The Science Museum in London is recruiting electronic musicians to contribute to an upcoming exhibition on the history of electronic music, where the restored Oramics synthesizer will be on display.

The Oramics Machine was designed in 1957 by musician Daphne Oram. Do not be fooled by her 50’s ‘twin set & pearls’ look… Ms Oram was arguably the inspiration that led us to Jean Michelle Jarre, Neu, Kratwerk, Throbbing Gristle, Front 242 and without them there wouldn’t be House, Techno or even ‘power electronics’ (See Power blog)

It is a ”˜composition machine’ – what it essentially does is ”˜draw sound’ by literally drawing on 35mm film strips to control the sound produced. Orme created the machine after she left her position as the first Director of the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop to pursue the project. The result has since been described as one of the most significant devices in the history of electronic music.

Oram’s composition machine was created using a large rectangular metal frame, which gave the user a table like surface, upon which ten synchronised strips of clear sprocketed 35mm film traversed. Upon the film the musician drew shapes 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.

If all this is a little confusing have a look at the below video footage.

Oramics from Nick Street on Vimeo.

A series of workshops exploring the history of electronic music are planned, with participating artists getting the chance to go behind the scenes of the exhibition before it opens in autumn.

To apply, email publichistory@sciencemuseum.org.uk by 12pm on 30 May, explaining (in 300 words or less) why you love electronic music, what kind of music you make, how you share it with others, and how much you know about the history of electronic music.

Participants need to be available to go to the Science Museum on Tuesdays in June or July. For more info click HERE

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

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