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The alchemists of sound Tonight BBC2 11.20pm


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A look back at the amazing BBC radiophonic workshop

Watched it a while back on BBC4 and its a good little rundown from the time they started in 1958 until it pretty much shut up shop a few years back.

They did some amazing pioneering things with sound(all tapes and spoons etc)

Worth it for the Doctor Who theme alone.

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What the fuck is with that bearded guy showing up in the background of every clip?!

No clue, he looks a bit like a alchemist maybe?

Everytime I watch it, I see more evidence as to why Dance music took off when it did. We'd been prepped through the BBC's schools programming and sci-fi telly

John Bakers stuff is amazing the track that can be played backwards and forwards is genius. Basically their all geniuses, except Pam Ayres son. Who whilst doing amazing things for Doctor Who on DVD just annoys me.

edit: Here's what Outpost Gallifrey has to say about bearded bloke

I think somebody said it was a mate of Victor Lewis-Smith, who was involved in the production - apparently he has featured in other shows that Lewis-Smith was involved with.

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I didn't know about Delia Derbyshire before. I've been looking her up all night. I think I might have a new obsession!

I think the title of the documentary title fitted her perfectly 'alchemist of sound'.

Toataly agree with cassidy, we were pre trained in schools T.V etc for 'TEH FUTURE'.


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It was a great little program.

Annoyingly, I don't think there's any footage on the 3 other purely electronic studios that were set up a little earlier in Cologne, Milan and Tokyo (Notice they were all defeated Axis countries). The one at Nordwestdeutscherundfunk (NWDR) was set up in 1951, and by 1955 Karl-Heinz Stockhausen was broadcasting his "Telemusik" live on the airwaves during weekday evenings on a program called "Music of Our Time". I'm not sure if the BBC did anything quite so groundbreaking.

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