The Music from Room 13

Room 13 was the room in BBC Mai­da Vale Stu­dios — a con­vert­ed ice-skat­ing rink — in which the BBC Radio­phon­ic Work­shop was found­ed in 1958.

A cen­tre of elec­tron­ic musi­cal excel­lence vir­tu­al­ly unique in the world, the Radio­phon­ic Work­shop pro­vid­ed music and sounds for BBC radio and TV pro­grammes for 40 years until its clo­sure in 1998. It has proved an inspi­ra­tion for gen­er­a­tions of con­tem­po­rary musi­cians.

Today’s pro­gramme cel­e­brates the music of the BBC Radio­phon­ic Work­shop, and in addi­tion to selec­tions of their out­put over the years, includes oth­er pieces of music pro­duced with the aid of machines — from Vic­to­ri­an musi­cal box­es to play­er pianos, to the lat­est in elec­tron­ic instru­men­ta­tion. There are even some nos­tal­gic tracks played on the Mighty Wurl­itzer organ from the Regal Cin­e­ma, Kingston-upon-Thames, now installed in the Musi­cal Muse­um in Brent­ford, west Lon­don.

The pic­ture above shows Work­shop stal­wart Dick Mills per­form­ing at the 2009 live Work­shop Reunion at the Round­house in Lon­don. For more on the Work­shop, see this Wikipedia arti­cle.

Then at 7pm Pacif­ic Time (3am UK time), please join us for a repeat of Sat­ur­day’s edi­tion of the ZBS Radio Hour. Due to a last-minute change of sched­ule on Sat­ur­day, we were unable to bring you this pro­gramme at its sched­uled time, and as a result we are broad­cast­ing it for the sec­ond time today. Tune in at the top of the hour for Part 2 of Jack Flan­ders in Dreams of Suma­tra, fol­lowed at the half-hour by Ruby the Galac­tic Gumshoe in the final episode of Ruby 7 — Dream Weaver, Dream Deceiv­er.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin and pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with our friends at the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link:

For more infor­ma­tion on the Alexan­dri­an Free Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Con­sor­tium mem­bers in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Alexan­dri­an Free Library web­site, or one of their branch­es in-world.

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