Wednesday, 19 February 2014

All You Need Is Lab (Audio Doc)

All You Need Is Lab: How Science and Technology Inspired Innovation in Music was a great little find on Radio 4 whilst driving down the M11 last week.  I don't normally listen to this station but it was either this or Radio 3 for some awkward reason.
This is a 30-minute audio documentary in which are some great insights and anecdotes about certain songs that you know but didn't actually realise how they were made. For instance, did you know that the intro of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? contains a multi-dubbed sample of Midge Ure's voice slowed-down? Me neither.
Musician and songwriter Midge Ure looks at the many ways scientific and technological innovation have stimulated creativity in pop music.
From the invention of the steel guitar string, through the tape recorder and the synthesiser, to the drum machine and Autotune, musicians have always embraced the latest ideas and adapted or distorted them to produce new sounds.
Musicians Anne Dudley (Art of Noise) and Thomas Dolby join music journalist David Hepworth and blues researcher Tom Attah, exploring how the laboratory has informed and inspired the studio.
Midge demonstrates what you can achieve with just a laptop these days - but laments the passing of an age of invention in popular music.
Featured music includes The Beatles, Chopin, Thomas Dolby, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Charlie Christian, Les Paul and Mary Ford, The Tornados, The Small Faces, Queen, The Sweet, Stevie Wonder, Band Aid, Art of Noise, Donna Summer, Fat Boy Slim, Cher, Daft Punk and Nick Clegg.
It's available until Friday (21st) so be quick:

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