Daphne Oram — “An Individual Note of Music, Sound, and Electronics”
Daphne Oram’s essay “An Individual Note of Music, Sound, and Electronics” has given me a lot to chew on. What starts as a seemingly technical reference on how humble electrical circuits can be used to produce sound builds up over its chapters to a chorus of observations about human psychology, our relationships with music and other stimulus, and how the craft of musicians is enhanced—or prohibited—by computers.
It’s the kind of book that I grabbed mostly because it looked beautiful and its title features words I like to see on the covers of books: Music; Sound; Electronics. It more than satisfies the cover’s premise by explaining, in some depth, how sounds are produced, augmented, amplified, and encoded by electronics, and along the way manages to weave in incredible metaphors and (albeit sometimes dated) observations of human life.