Oram Awards celebrates audio innovators

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The third annual celebration of women innovators in sound, music and related technologies takes place on Saturday 15 June at King’s Place in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London.

Daphne Oram

The Oram Awards were launched by PRS Foundation and The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 2016 to recognise and encourage a new generation of talented women and girls in music and sound.

Representatives from the Department of Computing or Department of Music at Goldsmiths are part of the Awards judging panel each year, which convenes at the Goldsmiths Electronic Music Studios to assess nominations. 

Dr Iris GarrelfsMMus Sonic Arts Pathway leader and a 2018 and 2019 Oram Awards judge, will also be hosting a workshop on sound technology software with Associate Lecturer Jess Aslan. The BBC Research and Development team will front a workshop on using connected devices to create immersive audio.

This year’s Oram Awards celebration includes an exhibition of audio-visual works by Goldsmiths MMus Sonic Art students on show at King’s Place, King’s Cross, London. 

DJ sets and live performances take place across the evening following the Oram Awards prize-giving, with a set by Beatrice Dillon and performances by former award winners Klein, Loraine James and Sally Golding.

Dr Garrelfs said: “Women in sound and sonic art are severely under represented and it is important that we support efforts to redress this. I am very happy that Goldsmiths is supporting the Awards, recognising the importance of Daphne Oram’s legacy and the work of all women in sound.”

Previous winners with a Goldsmiths connection include Department of Computing alumna Ewa Justka and Department of Music alumna Claire M. Singer.

Two Award winners receive £1,500 development bursaries, with £500 bursaries for a further four winners from the PRS Foundation.

Director of Enterprise at Goldsmiths, Aidan Sheridan, said: “The Awards are part of a wider initiative which includes the development of the New Radiophonic Workshop in collaboration with Accidental Records and the BBC. Expanding our partnerships is the next step toward building a network of support for a wide community of women in the field of sound innovation. 

“This activity aims to actively engage and leverage common areas of research and practice across a number of exemplary cultural institutions. It seeks to create new collaborations and forge an explicit link between research and real-world application of new technologies and ideas.” 

Named after Daphne Oram (1925-2003), one of the founding members of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the Awards hope to build on her legacy. Oram played a vital role in establishing women at the forefront of innovation in newly emerging audio technologies. 

Goldsmiths is home to the Daphne Oram Collection, housing many of Oram’s important recordings, showreels, recorded demonstrations and research documents relating to her studies in electronic music and designs for early computer software for compositional practice, instruments and synthesis techniques. 

Tickets for this year’s Oram Awards evening event are available from www.kingsplace.co.uk