There are a great many historic insights and details about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Louis and Bebe Baron, Raymond Scott and many other artists. In the 50s and 60s making electronic music was a very expensive undertaking. Artists trying to make serious electronic music had a constant battle to find grants or commercial work to keep body and soul together. As a result these sounds of tomorrow began to find their way in to films and advertising on radio and television. From there they percolated in to the minds of a new, younger generation of musicians who began to use these experimental techniques to spice up their early psychedelic explorations.
The section of the book that deals with the rise Robert Moog and the rise of the synthesizer brings a fresh perspective on the transitional period between tape manipulation of tone generators and standalone systems like the Moog or the EMS VCS3. When the synthesizer first enters the story it was not universally welcomed in to the world of serious composition. These devices at first were mainly used to recreate classical music or popular tunes of the day.
If you enjoy some dry, British wit you will not be disappointed. If you are interested in electronic music this book is a must have. The retelling of several of the tales set out here provided a good laugh. He also includes a detailed list of film and television programs that used electronic elements in their soundtracks, as well as influential record albums. From the Telharmonium and moving forward through the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, and Hammond Novachord, on to the rise of the synthesizer, all of the people and equipment that created the sound of the world of tomorrow are here. This book gives us a clear sense of how the march of technology impacted the production of music and how that music went from the workshop of obsessed dreamers and in to the fabric of the world of today.
A great stocking stuffer for that racket obsessed someone on your Christmas list.