Artist News Awards

Oram Awards recognise female innovators in electronic music

By | Published on Monday 5 June 2017

Oram Awards

The first outing of the Oram Awards took place at the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate on Saturday, within the Oscillate Festival Of Experimental Music And Sound. Presented by the PRS Foundation and The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and named after one of the founding members of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop – Daphne Oram – the event aimed to recognise undersung female innovators in electronic music.

The event was initiated by Creative Director of The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Matthew Herbert, as a means to identify and support female electronic musicians in the UK. “I was only previously aware of around 10% of the applicants”, said Herbert, adding that there are now plans to build some sort of formal community off the back of the awards to better support these musicians.

The event began with a panel discussion featuring Herbert, PRS Foundation chief Vanessa Reed, Frances Morgan of The Daphne Oram Trust and musician Mira Calix. There was also a brilliant performance from Mary Stark, creating electronic music using a sewing machine and loops of 16mm film, and a demonstration from Ewa Justka of her self-built synths.

Stark and Justka were among the eight Oram Awards winners, along with Claire M Singer, Elvin Brandhi, Kathy Hinde, Klein, Sally Golding and Shelly Knotts. Justka and Klein were also given special commendations, receiving a £1000 bursary each from the PRS Foundation.