A live, original score evokes the wonder and discovery which ran through the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in its early days as Blood of the Young’s dynamic ensemble of Glasgow-based theatre-makers bring to life the amazing story of Daphne Oram and her legacy.
One of the most distinctive composers of the 20th century, Daphne Oram cut a trailblazing path through uncharted musical territory. In 1942 a seventeen-year-old Daphne attended a séance which inspired her to forge a career in music. This led to her co-founding and becoming the first director of the world-famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop, (birth-place of many of television’s early Sci-Fi themes, such as Doctor Who.) In a career spanning more than 30 years, she worked with opera singers, classical composers and rock and roll stars. She released several records, influenced the teaching of music in schools, wrote a book on her personal sound philosophy (An Individual Note) and continued always to pursue innovation, learning and teaching her craft - often as the only woman in that professional environment.
A true innovator who sacrificed everything for her art, Daphne’s boldness and pioneering spirit created a legacy that remains important today to musicians, sound artists, engineers.At the heart of this show sits the music of electronic sound artist, composer and performer Anneke Kampman (formerly of Scottish band Conquering Animal Sound), a longstanding admirer of Oram’s work. Kampman’s innovative, contemporary score draws parallels between past and present, combining aspects of Oram’s oeuvre and influences with her own distinct sound.
Director Paul Brotherston said: “The nature of the experimentation taking place in 1950s sound studios continues to sound cutting-edge to this day.There is a constant sense of discovery and adventure – danger, even. I remember when I first heard Daphne's work I instantly started to imagine movement dynamics and theatrical images. She was a truly original personality - not just a pioneer of electronic sound but also a radical, holistic philosopher, historian and thinker interested in the mysteries of the vibrational universe. I just wanted to know more and more about her.
“We are working with some incredible artists on the piece, notably electronic musician Anneke Kampman and Linbury Prize winning designer Ana Ines Jabares-Pita (NTS’s The Driver’s Seat and Dundee Rep’s George’s Marvellous Medicine). This is opening loads of new and exciting possibilities for how we tell Daphne’s story. Anneke and Ana are both very curious and brave artists and are the perfect embodiments of Daphne’s spirit of innovation and creativity.”
Paul Brotherston is artistic director of Blood of the Young.His recent work includes directing Gerry Mulgrew in Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape (Tron Theatre), Blackout (New Room Theatre), Secret Show 1, Golden Arm Theatre Project (Blood of the Young) and Thank God for John Muir (Brunton Theatre). His recent assistant directing work includes Seven Hungers (Company of Wolves), Happy Days, Ghosts (Tron Theatre), Lanark: A Life in Three Acts (Citizens Theatre/ Edinburgh International Festival) and Anything That Gives Off Light (The TEAM /National Theatre of Scotland/ Edinburgh International Festival). Paul is originally from Kelso in the Scottish Borders, and trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Isobel McArthur is an actor, playwright, musician and theatre maker.She grew up Manchester training and performing with the Contact Young Actors Company, The Royal Exchange Youth Theatre. Isobel later trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and since she has performed for and collaborated with a number of prestigious Scottish companies including Imaginate, Playwright’s Studio Scotland, The Glasgow School of Art, Terra Incognita and Communicado. Isobel now works in Glasgow as a freelance actor, as well as writing and producing her own work, both as a solo artist and a member of contemporary ensemble Blood of the Young. Recent credits include Anthony Neilson’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Lyceum Theatre), Cock (Tron Theatre Company) and The Last of the Dragons (Manhattan Children’s Theatre).
As a playwright Isobel created multi-media comedy show How to Sing It which previewed at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre in Summer 2015. Alongside Clare Duffy and Isabel Wright, she also contributed a number of short plays to Golden Arm Theatre Project – a piece of ‘gig-theatre’ for which playwrights produced innovative pieces of modern ensemble theatre, inspired by new Scottish music.
Anneke Kampman is an Edinburgh-born composer, performer and sound artist. She is currently based in London, where she is an associate artist at Open School East.Her practice concerns the politics and poetics of sound and the voice, using performance, video, installation and text to examine the intersection between experimental music and issues of labour, gender, the body, technology and subjectivity. Recent performances and exhibitions include: The As If Body Loop(BBC Tectonics Festival 2014), I Will Leave You NowAnd This Loudspeaker Will Take My Place (Exhibition, Lancaster Women in Sound Symposium 2015), Where Blips of Light Called Players Disintegrate (performance commissioned and presented by Jerwood Visual Arts) and Labyrinthine, a collaborative Opera performed at The Self The Other Festival in Brussels (Commissioned by La Monnaie De Munt/QO2) and the BBC Glasgow Tectonics Festival in 2016.