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The Sound of Oramics (MP3)

Savaran's record of a Daphne Oram–themed exhibit

Field recordings don’t only take place in fields. Or more to the point, sometimes the field of study is indoors. And sometimes the field of study is itself a field of study. Savaran’s “Oramica” captures the electronic afterglow, the sonic byproduct, of a gallery exhibit itself dedicated to electronic sound. It’s an eight-plus-minute record of Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music, an exhibit that began its run at the British Science Museum in July 2011 and concludes on December 1 of this year. Savaran’s track isn’t a pure field recording. It’s a distillation of the initial document, with additions from Savaran himself.

Here’s Savaran’s description of his process:

This track is based around an 8 minute field recording of the sounds in the Science Museum, London during the Oramics to Electronica. … The exhibition is on the 2nd floor of what is essentially a long open hall, so sound carried from all floors. I sat at the front of the second floor facing the Oramics exhibition and recorded everything that could be heard into a Sony PCM M-10 recorder. Some parts of the exhibition were playing individual electronic sounds and the oramics sounds could also be heard over headphones while using an interactive screen. I mixed the field recording with sounds from Reaktor and Kore2 blended in such a way that the Oramics sounds and field recording appear to seemlessly fit into the overall soundscape.

Among the materials on display are the instrument that composer Daphne Oram called her Oramics Machine, and an EMC VCS3 synthesizer of the sort utilized by Oram’s one-time employer, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Here’s a video produced by Science Museum about the exhibit:

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/savaran. Savaran is Mark Walters, who’s based in Wales in the U.K. More on/from him at twitter.com/Savaran_Music and savaranmusic.wordpress.com. More on the Oramics exhibit at sciencemuseum.org.uk/oramics.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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