Tag Archives: old music

Daphne Oram's Oramics

Absolutely brilliant documentary on the Radiophonic Workshop last weekend, which I missed (well, it was on Radio 3) and have therefore just listened to on the iplayer, Wee Also Have Sound Houses. Focusing on Daphne Oram, one of the founders of the Workshop there’s lot of interesting tales of the early days mixed with appreciation for these pioneers from Mira Calix and a few others. Her primary interest, from as far back as the ’30s, was in converting images to sound, something she achieved using her Oramics machine.

You’ll have to hurry to listen to it, though, because our beloved BBC takes it off the iplayer at 10:32pm on Sunday 10th August exactly. Is a week really long enough to keep this stuff up for a public service broadcaster I wonder… anyway, do hurry and listen. In the longer term, the BBC Programmes page should list any future broadcasts, shame you can’t sign up for an e-mail alert for future broadcasts… or even request.

Now to order a copy of her album, though I’m not sure why HMV makes a lewd suggestion when I search for it there (though amazon is similarly clueless)…


…so it appears to be only really availabile online via Boomkat in mp3 or CD.

There is a bit of Oram on Late Junction from Wednesday as well, skip to 57:40 or so – youve got longer to listen to this, until 1:02am on Thursday 14th August. And if you want to read up even more on her work there’s a lengthy article from Hugh Davies on sonic arts network in the internet archive.

Curse your little heart pitchfork

After falling over onto Beirut thanks to Pitchfork’s review I was feeling somewhat smug that I had got into listenning to Devotchka via an emusic reccomendation rather than another review at Pitchfork. Annoyingly just as I go to blog here about it I find they’ve finally seen fit to review an EP..

Of course I can still be smug that it takes an EP of covers for them to take notice of what is a very good indie band. If you want a listen just click here and either play that youtube video or the one linked just beneath for the live experience. Alternatively you can let the site play you either the excellent Queen of the Surface Streets or the very soundtracky but great How It Ends. Better still if you even just attempt to sign up for their mailing list you seem to be able to listen to the whole EP which features a brilliant new version of the song that got me into them, Curse Your Little Heart. In a funny old way their covers remind me a lot of Cake but with more varied and accomplished style. Certainly their cover of Something Stupid ranks up with Cake’s cover of I Will Survive.

I’d kill to see them live about now but unfortunately they passed through London just a couple of months ago so I have some time to wait.

There is also more Devotchka available to listen to at myspace, if you dare sully your machine.

In interesting look-at-that-webstore notes AmpCamp have a feature which notes unusual instruments used on recordings, such as the theremin. They also have a nifty difficulty rating pop up thingy which may well be the coolest thing ever. There is a strong temptation to borrow the idea of ranking music on a series of 1-5 scales such as “Attention Required: 1 – Billy Ocean, 5 – John Cage” but that may just be the thoughts of the small hours talking.