elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth. Please keep in mind that the majority of the artists that appear on this blog, along with their respective record labels, are not wealthy and need your support. If you enjoy the material that you find here, please support the artists/labels by purchasing their material afterwards. If you are an artist/label that would prefer to have your material removed from this blog, simply leave me a comment, and I would be more than happy to promptly remove the offending post. In addition to running this blog, I also work on a few other projects during my spare time. You can find links to those, as well as a few other important links associated with Digital Meltd0wn in the menu bar above.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Delia Derbyshire, Dudley Simpson, Brian Hodgson, & David Vorhaus - ESL 104/The Tomorrow People

Produced by the UK's Thames Television between 1973 and 1979, The Tomorrow People was a sci-fi drama show for kids that ran for eight series. A large portion of The Tomorrow People soundtrack was taken from the Standard Music Library's "ESL104" LP. In fact, all but four tracks from "ESL104" were used to score The Tomorrow People.

Standard Music Library was established in 1969 as suppliers of specialist production music for film, television, radio and commercials. The styles range from orchestral, jazz, dance and a variety of world music, to avant-garde composers such as Brian Eno. ESL 104 was one of their first releases, and the original record was used to provide incidental music to several 1970s Doctor Who stories, episodes of ATV's Timeslip and Thames' The Tomorrow People. Delia and Brian recorded the majority of the tracks on ESL 104 under their "Nikki St George" and "Li De La Russe" composing hats, with David Vorhaus, an avant garde American composer who formed Camden Town's Kaleidophon studio with Derbyshire and Hodgson, composing the remaining tracks.

They were highly experimental composers, with no access to synthesisers, using a very innovative approach to composition and scoring with physical manipulation of tape loops, cut up recordings and oscillators as well as traditional instrumentation. The work of Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson could be said to be a precursor to today's ubiquitous use of samplers. In 1963, these applications were so technically advanced for their time that Delia was able to construct the legendary Doctor Who theme through filtered oscillation, cutting, speeding up, and assemblage note- by-note, in a two week period. Again, no synthesisers were used. The heightened, unearthly sound of Doctor Who was born. Delia was able to take the forms of musique concrète, originally developed by by Pierre Schaeffer, with the use of microphones and magnetic tape recorders, and organically bring the truly experimental and the popular together and present it to a mainstream audience.

Director Douglas Camfield eschewed the normal route of asking Dudley Simpson to compose the incidental music and instead selected a number of stock library tracks. The majority of the tracks originate from ESL 104 and two other tracks, the legendary 'Delian Mode' and 'Blue Veils And Golden Sands' originated from the BBC Radiophonic Music album that had been released in 1968. 'Blue Veils' was originally composed for a World About Us documentary about the Tuareg tribes of the Sahara. This Delia composition was composed and constructed using filtered electronic oscillators to give the "shimmering heat haze" atmosphere to accompany the footage. It also uses manipulations of Delia's voice and the ringing of a now infamous green lamp shade. It seems quite fitting that Camfield should use such an atmospheric piece to underscore the fiery destruction of the world in Inferno and her 'Blue Veils and Golden Sands' emphasises Stahlman's complete obsession and madness. Her 'Lure Of the Space Goddess', a kind of swirling electronic woodwind effect, also surfaces from ESL 104 to provide further mood and an uneasy underscore to the environs of Project inferno.

If you are a fan of early electronic/experimental music then I can't recommend this enough. This contains some of Derbyshire's finest work. To view more Delia Derbyshire/BBC Radiophonic music from the archives click here.

Track List:
1. The Tomorrow People
2. Lure of the Space Goddess
3. Battle Theme
4. Homeric Theme
5. Greek Concrete
6. Attack of the Alien Minds
7. Gothic Submarines
8. Whirring Menace
9. Souls In Space
10. Time Capsule
11. Restless Relays
12. Planetarium
13. Wet Asteroid
14. Way Out
15. Fresh Aire
16. Delia's Theme
17. Tentative Delia
18. Delia's Idea
19. Delia's Psychedelian Waltz
20. Delia's Resolve
21. Delia's Dream
22. Delia's Reverie
23. Delia's Fulfilment
24. Build Up To
25. Snide Rhythms
26. The Tomorrow People Theme

Download: ESL 104/The Tomorrow People
Download Size: 37MB


roy rocket said...

Wow! I remember this TV show.
My brother adored it.
I hated it.
It had the teeny bopper drummer from the band Flintlock (a kind of polished anglicised version of the Bay City Rollers) in it - he was a real hate figure for all us young pubescent males.
But of course all the girls loved him.
O yeah, all the girls and my brother.
I'll grab this and give it to him for Christmas - another one ticked off. Thanks for that.
Regards, roy

J Thyme...kind said...

This is nice. Very Saturday morning.

Marilyn Roxie said...

I've been searching for this one for months now, and sure enough..here it is! This is now, officially, the best music blog I know of.

Zer0_II said...

@roy: I know next to nothing about the show. Do you find the music enjoyable though?

@Marilyn: You are too kind. We'll have to get one of your albums posted up here soon. Contact me on last.fm in regards to this if you are interested.

roy rocket said...

Ah, the music.
I must admit I find it a bit nerdy.
David Vorhaus has always left me cold, except for the first White Noise album, that was great, but then he seemed to turn into some kind of music academic...
Delia Derbyshire as you rightly stated was incredibly innovative and deeply imaginative, but she does get an awful lot of attention.
Do you know of Elizabeth Parker? She also worked for the BBC in their radiophonic workshop alongside Derbyshire, but she rarely gets a mention. Equally as good in my opinion.
As for the TV show, I thought I'd just give you a bit of info, knowing that you wouldn't have seen it over there.
It had a talking computer in it called TIM. As it spoke large plastic bubbles attached to the cardboard set would glow in time to the modulation.
It was awful. (There is a few clips on YouTube.)
Nearly as bad as Blake's 7; whom Parker created the music and audio FX for incidentally...
Hey, take it easy, Zer0-ii, and I hope you're keeping well.
Shanti, roy

Anonymous said...

wow-i loved this show(i was only 7 or something)and some bit s of it were a bit scary.There was a space monster thing called The Medusa and it fed by eating the minds of telepaths-the Tomorrow People of the title.All a bit pants now no doubt but for a kids show in the 70's it was pretty good in its time.Looking forward to this,see if i can recognize any of the noises.

Ana Paula Braga said...

I've been looking for this album for a long time ! Thanks for the post.
All the best,
Alex from Brazil

annoianoid said...

Your blog is in my top ten, the background to the uploads is so informative and your enthusiasm is totally infectious. Cheers.

Brød and Sirkus said...

Ah, Delia is such a dream-dream-dreamboat. I love you guys so much...for mass awesome posts especially this! do you like Ruth White?