They're also in this month's "Bizarre" magazine (which I haven't yet got hold of), and here's some text from iLike:
Sisters of Transistors call themselves the UK's Premier Combo Organ Quartet and Ladies Social Club. Amongst their number are: Miss Mandy Wigby aka Sister Wigby Elka Wippeny - one of Yorkshire's foremost organists and specialist in alternative therapies, Miss Naomi Hart aka Sister Naomi Doric Pencrest - a graduate of the Royal Northern College Of Music and expert in the harmonic structure of icebergs, Miss Henrietta Smith-Rolla aka Sister Henrietta Vox Humana - a self-taught organ obsessive, who has an advanced form of synaesthesia, Miss Ragna Skinner aka Sister Ragna Tiescodottir, a graduate of Kleberg School in Reykjavik, student of Acoustics at Salford University and on drums Graham Massey aka Prof Vernon World-Drums.
It was in the summer of 1993, whilst setting up for a rave with his Techno group 808 State at Burton Wood Air force Base that Graham Massey first became interested in the history of Organ quartets. Whilst exploring the building prior to the bands 4am slot they discovered Room 201 which contained a selection of Hammond Model D Organs and some sheet music credited to Lillian Meyers. During the Second World War Burton Wood was home to 18,000 US and British Service men. The Air force base became the first port of call for organs imported from Chicago's Hammond Company for use in US Military chapels.
It was around the airbase that the northwest's first Ladies organ quartet was formed when Miss Doreen Lang (an original member of the Lillian Meyers Quartet who were scheduled to give the first Organ Quartet recital at New York's World's Fair in 1939) was asked to put together a quartet using the Organ's she had been responsible for at the base with the intention of them performing at a leaving dance during the D-Day preparations. Henceforth their has been a long tradition of Ladies Organ Quartets in the North West (for a full history of the legacy of Lillian Meyers see the sleeve notes of the debut album by Sisters of Transistors "At the Ferranti Institute (Advanced Composition For Electric Organ Quartet).
Sisters of Transistors came about through a research project embarked upon by Graham Massey at the Ferranti Institute and at his own facility, The South Manchester Museum Of Keyboard Technology (SMMOKT). The aim of the project was to as closely as possible replicate the work of Lillian Meyers using only vintage transistor organs. Applications for the quartet were taken from across Europe, the four were formally announced and named during a ceremony on August 4th 2007. The inner workings of Sisters of Transistors remain something of a mystery. The quartet meet weekly behind closed doors at SMMOKT . The sister's time is roughly divided into activities such as electronics seminars, soldering or choir practice and gossip is strictly limited to only 20 minutes per session. Outside of SMMOKT the quartet diligently spend their time on an array of fund raising activities which help keep the research faculties at SMMOKT going, it is worth keeping an eye on the Manchester Evening News for details of the next Wayward Wives Jumble Sale or Bonfire.
As far as the music goes, despite the Sisters dedication to make music in an environment free from the influence of other musicians (Ipods are confiscated on entry to SMMOKT) its hard to talk about their sound with out referencing artists as diverse as Goblin, Magma, Ennio Morricone, The Shangri Las, Manuel Gottsching and the B52s. The debut album "At the Ferranti Institute" will be released on November 9th by the estimable This Is Music label. The Sisters will be appearing live at a series of recitals, however if any promoters happen to be reading this its worth noting that the Sisters refuse to appear in venues with unisex changing rooms and their rider demands a selection of cakes of truly the highest of standards.
Info on the Promo CD is here
- a damn fine album, btw...