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Daphne Oram Kickstarter launched plus student builds Mini-Oramics

A Goldsmiths PHD student has built Daphne Oram's never before completed Mini-Oramics, while 45 years on, The Daphne Oram Trust announce plans to reissue An Individual Note Of Music, Sound And Electronics

Goldsmiths PhD student Tom Richards has built Daphne Oram’s unfinished Mini-Oramics machine.

The original Oramics was designed in the early to mid-1960s. It worked by running 35mm strips past a series of photo-electric cells as a means of generating electrical signals to control the sound. Too large to transport easily, Oram started work on the mini version in the 1970s, but the project was never completed.

“There were a lot of reasons why she didn’t launch Mini-Oramics,” explains Richards. “She was working on her own, she wasn’t affiliated to a large organisation or university.

“[...] she also worried that her approach to musical research was out of fashion when compared to chance-based and computerised techniques. She was unable to secure the further funding she needed and she eventually moved on to other research.

“The rules were simple,” he continues. “I had to imagine I was building the machine in 1973, interpreting Daphne Oram’s plans and using only the technologies that existed at that time.”

The machine will be tried and tested in collaboration with six composers: London-based sound artist Ain Bailey, James Bulley, John Lely, Jo Thomas, head of Goldsmiths Electronic Studios Ian Stonehouse and Rebecca Fiebrink.

In other Oram news, The Daphne Oram Trust has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the reissue of her book An Individual Note Of Music, Sound And Electronics, with 2017 marking 45 years since it was first published. The trust has set a target of £10,000 to finance the reprint, with some of the rewards on offer including limited edition prints of Daphne’s filmstrip drawings, a copy of the reprinted book, an invitation to the VIP book launch and a visit to Goldsmiths University in South London to see the archive.

Shiva Feshareki will be performing Oram's Still Point alongside the London Contemporary Orchestra on 24 June at St. John's Smith Sqaure as part of Oliver Coates’ Deep Minimalism Festival.