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The Alchemists of Sound
March 5, 2009 12:36 PM   Subscribe

The Alchemists of Sound: 2003 documentary on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. 1::2::3::4::5::6
posted by vronsky (16 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wunderbar. This will take a while. Many thanks!
posted by stonepharisee at 1:06 PM on March 5, 2009


Where's that one-hitter? Also.
posted by Kinbote at 1:16 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you
posted by macadangdigety at 1:55 PM on March 5, 2009


You're welcome macadangdigety :)

Blue Veils and Golden Sands -- Delia Derbyshire.
posted by vronsky at 2:35 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


.. and before anyone asks, the strange man with the beard has nothing to do with anything. He's a friend of the director Victor Lewis-Smith and was essentially put in there to keep your attention/
posted by feelinglistless at 2:49 PM on March 5, 2009


That's Oliver Postgate doing the voiceover, isn't it?
posted by Electric Dragon at 4:03 PM on March 5, 2009


Radiophonic sound effects for 1969 production of Hamlet.
posted by vronsky at 4:08 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


.. and before anyone asks, the strange man with the beard has nothing to do with anything. He's a friend of the director Victor Lewis-Smith and was essentially put in there to keep your attention.

Not entirely true. He is supposed to represent the feelings of the BBC, always watching over the workshop and never very happy about it.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:17 PM on March 5, 2009


I have a DVD-quality copy of this and have always wanted to share it, but I suspect it wouldn't be entirely legal. I wish the BBC would make it available to buy.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:18 PM on March 5, 2009


For those who don't want to sit through the whole thing, try scrolling to 7:33 in part 4 -- Ziwzhi Ziwzhi oo-oo-oo-oo.
posted by vronsky at 4:44 PM on March 5, 2009


Aww, yes, vron! This looks GREAT! Thanks for the heads up! If the series is even half as fun as that brilliant opening sequence, then it's gonna be fun indeed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 PM on March 5, 2009


Yes this gets better every time I watch it flapjax. Check out the story of Roy Cathode at the beginning of part 4. Bloops and bleeps 4evr.

- Love Without Sound
posted by vronsky at 7:44 PM on March 5, 2009


Thanks for the video!
There's still studios of acousmatic music, which is similar to radiophonic music, carrying on some of the 'musique concrete' ideas and tape sort of mindset (?) I work at one and sometimes get to 'diffuse' my pieces live over a 3D surround array (the French pioneers called this 'sound projection' in reference to cinema). For my last piece, I spliced together literally 100's of bits in ProTools - recordings of cutting onions, potatos and so on (taken with very sensitive microphones, eg. Neumann KM140's). After I was done with the plugins they sounded like glaciers crashing into each other on Ketamin, so I called it "If Vegetables Had Nightmares".
Michel Chion, who I had the chance to briefly meet, said he was still working with tape instead of the computer, because working with the hands standing at a table somehow it's easier to construct sound gestures. I agree that it's strange making musical gestures without moving (as when playing an instrument).

posted by yoHighness at 7:50 PM on March 5, 2009


I thought this was a great comment from the youtube page --

"While many were content to create mathematically structured enharmonic noise she looked for the ghost in the machine, creating haunting, off kilter and often sexually charged music. This track is from the 1969 The White Noise - Electric Storm LP. To me it sounds 30 years ahead of it's time. I hope you like it."

Sexually charged is an understatement. I mean just listen to Blue Veils Golden Sands above. pshew. And could she be any more art/nerd/girl/genius ethereally beautiful? I mean c'mon.
posted by vronsky at 7:54 PM on March 5, 2009


"It sounds like a cat chewing a bee."
posted by Jode at 9:17 PM on March 5, 2009


Delia Derbyshire was so hot.

Get White Noise here!
posted by orme at 6:31 AM on March 6, 2009


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