BBC Radiophonic Workshop have continued their steadfast commitment to sounds of the future with an endeavor that reflects a reality of 2020. November 22nd will mark their live-streamed performance of “Latency,” a musical concept inspired by Zoom video delays.
Observing the short lags inevitable to the video conference platform, Workshop members Bob Earland and Paddy Kingsland set out to see if a longer delay could be used to facilitate a unique sort of improvisation between artists. The resulting composition will essentially be a loop of music with each musician adding elements as it’s passed to them.
“The idea [of playing the internet] reflected our time,” said fellow member Peter Howell. “We’re all subject to the internet now in a way that we never thought we would be. And Bob and Paddy came up with an idea that is literally using what we’re all relying on for a creative purpose, using something that we’ve all taken for granted but in an artistic way.”
The original BBC Radiophonic Workshop ran from 1958-1998; it birthed music that found its way into sci-fi scores like those of Doctor Who and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The life of Delia Derbyshire, an early electronic music most famous for her work on the former series’ intro, has been chronicled in a documentary titled Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And The Legendary Tapes that will premiere the day after “Latency,” via BFI London Film Festival.
BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s performance of “Latency” will begin at 8:00 PM on November 22nd via their YouTube channel.