This video, via filmmaker Nick Street, offers a glimpse of Daphne Oram‘s unique Oramics synthesiser, designed in 1957, after she left the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
The machine, recently acquired by Goldsmiths College, is now in the hands of The Science Museum in London and is currently being restored. It hasn’t been performed with since the 1970s.
The Oramic synthesizer works by translating images on 35mm film strips into control voltages that affect amplitude, frequency, etc.
Oram, 1925 – 2003, is a unique character in the history of electronic music, managing early electronic music studios, creating pioneering electroacoustic works, establishing the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and developing her own synthesizer.
For more information on Daphne Oram and her machine, check out daphneoram.org