The Oramics Machine lets you draw the music

Daphne Oram (1925-2003) was a pioneering electronic musician and sound engineer at the famed BBC Radiophonic Workshop. At the BBC and after, Oram developed an incredible new kind of sound synthesis technology, called 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.
“Oram was the first (and only?) woman to design and build an entirely new sound recording medium.” (Hutton, J. 2003. Daphne Oram: Innovator, Writer and Composer. Organised Sound 8(1): 49-56. Camb: CUP).

Oramics from Nick Street on Vimeo.

Read full review of The Oram Tapes: Volume One – DAPHNE ORAM on ©

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