From 1957, "Private Dreams and Public Nightmares," an incredibly weird and fantastic BBC sound experiment by writer Frederick Bradnum, pioneering electronic music composer Daphne Oram, and producer Donald McWhinnie. Oram went on to co-found the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the massively influential sound effects and music studio. From McWhinnie's narration introducing the piece:
This programme is an experiment. An exploration. It's been put together with enormous enthusiasm and equipment designed for other purposes. The basis of it is an unlimited supply of magnetic tape, recording machine, razor blade, and some thing to stick the bits together with. And a group of technicians who think that nothing is too much trouble - provided that it works.
"You take a sound. Any sound. Record it and then change its nature by a multiplicity of operations. Record it at different speeds. Play it backwards. Add it to itself over and over again. You adjust filters, echoes, acoustic qualities. You combine segments of magnetic tape. By these means and many others you can create sounds which no one has ever heard before. Sounds which have indefinable and unique qualities of their own. A vast and subtle symphony can be composed from the noise of a pin dropping. In fact one of the most vibrant and elemental sounding noises in tonight's program me started life as an extremely tinny cowbell.
"It's a sort of modern magic…"
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