|Wee have also Sound-houses,
wher Wee practise and demonstrate all Sounds and their Generation. Wee have Harmonies
which you have not, of Quarter-Sounds, and lesser Slides of Sounds. Diverse Instruments of
Musick likewise to you unknowne, some sweeter than any you have; Together with Bells and
Rings that are dainty and sweet. Wee represent Small Sounds as Great and Deepe, Likewise
Great Sounds Extenuate and Sharpe, Wee make diverse Tremblings and Warblings of Sounds,
which in their Originall are Entire. Wee represent and imitate all articulate Sounds and
Letters, and the Voices and Notes of Beasts and Birds. Wee have certaine Helps, which sett
to the Eare doe further the Hearing greatly. Wee have also diverse Strange and Artficiall
Ecchos, Reflecting the Voice many times, and as it were Tossing it: And some that give
back the Voice Lowder then it come, some Shriller, and Some Deeper, Tea some rendring the
Voice, Differing in the Letters and Articulate Sound, from that they receyve, Wee have
also means to convey Sounds in Trunks and Pipes in strange Lines, and Distances.
from: The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon (1624)
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop was established at the BBC's Music Studios in Delaware Road, Maida Vale, London on 1-Apr-1958. This unique and enduring BBC department had ridden out the invention of the Moog and the popularisation of the synthesizer and sequencer and continued to live up to its reputation for originality right up until it was disbanded at the end of 1996.
1998 would have been the perfect year to celebrate the Workshop with a CD release but for various reasons we had to wait until 2002 when, thanks to the intervention and dligent work of composer and producer Mark Ayers we were at last treated to remastered CD releases of the 1971 and 1975 albums BBC Radiophonic Music and The Radiophonic Workshop. A further 2CD release is also promised for 2003. Alas, following on from the news of the death, in 2002, of Delia Derbyshire we also heard, in Jan-2003 of the death of Daphne Orum, founder of the Workshop.
I hope you enjoy reading about the Radiophonic Workshop's past glories. Sleeve notes are presented in their original form and in these days of computerised sequencers when synthesisers are all too commonplace, some of the concepts referred to now seem delightfully outdated.
The History of the
Radiophonic Workshop | Music Ex Machina
Concrete Mixers | "The impossible we do immediately..."
Pansie Cola Space Station: 'Concrete for the Masses'