exclude women,” Hunder says.

“It’s all about taking a moment to think outside the usual box, look a little bit broader and try to be a little more inclusive of the diverse and beautiful soundscape we have around us. The music industry can only be benefitted by people of influence looking outside their peripheral vision.”

“It’s also the responsibility of smaller individuals to make decisions every day,” Dalimore adds.

“How you decide to treat someone or who you decide to support adds up to the ethos of the community. By no means what we have done is a conclusion. We’re not offering a solution on how to change it, but we’re having a conversation, offering a perspective and encouraging more women to be included in music and art.”

Her Sound, Her Story
will transform the voice of women in the creative industry from a reserved murmur into a loud and powerful projection. With a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom under their belt, Hunder and Dalimore’s labour of love offers a rare and unique insight into the industry away from the bells and whistles.
 

“All the women we have spoken to are not only incredible but extremely talented, capable and successful at what they do and we’re excited to share their stories with the world. Hopefully their stories will help others the way that they helped us.”

Her Sound, Her Story will air as part of Face The Music, screening at NGV Theatrette on Friday November 24. Face The Music takes place on Thursday November 23 and Friday November 24.