Feat Daphne Oram

I came across this paragraph in an article by Harry Sword on LWE:

“You take a sound, any sound, record it and then change it’s nature by a multiplicity of operations. You record it at different speeds; you play it backwards; you add it to itself over and over again. You adjust filters, echoes, acoustic qualities…you produce a vast and subtle symphony. It’s a sort of modern magic. We think there’s something in it. Some musicians believe it may become an art form in its own right….” Daphne Oram, 1957

That made me wonder who Ms. Oram was.


Born in 1925 in the UK, who later on created the technique for creating electronic sounds (named after her – Oramics), was also a composer and electronic musician. After refusing the Royal College of Music invitation she began working as a Junior Studio Engineer at BBC and started to experiment with tape recorders. With a sine wave oscillator and some self-made filters she created a composed sound exclusively from electronic sources, a pioneer procedure at BBC at that point. Demand for electronic sounds grew and so did the volume of her commissions. After attending a experimental music fair in Brussels in 1958 she resigned from the BBC as she was not enthusiastic about the poor interest of the BBC’s music department. A year later she put together a studio in which she produced background sounds for radio, TV, theatre,  short commercial films, installations and exhibitions. The recorded sounds on tape were cut, spliced, looped, slowed down, sped up and played backwards. She was also a lecturer of electronic music, studio techniques, writer, musical innovator.

For further research check the:
– official page – Daphne Oram,
– article by The Guardian : Daphne Oram: Portrait of an electronic music pioneer,
– article by The Guardian: Daphne Oram: an unlikely techno pioneer,
– article by the BBC: Daphne Oram, the unsung pioneer of techno,
– video Early electronic music machine uncovered.

References: all of the above and the dear wiki. ;)