So this is what was going on in Shoreditch before it became infested with pseudo-intellectuals, savvy media-types in cashmere jackets and fashion designers sitting on salvaged furniture.
This documentary hails from a time when the bbc was still run by uncomfortable public school boys and wasn’t afraid of experimental music or experimental hair cuts.
Who knew you could make proto-radiophonic music using
child labour education and pyrex bowls? As is often the case with children, it is difficult to tell if they are enjoying what they are doing. But it’s clear that Mr Bowl-cut enjoys entreating the boys and girls to embrace his high organ cluster. “All the other sounds in the piece are subordinate to this sound.” he says. You may divine the subtext for yourself.
I must confess to having a flash back to the bossy teachers of my youth and that condescending tone they all have. I was moved to shout at the screen, “Throw down your xylophone, cast your triangle to the wind. Rebel, rebel!” I was itching for one of these infants to start playing land of hope and glory on the recorder, but that’s just me. I will rebel against anything, even if I like it.
But really this is all rather sweet. It’s rather inspiring in it’s own way and a glimpse back into a more innocent age where children could guilelessly produce upsetting music for improvised drama on the subject of pestilence. Kids love a bit of pestilence. Don’t we all.
Now compose your own piece of music on the subject of “heat, radiation, and relentlessness” using only cheese-graters and a bulky german tape machine.