The Oramics Machine during conservation

Results from the OraMIX competition

The Oramics Machine during conservation

New post from Merel, Associate Curator of Public History

On October 10th 2011 the Science Museum opened the exhibition Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music. One of the key objects in this exhibition is the Oramics Machine, a unique instrument made by composer and musician Daphne Oram. As part of this exhibition that celebrates music, inventiveness and the search for new sounds we wanted to give people the opportunity to share their own musical creativity.

We invited people from all over the world to remix samples from the Daphne Oram Archive. We challenged them to create a soundtrack for the 1967 TV Programme Our World, the first television production performed and broadcast live, from studios across the world. Musicians and producers Brian Eno and DJ Spooky as well as music magazine The Wire were kind enough to be our star judges.

We were overwhelmed by and very excited about the great amount of submissions we received. An incredible 156 tracks were posted on the competition page and our panel experts had a hard time creating a shortlist that could be sent to the star judges. In fact, they found it so difficult that they decided to double the number of tracks on the shortlist and 12 songs were chosen for the next round of judging.

And now… the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Who won the competition and who will receive that great collection of prizes?

It was a close call, but in the end there can be only one winner. And that winner is… Telescopic Moon by Chris Weeks

DJ Spooky said about this track: “Using nothing but the stems from Daphne Oram’s work, but taking them to places she would have enjoyed, this piece is a journey into some of the overtones [...] Oram used with powerful effect.”

Because it was such a close call, we would also like to applaud our number two, Atomic Shadow, with his track O3, which Brian Eno called ”A really interesting piece – deep, entrancing. I wanted more of it.”

Our number three, with only 0.3 points difference was Obe:lus. DJ Spooky said of his track Satellite Oramix: ”Great use of the stems from the original material, and it’s a beautiful track that lets you hear how poly-valent Daphne Oram’s work is. Polyrhythm plus the beautiful use of the original material made this track a standout.” Brian Eno said:”I keep humming it.”

Finally a special mention for the tracks submitted by The Audible Smile and Astrogarage. The Wire said of Sattelites Cry by The Audible Smile: ”I like the idea of satellites crying to each other across the void of space.” According to Brian Eno the song has “the sort of mysteriousness that Daphne liked.”

Astrogarage’s Orbit was described by Brian Eno as “Very engaging, intricate, and complex in mood. I wanted this to go on and on.”

We would like to thank everybody for submitting their tracks and taking part in the competition.

The OraMIX competition was made possible by Soundcloud; Goldsmiths, University of London; Sound and Music; Boomkat; and the Daphne Oram Trust and the Daphne Oram Archive.

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