Early Electronica: The BBC Radiophonic Workshop

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Thursday, 1 November, 2007

Today’s extended broadcast features the early and middle-period work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, including the 1979 documentary Wee Have Also Sound Houses.

The Workshop was founded in 1958 and found a home in the BBC’s Maida Vale, London studios where it rapidly became busy providing electronic music, sounds and musique concrète, initially for BBC Radio but later the BBC Television Service as well, a notable success in this area being Delia Derbyshire’s realisation of Ron Grainer’s score for the TV sci-fi series Doctor Who in the early 1960s.

The work of such composers as John Baker, Brian Hodgson, Daphne Oram and perhaps most of all Delia Derbyshire (shown at work, above left) was to have a tremendous impact on the electronic music field in years to come. The Workshop was sadly closed in the 1990s by the BBC’s then-Director-General John Birt, who, obsessed by the so-called ‘internal market’ idea of departments competing with each other, closed it as uneconomical.

Also included is the 1970s Pyramedia Productions radio documentary, Electronic Music Synthesisers, which covers the early development of electronic instruments and their use in popular music.

Listen now on Radio Riel’s primary stream: http://music.radioriel.org/


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gabrielle Riel November 1, 2007 at 06:00

/me dissolves into complete early electronica bliss...


Corgi November 1, 2007 at 15:45

[refrains from undignified squealing] Art of Noise!! You played Art of Noise!! THANK YOU!


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