Daphne Oram
British composer and electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram provides another intriguing link between the development of electro-acoustic and synthetic film sound. Oram was the first woman to create and construct an electronic instrument. For Oramics, Oram designed and built a machine utilizing ten loops of 35mm film stock. After drawing freehand waveforms on graph paper, the patterns were traced or blocked out with masking tape onto the transparent film. A number of clutches and gears controlled the speed at which the film strips moved--one group controlling the waveform shape, duration, and vibrato, while others tuned "the finer nuances of timbre and intensity, amplitude, frequency." The drawn forms passed over lit photocells, converting the forms into electronic signals that could be further manipulated by oscillators and envelope filters. By 1968, she had used the system to record the dissonant, roiling chords of her composition "Contrasts Esconic."

Sample Media:

Examples of "Oramics," drawn film sound