June 15, 2011


The BBC Radiophonic Workshop began in 1958 to experiment with tape technology, which was first pioneered in the 1940s with support by singer, Bing Crosby. I doubt Der Bingle had musique concrete in mind as an outcome of his efforts (he liked to pre-tape so he could get in more golf), but avant-garde composers, including folks at the BBC, started to explore new ways to approach sound design and music. It was the workshop's creations for the famous Doctor Who television show, starting in 1963, that made their sounds an international phenomenon and an essential ingredient to the experimental scene of the era. Here is a six-part documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop: The Alchemists of Sound. Recent posts this week include other experimental sounds of the 1960s, including The Ipcress File, how to make tape loops and musique concrete, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon. Enjoy & experiment!

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