The BBC Radiophonic Workshop started in 1958 with the mission to produce sound effects and new library music for the BBC's radio programs, though the group would soon start to work for television as well. One of the many pieces they made was the legendary theme tune (and the rest of the series' music and sounds) of “Dr. Who”, created by Delia Derbyshire in 1963 as per composer Ron Grainer's request, which has become the most famous recording in the legacy of an institution that closed its doors in 1998. Since then, labels like Paradigm Disc, Rephlex, The Grey Area and the BBC's own publishing platform, have been compiling and releasing the works of Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire, John Baker and the other members of the legendary team, whose influence and popular appreciation never ceased to grow.
The mythical BBC Radiophonic Workshop serves as a model for a new project led by Matthew Herbert. He's been asked to direct The New Radiophonic Workshop (NRW), a new sound lab that will work mainly for The Space, the online platform supervised by the BBC and the British Arts Council, which, among many other things, serves as the recently inaugurated warehouse for John Peel's record collection.
In an interview with The Independent, Herbert said he would like to work with some of the original members of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. “What the [original] workshop achieved was the pinnacle of electronic music in this country, and it is all the more extraordinary given that it was conceived in the 50s […] We are interested in bringing them with us but we are also keen to find new, young people working in technology.”
Their first task will be “to define the sound of 'The Space'. There is a black hole in the internet and that is 'sound'. I'm interested in bringing together musicians and software technicians. You can tell stories in sound that you can't do with images.”.