This short documentary, via Resident Advisor, looks at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
“It was a place for experimentation,” says Roger Limb, who’s been a member of the Radiophonic Workshop since 1972, “full of weird and wonderful sounds which people were not quite sure what to make of.”
It is easy to forget how mind-bending something like the Doctor Who theme would have sounded back in in the mid-’60s, at a time when almost all music was acoustically derived. Breakthroughs like this were made possible by the pioneering experimentation at the Workshop, which was set up at the BBC in 1958 to record sound effects for radio programming.
Techniques were developed on-the-fly using tape manipulation, oscillators and early synthesisers, laying the groundwork for countless musical movements that would come afterwards. The Workshop closed in 1998, but some of its members have continued to channel its spirit into live performances and recorded music. We followed the group to a recent show at the Science Museum in London to hear about the Workshop’s 60-year-long journey.