The early explorations into electronic music were brought back to life at a captivating performance in Huddersfield.
Presented in the stark yet atmospheric surroundings of Milford Street’s Bates Mill, Langham Research Centre showcased the methods used to create cutting edge sounds which had not been used to make music before.
Sharply dressed in crisp white shirts and ties, they definitely meant business when they took to the stage as part of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival to showcase their new piece of work and reveal a composition written but never realised by composer, Christian Wolff.
Using reel-to-reel tapes, devices used to create musical tones called oscillators and other equipment abandoned by the BBC, they created a veritable feast for the ears that showed the potential of weaving electronic sounds with everyday noise.
Anyone who believed that the first piece relied on a simple act of each player pushing the play button on their tape players simultaneously would have immediately realised their mistake.
Linked up to different speakers, the tapes revealed an expertly crafted composition, each a different part, that were weaved together through the performance to bring the piece to life.
Made by slicing, cutting and distorting the speed of sounds of oscillator wave forms and others, it was a delightfully intriguing sound which flew around the room due to the clever placing of each speaker.
Recorded outdoor noises, snippets from 1950s TV broadcasts and songs were meshed with more early electronic noises at different frequencies and even the sound of a toy car’s wheels, which was miked up and rolled along the table, bringing together both expert technique with a good dose of humour.
An enlightening look into the beginnings of British electronica, it not only highlighted the incredible, forward thinking minds of the generation but the accessibility of electronic music for everyone who can turn give everyday sounds new lives within rousing and uplifting experimental compositions.