In These Hopeful Machines "James Gardner traces a personal path through the evolving world of electronic music – and meets some of the people who made it happen. In six content-rich episodes he looks at over 100 years of recording techniques, electronic instruments and gizmos, and their use in popular music, art music and their position in Western culture." [more inside]
A bit over a year ago, Warp Record's digital music shop, Bleep.com, presented their guide to recorded* electronic music, spanning from 1930 to 2010 (also as a Facebook timeline, which apparently kicked the whole thing off). The overview of recorded electronic music was presented as a selection of 55 tracks, almost five and a half hours in full. Part of this presentation was a (now expired) promotional deal to purchase the collection of songs as a lot, but you can still read about each piece of music on Bleep and hear 49 of the tracks in a playlist on Grooveshark. There's more to hear and read below the fold. [more inside]
"Daphne Oram was the first woman to direct an electronic music studio, the first woman to set up a personal studio and the first woman to design and construct an electronic musical instrument." [previously: 1, 2, 3] [more inside]
Radiophonics Workshop Founder Daphne Oram's Oramics Synthesizer "So there Dr. Mick Grierson was, wandering around a French barn, minding his own business when all of a sudden he happened upon an antique: one of the earliest modern synthesizers." [more inside]
Snow is a short film directed by Geoffrey Jones (1931-2005) and shot by Wolfgang Suschitzky [imdb], simultaneously spectacle and social-commentary it can be viewed online (YouTube). Snow was made under the aegis of British Transport Films (wiki) and nominated for an Oscar in 1965; unable to afford to licence his choice of soundtrack—“Teen Beat” by Sandy Nelson—Jones enlisted Johnny Hawksworth to rerecord “Teen Beat” with an altered tempo and effects by Daphne Oram [wiki, BBC]. The result is a masterpiece of sound and image.
Daphne Oram, Godmother of Electronic Music • During WWII, Ms. Oram worked for the BBC as a sound engineer while indulging an obsessive curiousity of experimental audio in her free time. In 1958, she finally convinced the BBC to open the seminal Radiophonic Workshop, which also fostered the talents of sci-fi composers Delia Derbyshire and Ron Grainer. During that period she developed a technique known as Oramics: manipulating 35mm film to create electrical charges and thus, editable sound.