There is no feeling that quite matches a live music performance. When the crowd and the artist are on the same wavelength—when their energies resonate—you feel like you are part of a larger whole. As Victoria’s own AppleCat puts it, “it’s all about the empathic connection.” Electronic artists have an especially unique relationship with their audience in the way they can adapt to a crowd’s emotions and reflect the mood. The experience can be downright religious.
Being at the purple carpet premiere of Amplify Her was the closest you could get to tapping into that energy without being at a live music show. Part of this was no doubt a result of the prompting of co-director Ian McKenzie before the screening began. He encouraged the crowd to respond and react vocally to the film, even to dance to it if they felt the need to. That level of engagement is essential to really exploring the question that this film poses:
What unique feminine energy do female electronic artists bring to their medium?
When MacKenzie first approached his co-director, Nicole Sorochan, with the project she was under the impression that the film would focus on the adversity that female artists face and, while that is important, it is also a story that has been told dozens of times in countless different fields. For Sorochan, it would not have been worth dedicating years of her life to a multi-media project combining music, film, and graphic novels, and animation. But exploring the different source of creative energy that female artists tap into—the dark feminine—is another matter entirely.
ill.Gates, Black Rock City’s frequency scholar WALA, put the difference between female and male electronic artists most succinctly: “performing live is a lot like sex with an audience. Whether that is making love, or using other people to masturbate is up to the performer.”
Multiple featured artists have commented on this difference. Vancouver’s Blondtron commented on how masculine energy is more linear in its focus, whereas feminine energy is concerned with the bigger picture and helps to create doorways. This is directly related to her interests outside of music—developing virtual reality and augmented reality technology to create a deeper level of experience.
The film also seeks to create a deeper level of experience through its multi-media approach. The truth is that you only experience part of the story by watching. The rest of the story unfolds in the pages of the associated graphic novel. The book contains seven original stories by all-woman creative teams that focus on fictionalized versions of the women featured in the documentary. These comics tell their stories in a different way, one that adds a dimension of the mythic that would otherwise be absent, but that is absolutely essential to the finished whole. Each individual comic carries a sense of optimism and empowerment edged with the potential of what could be. It is a feeling that can be felt in every frame of the film.
At the end of the day, Amplify Her is not just exploring that the dark feminine applies to music. It is exploring how that energy is essential to the way humans relate to each other and thrive. Whether or not the old world order chooses to accept it, the dark feminine is only growing stronger. It’s here to stay.
Find out more here!