Jenny Berger Myhre is the latest addition to our conference program. A talented experimental photographer and musician being active in a various amount of creative projects. Currently she is studying composition with fellow boost speaker Rune Rebne. In her sparetime she experiments with soldering, and builds her own modular synthesizer. Oh, and did we mention that she recently released her debut album?
When reading about all your projects, one easily gets the impression that you are deeply curious about a lot of things. Where does your curiosity come from?
– I have always been a curious person. When meeting interesting people with a certain skill or talent, I often feel an urge to explore their field of work myself. Even though I never seem to have the patience to specialize in one thing only, I have picked up on quite a few things due to my curiosity. The way I see it, having enough time is crucial for pursuing one's will to explore and delve into new things. I feel priviledged to be able to dispose a lot of my time doing things I find interesting.
What is a synthesizer module and how did you gain an interest for it?
– My partner, Niklas, has a master's degree in music technology. He is building a lot of electronics: Microphones, MIDI controllers, movable sound sculptures and synthesizer modules. Synthesizer modules are the different effect parts some synthesizers are made of. When getting to know Niklas, I got super fascinated by all his knowledge. He encouraged me to try building modules myself, and that's how it all started.
Do you think there is a particular reason why girls working with music technology are still in a minority? What does it take, in your opinion, to change this lopsided balance?
– Right from the very beginning, I think many girls end up watching the boys from the sidelines. For some reason, a lot of boys aren't afraid of asking stupid questions or throwing themselves into something new, while a lot of girls are afraid of trying something they don't master from before.
I think that the longer you postpone trying to learn something, the harder it is to begin, as you feel like you should have known it from before. In order to change the lopsided balance between genders in the music technology field, we need to create safe places where girls and women are being encouraged to take up space and explore. Places where they can learn without the fear of making mistakes or not knowing enough beforehand.
Luckily there are several good initiatives working to shift things around, but there is also a need to change attitudes towards women in the music business. Quotas might be a good tool to use when needed.
Any words of advice for musicians eager to learn more about technology?
– Most importantly: Seek courses and knowledge! Don't be afraid of being the person that knows the least. Not knowing something from before shouldn't be a learning obstacle. I actually think a lot of us underestimate our own knowledge.
I would like to encourage people with an interest for music technology to gather with other likeminded people and try to learn from each other. Also, if you happen to know someone working with music technology – ask them if you can take a look at how they work at their rehearsal space. Last, but not least: Don't ever be afraid of asking questions!
We are looking forward to following Jenny Berger Myhre further on her creative path, as well as listning to her speaking at our conference in June! To learn more about Berger Myhre's creative work, check out her website!