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30 NOVEMBER 2008

The Electronic Music Pioneer Daphne Oram

"Daphne Oram (1925 – 2003) is one of the central figures in the development of British experimental electronic music. Early in her career she declined a place at the Royal College of Music to become a "music balancer" at the BBC, and as co–founder and first director of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, she is credited with the invention of a new form of sound synthesis – Oramics. Not only is this one of the earliest forms of electronic sound synthesis, it is noteworthy for being audiovisual in nature – i.e. the composer draws onto a synchronised set of ten 35mm film strips which overlay a series of photo–electric cells, generating electrical charges to control amplitude, timbre, frequency, and duration.This system was a key part of early BBC Radiophonic Workshop practice. However, after Daphne left the BBC (in 1959), her research, including Oramics, continued in relative secrecy."

(daphneoram.org)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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