The Radiophonic Workshop are set to celebrate their 60th anniversary at Bluedot 2018. In addition to playing a live set featuring iconic sounds and visuals from across their 60-year career, The Radiophonic Workshop will also be ‘artists in residence’ at the Cheshire festival.
“A truly cosmic soundscape.”
Bluedot takes place at the landmark Jodrell Bank Observatory near Macclesfield. Professor Tim O’Brien is the observatory’s Associate Director, and claims to have taken the first ever image of the expanding shock wave from a nova explosion. He also released this statement:
“It wouldn’t be right unless we also included some sounds from space. The Radiophonic team will work with resident astronomers to access Jodrell Bank’s archive of weird and wonderful signals to help create a truly cosmic soundscape.”
Using everything from the latest binaural recording techniques to the humble iPhone they will be collecting sounds from around the festival site across the three days and working them into compositions that embody the spirit of curiosity, creativity and collaboration at the heart of the Bluedot experience.
The recordings made will be edited into a master suite that will be made available later in the year.
Try your hand at radiophonic composition
Kieron Pepper, formerly of The Prodigy, and current members of the BBC Research & Development team will help create a contemporary version of the Radiophonic Workshop in the Operations Room in the Star Pavilion beneath the big dish at Jodrell Bank.
Over the course of Bluedot 2018, fellow artists, authors, DJs, scientists and festival-goers will be welcomed to participate in their sound world with a live, in-situ, demonstration of radiophonic composition.
Attendees can try their hand with early equipment such as tape machines, synths, and oscillators, said to have been used on the iconic Doctor Who theme tune. The latest digital equipment, used on the group’s current releases, will also be available.
The Radiophonic Workshop main stage set
The Radiophonic Workshop’s Iive set on the main stage will feature music and visuals from across the Workshop’s 60-year career including excerpts from Douglas Adams’ HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, classic Doctor Who and some of the BBC radio and TV’s most iconic output.
Mark Ayres, Workshop member and back catalogue curator, had this to say:
“It is a very exciting prospect to be recreating the workshop in a site-specific way. We are thrilled to be celebrating our 60th in such an exciting way. We played Bluedot last year with our friends Orbital, and had a wonderful time. This year we are back with something different, creating new work in the moment in the shadow of the great telescope. How? We don’t exactly know yet but that has always been part of the fun…and all very radiophonic.”
Bluedot 2018 line-up expands
Bluedot already boasts a line-up featuring both The Chemical Brothers and The Flaming Lips, alongside renowned speakers like Richard Dawkins and Alice Roberts.
The festival’s incredible electronic music line-up has expanded to include Joy Orbison, Not Waving, Lemmy Ashton and Holly Lester as part of Bugged Out’s takeover.
Helena Hauff, Ralph Lawson, and Kerouac are also set to feature in the shadow of the Lovell Telescope.
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