ponedjeljak, 13. kolovoza 2012.

Daphne Oram - neolitska boginja elektroničke muzike

File:Daphne Oram and her Oramics.jpg

Prvi ljudi koji su sa zvukovima mogli "raditi što god hoće" (izvrtati, sjeckati, spajati, rastezati ih) vjerojatno su imali dojam da su osvojili put na drugi planet. Daphne Oram (sa svojim izumom - uređajem Oramics - pretečom sintesajzera) bila je Laika tih putovanja, samo što je i preživjela, i vratila se da posvjedoči. Njezina soundhouse of reality ima nešto od tehnologijske mitologije i parodije te mitologije istovremeno.

To mark the 50th anniversary in 2008 of the creation of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the programme examines the life and legacy of one of the great pioneers of British electronic music - the Workshop's co-founder Daphne Oram.
As a child in the 1930s, Oram dreamed of a way to turn drawn shapes into sound, and she dedicated her life to realising that goal. Her Oramics machine anticipated the synthesiser by more than a decade, and with it she produced a number of internationally-performed works for the cinema, concert hall and theatre.
Daphne Oram was among the very first composers of electronic music in Britain and her legacy is the dominance of that soundworld in our culture today.

Daphne Oram, The Oram Tapes: Volume One (Deluxe 2CD Edition)

Two years in the making, this 37 track deluxe 2CD edition features two hours of previously unreleased recordings from Daphne Oram's archives. None of this material had been available until the quadruple vinyl edition appeared late last year and is now available on this beautiful double CD edition, compiled and restored from over 400 tapes and mastered at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Daphne Oram, founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, died in 2003 leaving a colossal archive of reel-to-reel tapes and documents behind. This important collection of material eventually made its way to Goldsmiths College, London, who have been administering it on behalf of the Daphne Oram Trust for the last few years. The collection holds over 400 tapes made by Oram during her lifetime, and 211 of those have been archived and catalogued by the college so far. "The Daphne Oram Tapes: Volume One" is the result of almost two years spent trawling through the archive in an attempt to piece together a coherent document of one of the most pioneering and genuinely experimental characters in electronic music history. Although some of Oram's recordings have surfaced on the "Oramics" compilation, this set reveals a much more complex, dark, sometimes disturbing and often beautiful body of work which has, until now, been partially obscured by the more recognisable Radiophonic bleeps and whirrs the Workshop is best known for. This first volume focuses on Oram's love of experimental forms, of Musique Concrète, of the science and mystery of sound and composition. It comes at a time when her work is only just starting to gain wider acknowledgment in scholarly as well as popular circles. The "Oramics" machine (the first electronic musical instrument in history to be designed and built by a woman) has gone on display at the Science Museum in London, an important step in what will no doubt be a sustained effort to assert Oram's rightful position as one of the most important figures in modern music. The set reveals a wealth of musical treasures that include recordings and sound effects made for '2001' and Jack Clayton's "the Innocents", all the way through to field recordings made in Africa. This first volume, put together with the help of Goldsmiths and Daphne's family, is the first in a planned series that will, for the first time, make Oram's most important and personal recordings available for public consumption. - Boomkat

Daphne in 1962 (ORAM.7.4.085)


[SinglePic not found]In 1962, Daphne Oram presented Oramics, the project that consumed so much of her time and resources. She received two consecutive Gulbenkian Foundation grants in the region of £3,500, a sizeable sum in the 1960s, to develop her research. Daphne said of Oramics, “I visualize the composer learning an alphabet of symbols with which he will be able to indicate all the parameters needed to build up the sound he requires. These symbols, drawn…freehand on an ordinary piece of paper, will be fed to the equipment and the resultant sound will be recorded onto magnetic tape.”
The concept of drawn sound was not new. The technique of drawing patterns by hand onto the thin strip at the edge of 35mm film had been around since the 1920s. Russian film makers Arseny Arraamov and Yevgeny Sholpo created soundtracks from intricate ink drawings on thin strips that were 1.93 – 2.5.mm in width. Norman McClaren used drawn sound in many films. South African electronics engineer , Johannes van der Bijl, working in the 1940s, developed a method of recording sound using photographed waveforms on 35mm film, which were passed across and interrupted a steady beam of light, and thus generated an electronic impulse to represent sound but the Oramics system reveals a more lucid, free and at the same time more precise analogue of sound waveforms.
Peter Manning noted “The ability to draw the dynamic shaping of pitched events not only allows a readily assimilated audio-visual correlation of specifications, it also overcomes the rigid attack and decay characteristics of electronic envelope shapers”.
The main body of the machine is a steel-framed table, across which a centre strip of graph paper is placed at right angles. Waveforms are drawn freehand onto this paper (these are still in place) and then traced, or marked out with masking tape, onto transparent, sprocketed loops of 35mm film. There are ten looped strips of film in total, arranged in five banks and each passes clockwise from right to left operated simultaneously by a common motor. The near group is individually and directly looped around the clutch mechanism and drive wheel, and the far group is looped around a wheel that is slaved to the main motor. Clutch and gears control speed of rotation, which normals at 10cm per second, although a handwheel enables the user to turn all strips simultaneously more slowly if desired. The near group of four control waveform shape, duration and vibrato, the raw ingredients of the desired sound, and the far group control the finer nuances of timbre and intensity, amplitude, frequency. The drawn waveforms pass over photocells, illuminated from above by a steady stream of light, to the right of the flat surface, The dark patches on the transparent film strip modulate the rays of light, and these are picked up as voltage measurements by the capacitors in the photocells. The electronic signal triggers oscillators and filters and envelope shape can be manipulated in fine detail. The signal is also passed to a separate sealed light box which houses four cathode-ray tubes. A flat plate of glass slides into a slot in the light box. The glass plate is partially covered by an opaque mask, selected from a number of pre-set shapes which correspond to the desired effect. This partially covers the tube output which is picked up by a photomultiplier inside the light box and conveyed to the output of the various oscillators.
Actual sound recording takes place at the end of the process, once the drawn sound has been manipulated and created according to mental and mathematical specifications, and not monitored at the outset by aural observations. A separate unit houses another motor, across which four strips of oxidised 35mm film are tensely looped. The output signal from the multitrack magnetic recording is passed to a stack of four Mulla 323 amplifiers, and from there to a pair of home- made speakers.
Composers such as Thea Musgrave, Hugh Davies used the Oramics machine to compose, although the finished product was perhaps too complex, comprising several separate housings and units for the different processes, to achieve commercial productivity, or even professional use by other composers.
The timing of its completion left it overshadowed by other developments in voltage controlled oscillator technology. Oramics was superseded by the Moog synthesisers, the synthi VCS3 and other more compact electronic sound creators and as a sound recording medium by more compact and practical portable tape recorders such as the early Revox A77s. The finished Oramics product remained in need of further investment and Robert Moog recently observed, ‘I remember thinking that it must have been a job and a half to make music with…’ (Moog 2000).
Another criticism of Oramics is that recording the sound and converting it to acoustic sound energy takes place only after it has been graphically defined. Delia Derbyshire pointed out, ‘…My attitude was that the ear is a better judge of what it hears than the eye can be in constructing a sound…I personally wouldn’t approach making a sound from any visual parameters, I’d rather do it from mathematical parameters and then rely on the ear to change it. (Derbyshire 2000). - http://daphneoram.org/oramarchive/oramics/

Daphne Oram Archive

Daphne Oram: Portrait of an electronic music pioneer

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