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Ian Helliwell

Tape Leaders: A Compendium of Early British Electronic Music Composers (Book + CD)

Label: Velocity Press

Format: Book+CD

Genre: Sound Art

In stock


Absolute tip!  In the form of a richly illustrated compendium, Tape Leaders is an indispensable reference guide for anyone interested in electronic sound and its origins in Great Britain. For the first time a book sets out information on practically everyone active with experimental electronics and tape recording across the country, revealing the hidden history of early British electronic music.
With an individual entry for each composer, starting with Daevid Allen and going through to Peter Zinovieff, it covers everyone from the famous names of William Burroughs, Brian Eno and Joe Meek, to the ultra-obscure Roy Cooper, Donald Henshilwood and Edgar Vetter. There are sections for EMS and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, as well as amateurs, groups and ensembles that seriously experimented with electronics, including the Beatles, Hawkwind and White Noise.

Author Ian Helliwell draws on his experience and knowledge of electronic music, and after many years and dozens of interviews, has amassed information never before brought to light in this fascinating subject. This is an essential volume for anyone with an interest in the history of electronic music during the 1950s and 60s.

For around six years, Ian immersed himself in the research and writing of Tape Leaders - a compendium designed as an essential reference guide to British based composers, who created experimental work with electronics and tape. Concentrating on the formative electronic music period during the 1950s and 60s, the aim was to document every serious composer and as many amateurs as possible, who created an experimental tape piece up to 1970, and thus tell the hidden story of early British electronic music.

Ian's independent and self-funded research into the history of electronic music started gradually through the 1990s, and in 1998 he put together several electronic pioneers events during the Brighton fringe festival. In 2003 he wrote a letter to Tristram Cary, and the following year he organised Integrated Circuits, at Brighton University, with a small exhibition, screenings, and a performance of Tristram's work. In 2007 Helliwell created super 8 animation sequences, for What the Future Sounded Like, a documentary focussing on EMS. A year later he branched out into radio with the ongoing Tone Generation series, and at the end of 2009 he began work on Practical Electronica, an unfunded documentary concerning FC Judd and early British tape music.

Cat. number: n/a
Year: 2016

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