Tone Generation: audio history of electronic music

Tone Generation is a twelve-part audio documentary on the global history of electronic music until the 1970s. I just started listening to the podcast and it's absolutely fascinating. Ian Helliwell created the program earlier this year for England's Resonance FM. It was produced by sound designer Simon James who also did the otherworldly audio for Ken Hollings's Welcome To Mars series. Tone Generation's structure was inspired by Helliwell's analogue music history chart, also a terrific resource. From The Tone Generation project page:
The Tone Generation is Ian's continuing radio series exploring electronic music; a personal selection drawn from his records and cds, looking at different themes or composers in the era of analogue tape and early synthesizer technology. Within the limitations of his collection and the half hour time slot, the programmes will hopefully act as a useful and enlightening overview of electronic music as it developed in many different countries, and will be of special interest to enthusiasts and students studying the history of analogue electronics, from the formative days up to the 1970s.
The Tone Generation podcast (Odeo), The Tone Generation MP3 downloads (SimonSound), The Tone Generation project page (Ian Helliwell's site)


  1. Ooooo! Fab.

    On the other hand…Hey, I was going to do that!

    I’m keen to see what he’s got in his collection that I don’t.

    Incidentally, if you’re into this sort of thing and would like a nifty place to start listening to tracks like “Projection Esemplastic for White Noise,” OHM: The early gurus of electronic music is a great boxed set (from Ellipsis Arts, 2000, or the Special Edition w/ DVD from 2005).

  2. my li’l heart’s goin’ pitter patter! This is my favorite kind of music. Like you, IWood, I’m very interested to see what’s in his collection.

  3. Awesome! I’ve always wanted to learn more about the history of electronic music, particularly for finding early artists.

  4. Thanks for the link to the previous Resonance series ‘Mars; It’s amazing & terrifying..
    Just what I need at 3am.!

  5. SLEEPY13@6, Yes, I *love* Welcome To Mars. The book based on the series comes out any day now!

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