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The Rambler :: blog

Monday, December 08, 2003

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Loving Woebot's Delia and Daphne piece. I'm not sure that Oram is the one in danger of being forgotten - if that's what's being suggested towards the end of Matt's post. For one thing, she currently has an article in the New Grove dictionary of music, while Delia doesn't - written by the leading musicologist Sophie Fuller, who also includes Oram in her Pandora Guide to Women Composers (Derbyshire may well be in here too - I haven't checked. She's not in the Grove Dictionary of Women Composers though). If anything, I've had the sense recently that Derbyshire is the one being rediscovered, since as a founder of the Radiophonic Workshop Oram's place in history was secured. But that's how academia works. Either way, more exposure is always good!

On another point, it's interesting Matt refers to the femininity of Derbyshire's music. There's surely some amazing work to be done on the role of these women in the creation of Britain's answer to Stockhausen's testosterone-fuelled Cologne studio. (Anyone looking for a groovy PhD thesis? Don't say I don't ever give you anything...) See this wonderful quotation from Oram, taken from a 1994 article she wrote for Contemporary Music Review ('Looking Back ... to See Ahead', CMR,xi (1994), 225-8):

"How exciting for women to be present at [the home computer's] birth pangs, ready to help it evolve to maturity in the world of arts. To evolve as a true and practical instrument for conveying women's inner thoughts, just as the novel did nearly two centuries ago."

Great stuff.


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