[NetBehaviour] 'Kraftwerk Who?' Pioneering '50s Synthesizer unearthed in French Barn.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sun Aug 14 13:52:36 CEST 2011
'Kraftwerk Who?' Pioneering '50s Synthesizer unearthed in French Barn.
By Daniel Cooper.
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. Grierson, a professor at Goldsmiths
University in London did what any expert in the field of electronic
music would do, and whisked it back to the motherland for restoration.
The Oram "Oramics" Synthesiser (sic) was built by Daphne Oram in 1957, a
year before she co-founded the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to research and
develop electronic music. Political wrangling within the corporation
forced her to leave in 1959, and she retreated to a farm in nearby Kent
to tinker with her invention. After her departure, the Workshop shot to
fame for creating the original electronic theme to Doctor Who. In order
to create music on the Oram, a composer painted waveforms directly onto
35mm film strips which were fed into the machine. Inside,
photo-electronic cells read the light pattern and interpreted it as
sound. Check out the video to see the arrival of the machinery back into
England where it'll be on display all the way through December 2012. If
you're really interested you can tap Dr Grierson's homebrewed Oramics
iPhone app (linked below for your downloading pleasure) to create your
own futuristic theme songs, '57-style.
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