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Radiophonic Workshop

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Re: Radiophonic Workshop

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:24 pm

Arpangel wrote:I think that the workshop, up until Midi etc, was a truly unique place, doing things that no other studio or individual could do, inhabited by some truly talented and genius people

I'm not sure it was unique exactly -- there were other studios around the world creating comparable experimental electronic music and music concrete. But it certainly was blessed with some extremely talented and creative people who combined skillfull musicianship and inventive technical nouse to deliver a large amount of bespoke material with a steady flow of commissions for music and effects for BBC Radio and TV programmes.

...when Midi and digital came along it was competing with a lot of other people that muscled in on the action, but with nowhere near the talent and imagination of the workshop.

Again, not entirely fair -- not everything that came out of RW was brilliant... Some of it was entirely average or uninspiring! And there were (and are) some very talented and capable independent composers who gained access to BBC commissions for the first time only after the RW closed.

But I think the changing technology and its greater accessibility lead inevitably to a change in the style and individuality of much of the music.
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Re: Radiophonic Workshop

Postby Arpangel » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:28 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I think that the workshop, up until Midi etc, was a truly unique place, doing things that no other studio or individual could do, inhabited by some truly talented and genius people

I'm not sure it was unique exactly -- there were other studios around the world creating comparable experimental electronic music and music concrete. But it certainly was blessed with some extremely talented and creative people who combined skillfull musicianship and inventive technical nouse to deliver a large amount of bespoke material with a steady flow of commissions for music and effects for BBC Radio and TV programmes.

...when Midi and digital came along it was competing with a lot of other people that muscled in on the action, but with nowhere near the talent and imagination of the workshop.

Again, not entirely fair -- not everything that came out of RW was brilliant... Some of it was entirely average or uninspiring! And there were (and are) some very talented and capable independent composers who gained access to BBC commissions for the first time only after the RW closed.

But I think the changing technology and its greater accessibility lead inevitably to a change in the style and individuality of much of the music.

What intrigues me is this thing about synthesisers, I've read a bit about Delia Derbyshire, and a few others at the workshop who left after it bought its first synthesiser, as they didn't think synthesisers were capable of making sounds like they got with musique concrete techniques, and they wanted to continue working that way, I'll try and remember the source of that info, I think it may have been a video about the workshop on YouTube?
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Re: Radiophonic Workshop

Postby N i g e l » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:54 pm

Last nights Sunday Feature, BBC Radio 3, was about the Polish Radiophonic Workshop

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000b6fk

Released On: 10 Nov 2019, Available for over a year

[but you need to be signed in to use listen-again]

https://culture.pl/en/gallery/the-polis ... ge-gallery


The unknown tale of cold war communist Poland’s unlikely love affair with electronic music.

Robert Worby finds out Warsaw was a beacon of musical freedom behind the iron curtain. It was here that the remarkable Polish Radio Experimental Studio was established in 1957, and this was the first electronic music studio in the Eastern Bloc and the fourth in Europe.

This futuristic facility was at the cutting edge of modern music, and was a serious rival for existing studios in Paris, Milan, and Cologne in the West. But at a time when contemporary music was viewed with deep suspicion in the satellite states of the Soviet Union, and Warsaw itself had been destroyed during WWII, a shiny new electronic music studio hardly looked like a priority.

But when Stalin’s murderous legacy was condemned by the new Soviet leadership in 1956, a loosening of the Eastern European communist stranglehold began. Uniquely in Poland the church and intellectuals struck an unparalleled bargain with the Polish authorities, allowing each to rub along with the other, as long as they agreed to keep their nose out of one another’s business.

This suited the Communist People’s Polish Republic who were keen to distance themselves from Moscow, and supporting the Polish Radio Experimental Studio helped promote a positive image of what appeared to be a progressive society, not only to itself, but to the world.

Now a new generation of Poles have re-discovered the rich musical archive of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, that created the sounds of the future, not in spite of, but because of the complex postwar history of the People’s Polish Republic.

A BBC Radio Cumbria Production for BBC Radio 3.
Presented by Robert Worby and produced by Andrew Carter.
Photo of Eugeniusz Rudnik ©Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw https://culture.pl/en/gallery/the-polis ... ge-gallery 15 Corners of the World https://ninateka.pl/film/15-stron-swiat ... olakiewicz
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