Talk: Daphne Oram and Optical Sound

Talk: Daphne Oram and Optical Sound

3 February 2018

Saturday 3 February, 3.00 - 4.30pm

Writer Frances Morgan talks with artists Tom Richards, James Bulley and Sarah Angliss about optical sound and its framing in history, considering the work of Daphne Oram and Giorgio Griffa alongside their modernist peers including Wassily Kandinsky, Edgard Varèse and the Bauhaus movement.

During February 2018, artists will work with and construct visual scores using Mini Oramics, a drawn-sound synthesiser designed by Daphne Oram (1925–2003) circa 1976. Oram was an electronic music pioneer, one of the founding members of the BBC Radiophonic workshop and the creator of Oramics - a drawn sound technique in which drawings made directly onto 35mm film stock are read by photo-electric cells and turned into sounds. Besides being a musical innovator, Oram was the first woman to direct an electronic music studio, the first woman to set up a personal electronic music studio and the first woman to design and construct an electronic musical instrument. Through his PhD research into Oram, Richards has built a Mini Oramics machine, a unique and previously unfinished synthesiser from her original designs.

Frances Morgan is a writer based in London. She is the former deputy editor and current contributing editor of the Wire magazine and is currently doing doctoral research into histories of electronic music at the Royal College of Art in collaboration with the Science Museum

Sarah Angliss is a composer and robotic artist. A prolific live performer, particularly known for her theremin playing, Angliss also builds musical automata to work with her on stage. She also composes for theatre. Her recent score for Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape (directed by Richard Jones) was heard at the Old Vic, London, and Park Avenue Armory, New York. She’s currently composing Giant, an electroacoustic chamber opera exploring the life of Charles Byrne. Her solo album Ealing Feeder was released in 2017.

James Bulley is an artist, composer and curator whose practice explores place-specific installation, locative sound and sound sculpture. He has exhibited and performed at the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican, the Natural History Museum, Mykolas Žilinskas Gallery and La Gaîté Lyrique. His work has been featured by the BBC, ITV, the Quietus, the Daily Telegraph, Nature and the Guardian.

Tom Richards is an artist, musician, DJ, and instrument designer based in London UK. Richards has built his own idiosyncratic modular electronic music system, with which he creates slowly evolving and heavily textured polyrhythmic improvisations. He has performed and exhibited widely in the UK, as well as internationally in the US, Germany, Peru, Singapore, Japan and Sweden.

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Please note that bookings are non-transferable and non-refundable unless the event is cancelled by the Centre.

Eligible Concessions
Concessionary fees are available to attendees who are in receipt of housing and council tax benefits, income support, job seekers allowance or a state pension; full time students with NUS cards or those who are registered disabled.

Please bring evidence of your concessionary status and show it to the ticketing staff on the day of the event.

Refund Policy
Please note that bookings are non-transferable and non-refundable unless the event is cancelled by the Centre.

The space is wheelchair accessible. Please contact us if you have any additional access requirements.

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