Daphne Oram



Daphne Oram was born in 1925 England, had a huge influence on electric music, and created the Oramics technique for creating electronic sounds with drawn sound.

She attended the Sherborne School for Girls and studied piano, organ, and composition. In 1943 she received an invitation to the Royal College of Music, but declined in favor of a position as a music balancer with BBC. There she experimented in the studios with tape recorders and electronic sounds, culminating in a composition fusing orchestra with pre-taped instrumentals, in 1950. It was the first written music to manipulate electronic sounds in real-time. She was given few major assignments until 1957, when she created the first wholly synthetic score in BBC history, leading to the financing of a new facility devoted to electronic content: the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, with Oram as director, co-founder and manager.

In 1959 she resigned from BBC, frustrated with their refusal to push electronic music into the foreground. She assembled her own studio and began work on what is now known as Oramics, which was a new viable and innovative approach to electronic music production.

After several successful collaborations, she received a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation enabling Oram to move from composition to focusing on advancing Oramics. She integrated her technology into an Apple II computer in 1981, learned assembly language to move to the Acron Archimedes, while teaching weekly electronic music classes on the side. She suffered strokes in the mid 90s and moved to a nursing home, and died in 2003.

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