Resonant Thoughts: Daphne Oram’s “An Individual Note” (1972)

“The resulting flow is a complex pattern of tensions and relaxations which evolve as the musical material is worked out. The words ‘controlled’ and ‘worked out’ do not really convey what I mean. There seem to be no suitable English words. I am hunting for some word which brings a hint of the skillful yachtsman in fierce mid-Atlantic, guiding and controlling his craft and yet being taken along with it, sensing the best way to manage his vessel, freely changing his mind as unforeseen circumstances evolve, yet always applying the greatest discipline to himself and his seamanship…The composer has to guide and evolve his material in all its aspects.”

– Daphne Oram, An Individual Note of Music, Sound and Electronics (1972, p. 27)

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