A Radiophonic Weekend
Sat 2 April 2011 // 16:00
(Sat 2nd / doors 3:30pm for 4pm start / £10 per day limited weekend tickets £17 from Bristol Ticket Shop)
A weekend of special events, performances, screenings and more - dedicated to the output and legacy of the one and only BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
With their often primitive hand built devices, tape loops and early synth explorations, the workshop brought the sound of electronic weirdness out of the realms of academia and into the home, re-adjusting the ears and minds of an entire generation in the process. As interest in their oddly British, and often somewhat crackpot approach to electronic experimentation grows, and as many of their key instigators finally begin to gain the worldwide recognition their pioneering efforts deserve, we spend a special one-off weekend looking back on some of the characters, stories, sounds and inventions that shaped an era.
On day one (Saturday), we’re delighted to welcome very special guests - original Radiophonic workshoppers, David Cain and Dick Mills.
David Worked alongside John Baker and Delia Derbyshire throughout what has affectionately become known as the Workshop’s ‘golden age’ (they appeared together on the infamous ‘Pink’ album released in 1969). As well as producing the beautifully strange and haunting cult LP ‘The Seasons’ with poets Derek Bowskill and Ronald Duncan, he worked extensively on several major radio productions and literary adaptations of the period, including War of The Worlds, The Hobbit and Asimov’s Foundation series, as well as ‘RUS’, an epic history of Russian culture made in artificially created full stereo, prior to the existence of workable stereo equipment. Tonight, he will be talking about his time at the workshop and presenting audio examples of the many facets of his work,presenting clips of material unheard for decades, or even at all!
Dick Mills joined the workshop as an engineer in 1958, collaborating on many key projects of the sixties, and staying as a composer until its eventual demise in the mid nineties. This means he has a unique perspective on the changing facets and demands the workshop faced as it developed from an experimental and under-funded mini department comprised of studio enthusiasts, to a fully-fledged music and sound effects production house and beyond, working with tape edits and concrete sources, through the advent of early synths, to the later arrival of samplers and the eventual demise of the workshop as technology and commerce eventually overtook its need. He’ll be presenting a brief history of the workshop, as well as joining David to talk about the work they did together.
There will also be screenings of the very rarely seen 1969 BBC documentary ‘The Same Trade as Mozart’, which attempts to explain this ‘new music’ to the fearful but curious serious music lovers of the late sixties (Stockhausen also features, amongst others); Kara Blake’s enchanting new documentary on Delia Derbyshire, ‘The Delian Mode’, which uses an impressionistic collage of interviews, fragments and visual interpretations to paint an informative and touching portrait of a woman whose pioneering spirit is still only just beginning to be understood. Also screening is the beautiful 1972 Delia soundtracked short on the work of photographer Pamela Bone, ‘Circle of Light’.
Live performances are by VI and Ekoplekz; each coaxing a raw, modern take on the shadowy world of tape manipulation and primitive analogue tone generators, as well as specially commissioned Radiophonic inspired interludes all weekend, and a few other treats...
STAGE TIMES (may be subject to change)
16:00 INTRODUCTION WITH DAVID CAIN AND DICK MILLS / OBSCURITIES FROM THE WORKSHOP
17:00 FILM: THE SAME TRADE AS MOZART (followed by approx 45 min break)
18:45 FILM: THE DELIAN MODE
19:15 DICK MILLS PRESENTS A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WORKSHOP
20:30 DAVID CAIN TALKS AND PRESENTS HIS WORK
21:45 VI (LIVE)
22:20 EKOPLEKZ (LIVE)
23:00 FILMS: CIRCLE OF LIGHT & EMS 8