Daphne Oram – Oramics

Daphne Oram

2CD – Paradigm Discs
Seminal anticipations of future musical concepts and techniques from a time now passed away – a time fed by a different perception of the “concept” of the future, characterised by a very strong and rational exploration of the concept of “new” in music. These are the first stirrings of an electronic age – one whose development would be a slow and difficult process. Even today the genre reflects an elite public and does not find itself fully “popularized” in the aesthetic and conceptual worlds.We are – in the case of Daphne Oram – in the early forties, when she was only seventeen years old. After being offered a position the Royal Academy of Music she committed herself to the studious investigation of new techniques of music production. Her “oramics” is a drawn sound technique involving the process of drawing on 35mm film strips in order to control the sound produced. This technique was also developed independently, being used in 1957 in “Amphitryon 38″, the first TV drama commissioned by the BBC to an electronic composer. Over the years Oram has produced many other projects, some of them well-documented here, including “Incidental Music For An Invasion,” prepared as a soundtrack of a homonymous theatre play in the early sixties, as well as soundtracks for movies and more experimental studies. The quantity and quality of the ideas may be surprising, and while the settings are completely analog, they are nevertheless committed to a visual manipulation of sounds, with interfaces related to the structure of today’s most advanced software.