Friday, 15 May 2020

Delia Derbyshire and Barry Bermange -"Inventions For Radio No.4: The Evenings Of Certain Lives " (1965)

In the grand old tradition of the BBC, the tapes for Inventions for Radio No.4 have been 'lost'(which usually means thrown away or erased), All that remains is this short edited extract for the "Sculptress of Sound" documentary taken from a ten minute section from one of the reels in the box of tapes that were recovered from Delia's house, from the attic, after she died. That is now the property of the university of Manchester,and they don't seem keen to allow anyone to make a complete copy of it.
The programme is about life at a certain age, not at the extreme point when people ‘just give up and wait’ but, perhaps more poignantly, at the point where old age begins and the body just won't work like it used to and the eyes just won't see, the ears just won't hear, and the memory of what you were is dim.
The Evenings of Certain Lives is about the sense of isolation, and the private agony of aging.Fun stuff,but it looks like we will never get to hear the whole 40 minutes worth.

A typical story is on the day that the Radiophonic workshop was finally closed, the Workshop archivist Mark Ayres,discovered 9000 tapes dumped in a skip,which he recovered,and spent the next few years digitising and cataloging.

Despite, again not being credited (BBC policy),these Inventions for radio are probably Delia's greatest works,and i was amused to hear of a series of complaints from the 'public' at the time of transmission.Indeed, the BBC received complaints from a number of listeners about some of the 'harsh' or 'uneducated' accents and opinions that were featured in the 'Inventions'.
Don't you just love the ignorance of the 'Public' and the stupidity of of government corporations? It still goes on of course, but at least Aunty Beeb has stopped throwing stuff away,but there's a new wave of mass ignorance that dwarves the old skool version,which was mainly due to lack of information as opposed to too much information,or rather, too much incorrect information,where one man's truth is anothers lies if it doesn't fit their agenda.
And.....Oh yeah....University of Manchester people!.....put the archive online will you? Its not just for academics!?


1. The Evenings Of Certain Lives (extract) 2:11

DOWNLOAD for two minutes in this uncertain world HERE!


Anonymous said...

Ey sey, you've gorn awl POSH in these last few posts.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Lol! that you Burt from Maury poppins?...yes i thought that myself.Getting above my station.
Mainly because i couldn't really be arsed to write anything,so i did a lot of cut'n'pasting. Considered taking the Delia Derbyshire route and packing it all in. Having my four letter word exchanges with Fat Frank of VOD has put me off anyone like me or anyone connected with music,and i'd hate to be thought of as a collector...cus i ain't.....but i'll carry on, because i like what i'm posting,especially the BBC Radiophonic Workshop....gud innit?

Emily said...

thank you for all of these!