Drawing Sound



So, this is a thing out there in the world now. ‘Sound Houses’ is the new Walls album and falls somewhere between a collaboration and a remix project exploring the work of Daphne Oram. Oram set up the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop but left quite early on to pursue her own experiments with electronic music. While she might have been somewhat overshadowed by the nerdcore starpower of  dear Delia Derbyshire in the intervening years it’s quite clear Oram was a very pioneering electronic musician and inventor. She invented her own oramics machine which generated sound by reading notes she painted onto film, that’s what you’re looking at on the cover image there. Image into sound. This record was produced as the result of a BBC commission giving Walls access to Oram’s vast tape archives. They’ve reworked sounds from it into some amazing new music. Not a dry academic exercise, they have combined Oram’s sounds with new ones of their own on both vintage and new equipment, which I’m sure is the approach such a forward thinking artist would have seen as most appropriate. Don’t be alarmed though, this is far from being one of them crass ‘stick some new beats under some old gear’ hack jobs. It doesn’t sound all that much like Walls either if I’m honest. It is great though, so have a listen.

There’s also a fair amount of her music, and documentary footage about her on the you tube don’t you know?


Should you be in Leeds or thereabouts you should go along to this tomorrow, which will feature some Of Oram and Derbyshire’s work alongside a talk and performance by Trevor Wishart. What’s more, it’s free.

Event 54: British Electronic Music in the 1960s


the Italian half of Walls, Alessio Natalizia, appeared under his Not Waving guise at the end of the recent Panic & Carousels



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