* 2021 Stock* The first release (1969) from the home studio of future BBC Radiophonic Workshop composer Peter Howell (he wrote the second version of the Doctor Who theme tune for BBC-TV) and his musical partner John Ferdinando, makers of legendary albums under the names Ithaca, Agincourt, Friends, and Tomorrow Come Someday. This private press record was recorded as a musical backdrop for a stage version of “Alice through the Looking Glass” by local amateur dramatics group the Ditchling Players. The musical templates are inspired, Lewis Carroll’s surreal poetry is as attractive as ever, and the project is colored by other English psychedelic acts of the era such as the Pink Floyd: indeed, it has been compared elsewhere to a pastoral equivalent of “Piper At The Gates of Dawn”.
There are numerous highlights scattered throughout the album, but pride of place must go to ‘Jabberwocky,’ an impressive mélange of treated vocals and backward tapes that is worth the price of admission alone. With its drowsy atmosphere, myriad sound effects and languid organ-based sound, “Alice” certainly invokes the spirit of the psychedelic age, albeit from the perspective of photogenic Middle England rather than hallucinogenic Middle Earth. Rarely can an album or book have ended with a more apposite line: “Life—what is it but a dream?" We are pleased as punch to be able to present the compact disc debut of “Alice”—and with extra material, too!