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BBC Radiophonic Workshop

The Soundhouse - Yellow Edge Glow Vinyl Edition

    In 1979 the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) was launched, the year that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop celebrated its 21st birthday. At the price of a house (approx. £30,000) this state of the art piece of equipment was embedded with an 8 bit digital sampling synthesizer capable of emulating acoustic instruments and orchestras alongside the manipulation of sound effects.

    For the BRW this was a major game changer, where previously, composers would spend weeks editing small pieces of tape together to create sounds. Ingenuity and creativity in music and sound was still at the forefront for Workshop members but suddenly made a whole lot easier. This 1983 collection (a first time re-release here of the complete album) celebrated these new found freedoms most notably on the opening track where five Radiophonic composers combined to add their own musical identity to a rhythmic percussive sequence from the Fairlight.

    Highlights include music from the radio production of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Fancy Fish based on Saint-Saen's Carnival Of The Animals which was the first BRW project to utilise the Fairlight.


    Coloured LP Info: Yellow edge glow vinyl.

    Elizabeth Parker / BBC Radiophonic Workshop

    The Living Planet - A Portrait Of The Earth (Arctic Pearl Vinyl Edition)

      Originally shown on BBC1 in 1984, this David Attenborough 12 part series was the sequel to the pioneering Life On Earth, taking natural history television to a new level of brilliance.

      The ground-breaking score was composed by Elizabeth Parker at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and released on vinyl by the BBC in the same year. Parker joined the BBC and in 1978 after gaining a master’s degree in composition and recording techniques at the University of East Anglia. She moved permanently to the Workshop’s Maida Vale studios where she realised the music for well over 300 TV and radio programmes before her departure in 1996.

      The Emmy-nominated music for “The Living Planet” was performed on synthesisers, blending highly evocative themes, sounds and effects into a brilliant accompaniment to television’s stunning images of the Earth’s environments, and into an enthralling sound picture for this album.

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