Jean-Michel Jarre’s spiritual grandmother?

Daphne Oram

Who were the real pioneers of electronic music? How about Daphne Oram –  Daphne who?

Oram (1925-2003) joined the BBC as a balancing engineer at the age of 18. She became immersed in experimental music techniques, produced electronically. She invented Oramics, a process of drawing on 35 mm film, and synthesising the results to produce music. She eventually formed her own studio organisation, based at the quaintly named Tower Folly; in 1981, she was even playing with an Apple II computer. She continued to work until she suffered a stroke in 1994.

The BBC radiophonic workshop (1958-1998), which Oram co-founded with her colleague Desmond Briscoe, produced many memorable compositions, and was hugely influential in its day. Perhaps the best-known output of the workshop was the title music and sound effects composed for Doctor Who in 1963. Then there’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Quatermass and the Pit, among countless other radio and TV productions.

Oram’s life and work are currently being celebrated in an exhibition at the UK Science Museum. A fitting tribute to a pioneer of the infinite musical possibilities we all take for granted in 2011 as we merrily compose on our laptops.

Source [1]: The Guardian

Source [2]: BBC Radiophonic Workshop  (2008 article)


Tags: , , , , , ,

Please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: