Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Alchemists of Sound

The BBC's Radiophonic Workshop was set up in 1958, born out of a desire to create 'new kinds of sounds'. Alchemists of Sound looks at this creative group from its inception, through its golden age when it was supplying music and effects for cult classics like Doctor Who, Blake's Seven and Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and charts its fading away in 1995 when, due to budget cuts, it was no longer able to survive.

For the full documentary click here...

There are interviews with composers from the Workshop, as well as musicians and writers who have been inspired by the output. Great archive footage of the Workshop and its machinery is accompanied by excerpts of the, now cult, TV programmes that featured these sounds.

NoiseGard – This is how it works

The NoiseGard™ technology developed by Sennheiser is used in many cockpits all over the world. It is based on the principle that unwanted low-frequency noise can be eliminated by adding phase-inverted anti-noise. Fot this, small microphones (usually in the ear cups) pick up the ambient noise. The NoiseGard™ electronics then generate an identical signal – but phase-inverted by 180°. Thus the two noise signal waves cancel each other out to a very large extend, and music can be enjoyed to the full.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music

Today I went with a friend to visit the Science musuem which has an evolving exhibition detailing the history and development of electronic music. I had previously heard of Delia Derbyshire who had worked at the BBC radiophonic workshop which was created in 1958 and enjoyed a very successful 30 years or producing stange new sounds which were most notably used in Dr. Who. However this was the first time I had heard of Daphne Oram and found the display to be quite exhilirating.

Electronic music is everywhere, from the television that we watch to the music we listen to in clubs and even the ringtones on our mobile phones. But who created these electronic sounds? And how did electronic music develop?

The Oramics Machine is a revolutionary music synthesiser that was created in the 1960s by Daphne Oram. Daphne had a strong passion for sound and electronics, and she created a visionary machine that could transform drawings into sound.

Long thought lost, the machine was recently recovered and added to the Science Museum’s collections in co-operation with Goldsmiths, University of London.

You can see rare archive footage and try out an interactive version of the Oramics Machine in the gallery.

Watch an excerpt from Oramics: Atlantis Anew, a film about the Oramics Machine from The Wire's Website:

Oramics: Atlantis Anew from The Wire Magazine on Vimeo.

Saturday, 10 September 2011


Sottovoce, now in its 4th year, is a London-based, multi-venue festival showcasing groundbreaking acts producing challenging, experimental music. Sottovoce aims to expose the experimental musical genre to new audiences whilst maintaining the familiar crowd interested in new forms of presentation.

This year the festival will be based at The Nave for Saturday and Sunday, where the festival will present 8 acts per day in two different spaces: a main resonant hall for loud acts and a church hall for acoustic sets.

Invisible Architectures

Newcastle upon Tyne, 9th – 11th September, 2011.A micro-festival exploring the invisible yet influential substrates of urban existence.


Invisible Architectures is a micro-festival exploring the invisible yet influential substrates of urban existence.

Artists, architects and writers lead guided tours & workshops that expose layers of the city that otherwise remain imperceptible, making up what we habitually refer to and perceive as background noise, ambiences or atmospheres.

Within the apparent banality of the everyday lies beauty, horror and imperceptible dynamics that influence and inform the spaces we occupy, as well as our experiences of them. Guided tours of the subtle, subliminal and subtarranean expose invisible layers of the city, drawing into the foreground that which otherwise lingers in the background. The sounds, smells, textures and electromagnetic intensity of the urban environment often pass by unnoticed; through pedestrian exploration of the uncanny underside of Newcastle upon Tyne, these layers of the city are brought to the surface.