Celebrating the Radiophonic Workshop

BBC Radiophonic Workshop (1958-98) machines, Loz Pycock from London, UK / CC BY-SAUnder the BBC’s Arts & Ideas thread on BBC Sounds: The Radiophonic Workshop

Matthew Sweet narrates a 40-minute documentary on the pioneers of British radio and TV electronic scores.

Released On: 06 Aug 2020, available for over a year

“The BBC Radiophonic workshop was founded in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram. This group of experimental composers, sound engineers and musical innovators provided music for programmes including The Body in Question, Horizon, Quatermass, Newsround, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Chronicle and Delia Derbyshire’s iconic Doctor Who Theme before being shut down by Director General John Birt in 1998. Tying into the 2020 celebration of classic Prom concerts, this episode of Free Thinking is being rebroadcast.

It was recorded in 2014, as the Workshop prepared to release an album, and tour the UK, Matthew Sweet brought together Radiophonic Workshop members Dick Mills, Paddy Kingsland, Roger Limb, Peter Howell, and Mark Ayres to reflect on the days and nights they spent in the workshop, coaxing ageing machines into otherworldly life, and pioneering electronic music. Also in the programme, producer and former drummer with The Prodigy Kieron Pepper, Oscar winning Gravity composer Steven Price, Vile Electrodes, and Matt Hodson, on the influence the Radiophonic Workshop had on them.”