Genre pick of the week
Delia Derbyshire is one of the most innovative electronic musicians of the 20th Century. She is best known for her pioneering work for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and for composing the classic theme song for the original Doctor Who, believed to be the earliest electronic theme song in television history. A brilliant composer and one of the few women operating in the early era of electronic music, In the early '60s she collaborated with the British artist and playwright Barry Bermange for the BBC's Third Programme to produce four "Inventions for Radio", a collage of people describing their dreams, set to a background of electronic sound. This is the first, simply titled "Dreams", an attempt to represent, in sound, the sensation of dreaming. Derbyshire's electronic and musique concrete soundbed is the perfect underscore to the narration, simultaneously jarring, dissonant, and terrifying. An amazing piece of work from one of the legendary pioneers of electronic music.
During his long and illustrious career the French composer and musique concrète pioneer Pierre Henry created a lare amount of incidental music to accompany literary texts, both on record and for the stage, from Jules Verne to Victor Hugo, from Lautréamont to Antonin Artaud. This incredibly rare LP from 1959 is a radio play about the life of French pilot and writer Antoine de Saint Exupéry, based on the 1956 book by Luc Estang on the subject. The interpreters are a small theater troupe including French actor Paul Meurisse (1912-1979), famous for popular films and as a member of national theater company, La Comédie Française. Underlying key scenes, Pierre Henry’s contribution to the play consists of electronic and musique concrète sounds, adding a contemporary dimension to the text. A beautiful piece from one of the mid-20th century's truly brilliant sonic explorers.
Oum Kalthoum is a legendary Egyptian vocalist and one of the biggest celebrities of the 20th century Arab world. She was dubbed "The voice of Egypt" and "Egypt's fourth pyramid", and is considered a national treasure. This 1961 album originally released on Parlophone is one of the finest examples of her vocal ability and a beautiful example of mid 20th Century Egyptian popular music. Kalthoum counts among her legion of fans none other than Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, Bono, and Youssou N'Dour, along with most of the Arab speaking world, and this LP is one of the finest of her career. An absolute legend!
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