Late at the Library: The Radiophonic Workshop and Guests

The Radiophonic Workshop

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Live at the British Library, the pioneers of electronic music

The Radiophonic Workshop are one of the most influential electronic music groups of all time. As the in-house composers of music and effects for the BBC they created the sonic backdrops for Doctor Who, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Tomorrow’s World and countless others.

They soundtracked the childhoods of several generations, now they’re back to soundtrack your Friday night with a two part set. The first is a live version of their first studio album for 25 years, the improvised work Burials on Several Earths, with guest collaborator Martyn Ware (Heaven 17, The Human League and BEF). The second is a heritage archive set in which the Workshop perform some of their best known material – including the high water mark of early British electronica –
the signature tune for Doctor Who.

Join the Radiophonic Workshop at 18.30 for a special in-conversation event Soundhouses: The Radiophonic Workshop at 60. Tickets include entry to the Late event.

Audio installation provided by Bowers & Wilkins

Visuals for the night are performed by Obsrvtry, a collaboration between Michael Faulkner, founder of D-Fuse and Ben Sheppee, creator of Lightrhythm Visuals.

Guest DJ Tom Middleton (Global Communication)

The BBC Radiophonic Workshop founded in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram, was home to a maverick group of experimental composers, sound engineers and musical innovators including the late Delia Derbyshire.  In a series of small studios within the labyrinthine corridors of the BBC Maida Vale complex, the Workshop set about exploring new ways of using - and abusing – technology to create new sounds. 

Their influence on popular music has been profound. From The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Prince and Pink Floyd through to some of the most innovative contemporary electronic artists and DJs, the Workshop’s legacy continues to grow as new generations of musicians discover their catalogue of extraordinary recordings. Now, nearly two decades after the Workshop was decommissioned, original members Peter Howell, Roger Limb, Dr Dick Mills, Paddy Kingsland and long-time associate composer Mark Ayres are back working together. 

Obsrvtry is a collaboration between Michael Faulkner, founder of D-Fuse and Ben Sheppee, creator of Lightrhythm Visuals.; two artists specialising in graphic and light based arts. Collaborating for over 10 years,OBS_RV_TRY was formed to focus on on VR, Augmented Reality and projection. Faulkner’s experimental live cinema works address social and environmental themes, his work being shown internationally at SFMOMA,Prix Ars Electronica, and Bienniale’s around Europe. Whilst Sheppee has won awards as a creative director living and working in the US, Japan and Paris for clients such as BBC, iTunes.

Part of a Season of Sound, celebrating the Library’s sound archive. Audio installation supplied by Bowers & Wilkins.


Name: Late at the Library: The Radiophonic Workshop and Guests
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546