We are delighted to welcome the Radiophonic Workshop to Sensoria for a special live performance following SynthFest UK.
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Founded in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop was home to a maverick group of experimental composers, sound engineers and musical innovators. In a series of small studios within the labyrinthine corridors of the BBC Maida Vale complex, the Workshop explored new ways of using – and abusing – sound.
Drawing on the principles of musique concréte, found sounds, early electronics, oscillators, handmade synths and tape loops the Workshop created the other- worldly soundtrack to some of BBC television and radio’s most iconic programmes: The Body in Question, Horizon, Quatermass, Newsround, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Chronicle and Delia Darbyshire’s iconic Doctor Who Theme – still the high water mark for British electronic music nearly 50 years after it was recorded.
Now, more than 15 years after the Workshop was decommissioned original members Peter Howell, Roger Limb, Dr Dick Mills, Paddy Kingsland and archivist Mark Ayres are back working together. Variously described by the music press as the ‘electronic Buena Vista Social Club’ (The Observer) and ‘The British Kraftwerk’ (NME) the Radiophonic Workshop are currently enjoying a well deserved renaissance – their pioneering work regarded as a key influence not only on the history and development of rock, pop, electronica and dance music but on a whole new generation of DJs, electronic artists and sound designers.
With their impressive back catalogue being comprehensively reissued on vinyl and CD, an album of new compositions – Electricty – and a live show featuring archive footage from film and TV spanning their extraordinary 55 year career, the rebirth of this pioneering group of British musicians is well and truly underway.
Members of the Radiophonic Workshop will also be giving a talk earlier in the day at SynthFest UK – ‘Deconstructing the Dr Who Theme’. Further details for this can be found on the SynthFest UK site.