Saturday, 3 April 2010

Wee Have Also Sound Houses - BBC Radiophonic Workshop Documentary - 1979.

Ok, this isn't the Radiophonic appreciation society (although it easily could be), but I couldn't resist sharing this gem which was first broadcast on April 1st 1979.
This is so much more than just a documentary, and I prefer to think of it as a Radiophonic album in it's own right. Listen to this late at night with your favorite 'relaxant' and you will be transported to another universe, I promise.
Rather than concentrating on the marvelous Delia Derbyshire, this 'documentary' also focuses on the life and work of workshop co-founder Daphne Oram, inventer of the mind-bending "Oramics" machine, which produced pure electronic sound.
It was about the size of a chest of drawers and was constructed from metal shelving materials. Electric motors pulled eight parallel tracks of clear 35mm film stock across scanners that operated like TV sets in reverse. On the film she drew curving black lines, squiggles and dots, all converted into sound. It looked and sounded strikingly modern.
This programme sounds like a cross between a dream and a freaky educational broadcast.

Download it here.


  1. Mad old Aunt Daphne. I've got her Oramics album, this will make for an interesting listen. My relaxant of choice is Drontal, normally used to de-worm dogs, but known to produce an opiate-like sense of well being and euphoria in humans. I'll make sure I stock up this evening. Thanks for this, man.

  2. These sounds are a freak education as I've not been informed of this madness in previous teachings. Our educational foundation lacks at times but we appreciate being informed..finally.

  3. Don't think because I haven't posted a comment till now that I haven't downloaded it, because I have

  4. Hello, you might also have seen the Alchemists of Sound programme from 2003

    Am currently enjoying the Black Mill Tapes :)

  5. Hi! I think it was first broadcast 1st April 1983, not 1979. At least, that's what my records say, as well as the filename title in the mp3