Oramics is a drawn sound technique designed in 1957 by musician Daphne Oram. The machine was further developed in 1962 after receiving a grant from the Gulbenkian Foundation. The technique involves drawing on 35mm film strips to control the sound produced. Oramics was also the name used by Oram to refer to her studio and business interests generally.
Oram's composition machine consisted of a large rectangular metal frame, providing a table-like surface traversed by ten synchronised strips of clear, sprocketed 35mm film. The musician drew shapes on the film to create a mask, which modulated the light received by photocells. Although the output from the machine was monophonic, the sounds could be added to multitrack tapes to provide more texture and create polyphony.
The Oramics machine, which creates music from graphic elements uses similar principals to Yevgeny Sholpo's "Variophone", which produces sound by reading shapes cut into and drawings on cardboard. Canadian filmmakers Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart have made films that feature sounds created by drawing or printing various patterns, such as triangles and circles, along the optical soundtrack area of the film.
- "Daphne Oram's Oramics Machine to go on display", BBC News, 4 April 2011, retrieved 29 May 2011
- Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music, Science Museum (London)
- Fry, Phoenix; Cox, Sarah (26 May 2016). "Student builds Daphne Oram's unfinished 'Mini-Oramics'". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- Daphne Oram (1972), An Individual Note: Of Music, Sound And Electronics, Galliard, ISBN 978-0-8524-9109-6
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- Daphne Oram Collection
- Hugh Davies (2003), Daphne Oram: a tribute to a pioneer, archived from the original on 10 February 2006CS1 maint: unfit URL (link) (find archive)
- Daphne Oram and 'Oramics' (1959), 120years.net, archived from the original on 18 June 2012
- BBC News
- Daphne Oram, the unsung pioneer of techno, 23 January 2003
- How Daphne Oram's Oramic machine changed electro music, 4 April 2011