8.5.09

DAPHNE ORAM : Oramics

Photobucket
Like many folk of my age, the eerie sound of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop permeated my childhood via their haunting theme & incidentals for Dr.Who & (sporadically) The Tomorrow People, plus numerous television & radio documentaries & jingles. Though Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson & John Baker have all psothumously received generous good press, it seems like Daphne Oram - who actually co-founded the Workshop with Desmond Briscoe in 1958 - has been relegated to the sidelines somewhat. I have to admit that I only first heard about her a couple of years ago c/o a brief article in The Wire magazine related to the release of Paradigm Record's stunning Oramics anthology. Both her commercial utilisation of make-do electronica & musique concrete theory, & the compositional system of Oramics itself that she spent her lifetime developing, verge on outright genius. I'd make an idiot of myself if I tried to explain the above in my own, over-enthusiastic babble, so do yourself a favour & check out daphneoram.org & her Wikiedpia entry for a more balanced explanation - they're both essential reading.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Tragically, the exemplary Oramics CD is already OOP. Mute's recent, long anticipated reissue programme of the Workshop's back catalogue, though to be applauded, only fleetingly touches on Daphne's outstanding & progressive experiments in electronic sound, so I'm linking to this great post Bruitage Et Mon Cri Dans L'Escalier blog & hoping that they won't mind too much. You lot, meanwhile, should prepare to be amazed...

Disc 1 / Disc 2

So, did she accidently invent techno? I'm not sure about that, but she did apparently help devise early on-board music software for the personal computer & her influence on pioneers such as Eno & Kraftwerk is undeniable.

9 comments:

  1. Of course I don't mind, everyone should be able to listen to this, and if they don't stumble upon it over at my blog, then they shall find it here.
    "Pulse Persephone" is probably my favourite track of hers.

    Anyways, take care :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for that. It's such an important collection, yet seems to have gone out of print almost as soon as it was released (I've never seen a copy for sale anywhere, 'cept Ebay occasionally...). And Daphne's influence on contemprary retro-futurist musicians like Broadcast, Aphex Twin & the Ghost Box crew is enormous... x

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a sonic aficionado and child of the seventies, it is telling that Daphne Oram has only recently come across my cultural radar through the "Snow" track someone sent me. A wonderful track which sounds to all the world like Joe Meek on DMT..utter bliss. Really looking forward to hearing the whole album so thanks very much for posting it.
    Its strange that she was absent from the Rephlex compilation a few years back and I cannot remember her been mentioned on the documentary on the Radiophonic workshop especially given the fact she was its founder!...its almost as though "well Delia Derbyshire is the token woman..cannot have too many of them acknowledged, don't want to upset the sonic phallogocentric apple cart do we...."
    Speaking of the wonderful Delia, you ever heard the track she did from the late sixties which prefigures techno by nearly twenty years?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7512072.stm
    (second song down) I must have listened to it a dozen times and it still leaves me speechless...future sounds casting there shadow into the present...ps> Im in shottingham too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Despite growing up in the 70s & being constantly bombarded with Radiophonic stuff (that's how it seemed anyway), I only heard about Daphne very recently myself. She apparently parted ways with the BBC & the Workshop very early on to pursue her own experiments & has conveniently been written out of history in favour of Delia Derbyshire (though that's nothing to do with Delia, just lazy music journalists!). Some of Daphne's innovations are absoutely staggering (check the site), & both Delia & Daphne's stuff still sounds wildly experimental & absolutely amazing I think? The fact that they were both strong, gifted women successfully working in what was (& still is?) s a very male world is the icing on the cake!

    ReplyDelete
  5. P.S. Shottingham, eh? If you grew up here in the 70s check my "Highrise!" post, it might jog a few memories...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous10.1.12

    Why people even bother posting this stuff in 128 kb, I will never understand...

    ReplyDelete
  7. And why do anonymous posters keep complaining about it?

    Daphne's music is not my property. It's posted here for evaluation purposes ONLY. If you like it, go & buy it, if you're actually a "music lover" that is. More than likely, however, you're just a wanker hipster, ticking off the "cool" muisc he/she has read about in The Wire, with no intention of ever paying for anything? In which case, piss off, arsehole.

    NVMBRR.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello,

    Thought some of you might be interested in this Pioneers of Electronic Music Festival next month!

    http://www.nonclassical.co.uk/?p=3068

    There are performances and talks involving DAPHNE ORAM, DELIA DERBYSHIRE, RAYMOND SCOTT and others

    ReplyDelete