15ips Archive: "BBC"
If you’re unfamiliar with who John Peel was, here’s a good place to start. As a BBC DJ and journalist, he was a prolific supporter of new music in England when nobody else on the planet would touch it.
This documentary doesn’t dig too deep on things, but it’s a real pleasure to watch. His character and his genuine interest are readily apparent throughout, and there’s some really good music too…
My trip through BBC Radiophonic Workshop history turned up this documentary film, called “The Alchemists of Sound”. I’ll follow up on this post with more information and some reflections, but for now I’m excited to watch this film as I settle in on this peaceful Sunday evening and prepare for the week…. Enjoy.
(The show is split into six YouTube videos, posted here in the full article)
Delia Derbyshire, whose 25-plus years of work with the BBC has only recently gained recognition, was a pioneering composer, innovative engineer, and something of an enigma. Her life story is really kind of a snapshot of a number of converging changes in society: The empowered woman, actively engaged in several fields all dominated by men well before the popular women’s movements; the avant-garde composer who challenged traditional Western notions of music; fighting government control of culture, music, and media; and, the free-thinking intellectual movements of the cultural wave which came to shape Western culture in the post-War era. This combination of elements is really quite amazing and it’s hard to believe that one person could have done it all.
Delia Derbyshire was a very complex and intense personality, and this BBC radio piece about her, “Sculptress of Sound: The Lost Works of Delia Darbyshire” does an amazing job of collecting various opinions and criticism and historical perspectives on her work. There’s some really glowing praise of her, and even the people who found her too difficult to work with (her idiosyncrasies are also explained) have absolutely nothing but praise for her.
Plus, I like the bit on the program where the critic said about Delia, to paraphrase: “She didn’t like the synthesizer. She felt that all ‘electronic music’ ought to be handmade.” Makes me feel kinda good