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Daphne Oram

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Daphne Oram (December 31, 1925 - January 5, 2003), was a pioneering British composer and musician. She was the creator of the “Oramics” technique, a technique used to create electronic sounds.

Educated at Sherborne School For Girls, Oram was, from an early age, taught piano and organ as well as musical composition. In 1943 she was offered a place at the Royal College of Music but instead took up a position as a “music balancer” at the . During this period she became aware of developments in “synthetic” sound and began experimenting with tape recorders. She also spent some time in the 1940s composing music, which remained unperformed, including an orchestal work entitled “Still Point”.

In the 1950s she was promoted to become a music studio manager and began to campaign for the BBC to provide electronic music facilities for composing sounds and music, using electronic music and musique concrète techniques, for use in its programming. In 1957 she was commissioned to compose music for the play Amphitryon 38. Using a sine wave oscillator, an early tape recorder and some self-designed filters, she produced the score from only electronic sources; the first of its kind at the BBC. Along with fellow electronic musician and BBC colleague Desmond Briscoe, she began to receive commissions for many other works including a significant production of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall. As demand grew for these electronic sounds, the BBC gave Oram and Briscoe a budget to establish the in early 1958.

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