The Oram Awards – a platform for innovation in sound, music and related technologies returns for its 6th edition, and announces its six UK winners alongside two winners in the brand new international category, in partnership with the British Council.
In partnership with The Radiophonic Institute and PRS Foundation, the Oram Awards is a platform to elevate the work and voices of Women, Trans and Non-binary music creators. Hosted by hcmf// for the first time, the Oram Awards are part of a day dedicated to electronic music.
From over 120 applications to 26 shortlisted, to the final six winners in the UK category, and two international winners: The Oram Awards are pleased to announce this year’s remarkable winners are: electroacoustic, experimental composer Ella Kay; Scottish oral history archive musician Amble Skuse; ethereal multidisciplinary artist in sound and aesthetic lula.xyz; Manchester-based artist combining performance, installation and sound Kelly Jayne Jones; cultural geographer, and live cinema artist Amy Cutler; and sound artist engaging with unconventional spaces Lia Mazzari.
The International category, which looks beyond the UK and recognises worldwide talent, announces: Indonesian, Medan-based composer, instrument designer and vocalist Rani Jambak, whose work is concerned with the place of sound in culture and society; and FRKTL – the solo experimental music project of British-Egyptian interdisciplinary artist and composer Sarah Badr who composes emotive, immersive explorations of sound.
Becci Scotcher, PRSF Senior Grants and Programmes Manager, says: 'Now in its 6th year the Oram Awards is racking up an impressive list of alumni and we are thrilled to be supporting 6 more incredible UK based sound artists. The breadth of practice from applicants was inspiring to see and shows just how fertile the UK is for musical innovation. We are excited to see what the winners do with the Oram Awards mentorship program which is proving to be an effective springboard for the careers of so many talented Women who are pushing the envelope of creativity in sound, music and technology. The Oram Awards continues to show that without barriers people from all backgrounds are able to thrive.'
This year, the awards will celebrate the winners with a panel, workshop and a host of performances in the evening at Bates Mill as part of hcmf// on Thursday 24 November. Rani Jambak will perform alongside two UK winning artists, after the awards ceremony. FRKTL’s Audio-Visual installation Azimuth will also be presented as part of the evening events.
Judges were composer and producer Elizabeth Bernholz (Gazelle Twin), British electronic producer and musician Loraine James, sound artist and composer Iris Garrelfs, and composer, producer and creative director of The Radiophonic Institute Matthew Herbert.
The award ceremony will be presented by Elizabeth Alker (BBC RADIO 3).
Elizabeth Bernholz aka Gazelle Twin says: 'I've been so inspired to see and hear the work of so many talented and innovative creators of electronic music. It was a real privilege to be asked to be part of the judging process, though it was not an easy job. It is clear that this award is such a valuable and much-needed opportunity.'
Matthew Herbert, The Radiophonic Institute's and Accidental Records' Creative Director says: 'It’s always thrilling to hear the annual submissions for the Orams. I am reminded how spoiled for creative musicians we are in this country. I’m particularly grateful to the British Council for their support this year in allowing us to expand internationally.'
Named after Daphne Oram, one of the founding members of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the awards aim to build on her legacy. With others she worked at the workshop creating music for the distant future, the distant past and inside the mind. Along with other women of the workshop, including Delia Derbyshire, Glynis Jones, Jenyth Worsley, Maddalena Fagandini and Elizabeth Parker, Oram played a vital role in establishing women at the forefront of innovation in newly-emerging audio technologies not only in the UK but around the world.
While many women are innovating in sound and music, their work and voices often struggle to be heard. The positive shift has been welcomed in recent times, yet it is still not a level playing field for women innovating in sound and music. Whilst it would be preferred for a women-only award not to be necessary, it has been decided that for the immediate future, The Oram Awards will be open to women, trans and non-binary creators in recognition of Daphne Oram’s pioneering status as an inspiring role model to other women who are currently under represented in electronic music.