The Golden Apples has recently been immersed in the book ‘The Sound of Tomorrow’ by Mark Brend and we were totally hooked as soon as we read the introduction which explores an ill-fated collaboration where Paul McCartney met with Delia Darbyshire and Brian Hodgson on a planned BBC Radiophonic electronic backing soundscape to ‘Yesterday’…. oh what might have been…
The book charts the origins of electronic music. It is indeed “a fascinating history of the inventors, producers and technicians behind the early televisual and cinematic breakthroughs of electronic music”.
Mark Brend the book’s author is also a musician and has a release under his artist name Ghostwriter. Check out the beautifully packaged The Continuing Adventures Of The Strange Sound Association.
Within the Sound of Tomorrow there is a whole chapter dedicated to Louis and Bebe Barron the “Forgotten Pioneers of Electronic Music” (NPR radio interview) and their early electronic music composition work in the 1950s mixing sound and vision using their own hand-made electronic instruments which can be heard in their collaborations with Ian Hugo and Anais Nin and most importantly in the landmark all-electronic film soundtrack to ‘The Forbidden Planet’ where the ‘electronic tonalities’of the Barrons 50 years later now stands as a beacon for all electronic music that followed it – these are sounds worth re-exploring. The Forbidden Planet was nominated for an Academy Awared for its audio and visual effects but Louis and Bebe were not named in the award even though the work was exclusively thier own. The film did not win the award but thier dispute with the studio left the Barrons forever exluded from the studio system and they never completed another soundtrack, Even more tragically, the studios subsequently licensed thier original music to provide eerie space effects in later B-grrade sci fi films leaving thier landmark sound to became a parody of itself. Thier original studio which they both worked in and lived in (see pictures) was dismantlked and over the subsequent years they continued to create strange but beautiful music working out of a home garage studio in relative obscurity. Today their son maintains the garage studio and its equipment as a legacy to his parents work but wonders what will become of the legacy.
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