The Oramics to Electronica exhibition explored the history of electronic music through the work of three British studios: Electronic Music Studios (EMS), the BBC Radiophonics Workshop and the private studio of Daphne Oram, a British pioneer who developed a technique that allowed her to draw sounds and which she called Oramics. The unique instrument she developed over the years, the Oramics Machine, was at the heart of the exhibition.
The exhibition was co-created with a group of musicians and people who made electronic music in the 1960s. We also worked with students from the National Youth Theatre’s Acting Up 2 course and a group of women writers who provided their own interpretations of the life and work of Daphne Oram.
Some films were produced that reflected on the themes of the exhibition and the work that went on behind the scenes:
Oramics to Electronica
This film was produced by film makers Nick Street and Jen Fearnley. It follows the co-creation participants through various stages of the exhibition process, from the storerooms to the museum floor.
Oramics: Atlantis Anew
This was produced by artist and writer Aura Satz and was inspired by the Oramics Machine. As well as sounds created by the Oramics Machine, the film features recordings of Daphne reading from chapter 1 and 2 of her book ‘An Individual Note on Sound Music and Electronics’ (1971).
Oramics to Electronica: Reunion film
While working with early British pioneers of electronic music on the Oramics to Electronica exhibition many fascinating stories emerged. Not all these stories would make it into the exhibition but we couldn’t resist sharing them with a wider audience.
So on 29 September 2012 we organised a public reunion for the early electronic music pioneers who helped us with this exhibition. Listen to their stories below:
Image: Part 2 of Oramics machine, 1959, used to create electronic synthesized music and developed by Daphne Oram, co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Science Museum Group Collection © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum