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Bookmark and Share The Radiophonic Workshop in Public

10/03/2012 02:30:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The New Radiophonic Workshop is to make a rare appearance this coming weekend at London's South Bank Centre as part of the Ether Festival.

A number of presentations on the role of the new department will take place on 7th October, which will include a history of the original BBC department from long-term member and prolific Doctor Who contributor Dick Mills.

Booking information is available via the South Bank Centre website.

This summer, as part of The Space, the new digital arts service developed by the Arts Council in partnership with the BBC, the Radiophonic Workshop has been reborn. Rather than being confined to rooms full of equipment, the new Workshop is a virtual institution, visibly manifested as an online portal for discussion around the challenges of creating new sounds in a world saturated in innovative music technology but lacklustre in terms of actual original output.

This is however a rare public appearance for the New Radiophonic Workshop which ordinarily operates as a virtual institution. They will be joined by members of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop together with an impressive array of broadcasters, composers, producers, sound engineers and technicians as they attempt to create an audit of the world of sound 14 years on from when the original Workshop closed.

It promises to be a unique and unmissable day for those interested in the future of sound, music and technology.

The day will be divided in to 51-minute segments, with a final segment being dedicated purely to all the questions that may arise from throughout the day.
  • The History Part: Dick Mills from the original Radiophonic Workshop along with James Bulley - the Curator of the Daphne Oram collection at Goldsmiths and Chris Weaver from Resonance FM, will discuss the history and legacy of the original Radiophonic Workshop.
  • The Listening Part: Mastering Engineer of the Year - Mandy Parnell, alongside Graham Boswell - the Director of Prism Audio, Dillip Harris - Recording Engineer and Matthew Herbert - Music Producer, will be in conversation about the dark art of listening: how to hear more precisely, examining the best and worst of modern recordings and their techniques, and whether or not fidelity even matters.
  • The BBC Part: Olivier Thereaux and Tony Churnside from the BBC R&D units in London and Salford respectively demonstrate and discuss the new generation of BBC technologies their teams have in development alongside Jake Berger, the head of production for The Space.
  • The Music Part: Peter Maniura - Head of Classical Music for BBC TV and launch curator of The Space, Jez Nelson - Radio 3 presenter and Founder of the Somethin’ Else production company, Micachu - Composer, Paul Morley - Journalist and Broadcaster, will be in conversation about the state of contemporary music and how the role of music itself has changed.
  • The Technology Part: Yann Seznec - maker of both software and hardware for music making, Robert Thomas from RjDj- developer of the sound based/augmented music iPhone app, Mark Bell from influential electronic pioneers LFO and Patrick Bergel – co-inventor of Chirp, an app that encodes data in music and sound will discuss the rapidly changing world of sound and music technologies and how they effect both the creative process and the environment.
  • The Film Part: Skip Lievsay - highly regarded sound editor and designer for films including those directed by the coen brothers, martin scorsese and spike lee, James Mather - Sound Designer for films including Harry Potter, Max de Wardener – Film Composer and Pete Cobbin - music score engineer at Abbey Road studios, discuss the roles sound and music play in filmmaking.
  • The Sound Part: Poppy Elliott – MD of the Quiet Mark the symbol of excellence for quiet design, Lisa Lavia – MD of the Noise Abatement Society, Matthew Herbert - maker of records out of sound including recently ONE PIG made just from a pig's life, Dr Harry Witchel – Author of You Are What You Hear, Dr Mike Goldsmith – Author of Discord: The Story of Noise, along with Piers Plowright - award-winning maker of radio documentaries, dramas and innovative features for the BBC amongst others discuss the future of sound and or the sound of the future.
  • The Questions Part: 51 minutes of questions from the floor.

(with thanks to Dan Phelan)