I moved into my new studio today. A big move for me - I have wanted a studio for so long! The spare room was good for a while but I was always worried about spilling things on the carpet...
Last night I went to a documentary evening as part of the Nonclassical Electronic Pioneers Festival at the Hackney Picturehouse Attic. It was an in depth look at the pioneers of electronic music featuring three films. The first film The Same Trade as Mozart was a rarely seen 1969 BBC programme featuring Daphne Oram, Stockhausen and Tristram Carey. It featured a 10 minute long avant garde interpretation of a Samuel Beckett play with players randomly plucking and playing their string instruments and a soprano singing lines from the play in a posh building. I have to say that part was quite painful to sit through. More entertaining was the quirky illustrations and descriptions of fantasy instruments drawn by one of these pioneers (I can't remember his name or find any of his drawings online - yes I should take notes) which could have been used to produce some of these new electronic sounds.
Then Brighton based film maker and composer Ian Helliwell presented his lovingly crafted film Practical Electronica, a fun experimental tribute using archive and cine film footage and tongue in cheek comic strips to illustrate the story of the little known British electronica pioneer and hobbyist F.C Judd, who amongst other things wrote the soundtrack for Space Patrol, an unintentionally hilarious sci-fi puppet series that is a must see. It's important because it was the first show on British TV to feature a full electronic score (but more importantly because it is hilarious).
Here are some photos of Ian Helliwell and someone from Simonsound performing Tristram Cary's Trios. Admittedly I was pretty tired by this point (it was a 4 and 1/2 hour long event) so I don't really know what was going on but it involved 3 dice, a reel to reel and a slide projector and it looked cool.
The final film The Delian Mode was a look at the work of Delia Derbyshire. I really didn't know much about her other than her involvement with the Doctor Who theme at the BBC Radiophonic workshop (for which she was uncredited) and that all the electronic music geeks worship her. I learnt she was an analytical mathematical genius and a perfectionist who suffered from manic depression and drank a lot. Like Daphne Oram she also left the BBC frustrated with the direction the Radiophonic workshop was going creatively. She didn't like the increased use of synthesizers and preferred to handcraft each sound from scratch. I have to say, banging metal lampshades and making a whole tune out of that one sound by splicing and playing about with tape speeds certainly looks more fun than simply pressing a key.
Lover of pattern and colour. I create my own designs, products and paintings.