The New Sound of Music is a vintage BBC documentary (1979) that looks at the development of recorded music, from the first barrel organs, pianolas, the phonograph, the magnetic tape recorder on to the concepts of musique concrete and electronic music.
The BBC and the Arts Council of England have announced that they are reincarnating the Radiophonic Workshop.
The Radiophonic Workshop – in its original incarnation – was a pioneering electronic music studio, responsible for sound effects for several generations of BBC shows, and iconic music, like the theme from Dr. Who.
The new Radiophonic Workshop will, unfortunately, not be an old-school electronic music studio, filled with reel-to-reel recorders and knob-laden devices, but a virtual institution.
Private Dreams and Public Nightmares (1957) is an early BBC experiment in radiophonic sound, predating the establishment of the Radiophonic Workshop. It was created by Frederick Bradnum and Daphne Oram (pictured) and produced by Donald McWhinnie.
Donald McWhinnie introduces the work, which starts at 4:20.
The Delia Derbyshire arrangement of Ron Grainer’s Doctor Who theme is an electronic music classic.
The 1978 disco arrangement by MANKIND, produced by Don Gallacher and arranged by Mark Stevens, not so much.
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This Inside Out profile of Delia Derbyshire offers some interesting Dr. Who secrets. But more importantly, it offers a portrait of Derbyshire and a tantalizing sample of some of Derbyshire’s “lost” music.
Electronic music blog It’s Full Of Stars has shared a fun vintage audio tour of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop from 1963:
The Sound Makers is a documentary about synthesis and sound manipulation at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop from 1963. It was part of the BBC’s RECORDED PROGRAMMES PERMANENT LIBRARY which is an archive on vinyl, I believe limited to only a few copies of each.
The documentary is interesting for its insight into the production techniques that were state of the art in the 60’s Radiophonic Workshop – but is also entertaining because of its “gee whiz” tone.
You can preview the first part of the documentary below. See myblogitsfullofstars for more and download links.
This is just a teaser for the Red Bull interview with Dr Peter Zinovieff of EMS, but it did its job and left me wanting more.
In the excerpt, Zinovieff discusses working with Delia Derbyshire and talks about the early days of Electronic Music Studios, “the world’s longest established synthesizer manufacturer.”