Daphne Oram

Daphne Oram (1925 – 2003) is one of the central figures in the development of British experimental electronic music.

Early in her career, she declined a place at the Royal College of Music to become a “music balancer” at the BBC, and as the co-founder and first director of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. However after Daphne left the BBC (in 1959) her research, including Oramics, continued in relative secrecy.

She is credited with the invention of a new form of sound synthesis – Oramics. Not only is this one of the earliest forms of electronic sound synthesis, it is noteworthy for being audiovisual in nature – i.e. the composer draws onto a synchronised set of ten 35mm film strips which overlay a series of photo-electric cells, generating electrical charges to control amplitude, timbre, frequency and duration. This system was a key part of early BBC Radiophonic Workshop practice.

United Kingdom