Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Monday, 29 March 2010

BBC Radiophonic Workshop - Alchemists of Sound 2003

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Alchemists of Sound (2003): BBC Radiophonic Workshop Length: 1hr
Filetype: wmv (175Mb) or avi (700Mb) - right-click / save as definitely works, no idea if it'll stream (try!). I watch it using the free VLC (VideoLAN) player which is fab.

The whole programme is also available, in smaller chunks, at YouTube (part one) and it abounds on the internet. Further information on the programme from BBC's website

This is a documentary I watched at 8pm one evening in 2005 and was so enchanted I stayed up to watch the repeat at 3am. Then I was straight on to the internet the next day at work to hunt it down or see if I could buy a copy from the BBC / 2Entertain (nope, no plans to release it that I'm aware of).

If you've not seen this and you delight in strange and quirky sounds, and in the ingenious ways in which these sounds were turned into an acoustic backdrop (or actual music) using tape loops to record raw sound and manipulate it, then this is a suitable programme for you. It's the slightly spooky soundtrack to some of my childhood.

Narrated by Oliver Postgate it also features interviews with the workshop geniuses and some others, including Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz who gave us "Look Around You".

In 1991 there was an exhibit called "Behind the Sofa" at the now defunct Museum of the Moving Image by Waterloo, London - I remember all sorts of Dr Who memorabilia being on show but the bit that made me smile in particular was the panel of buttons which let you hear the various versions of the theme tune. Magic :)

Here's a video of the Dr Who theme tune, recorded live at the Radiophonic Workshop's gig at the Camden Roundhouse last year (I didn't record it but I was there enjoying it).


  1. Thanks, I love this stuff!

  2. thanx a lot! i am a big fan of the radiophonic workshop and, of course, all the fantastic vintage who-fx :-)


  3. Been looking for this for ages - can't thank you enough - cheers!

  4. Cheers from the US. I love these sort of documentaries. This art is history. Thanks...

  5. I actually just discovered this doc last night!! one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I know have my sampler ready!! :)

  6. lovely stuff, thanks!

  7. Can't find it! It doesn't abound on the internet, and it has been removed from You Tube. How do I get hold of it? Your link doesn't work either... this is not criticism, BTW :)

    1. Well you're certainly right about YouTube - what a shame, it did indeed once abound all over the place. I've just tried my own links (the .wmv and .avi ones above) and they work fine for me, but possibly there are some restrictions in place that won't let them work for anyone that isn't me, in which case... alas. I am not sure what to suggest, and I don't think there are any plans to release it.


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