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[BleepBot] Public Information Explores Practical Electronica – win tickets to Barbican Film screening


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Practical Electronica: A Trailer from Public Information on Vimeo.

This winter sees the emergence of an important and previously untold link in the history of early British Electronic Music. Whilst the lives and sounds of Tristram Cary, Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire et al. have been laid bare on wax and disc in recent years, the name of 60s contemporary Frederick Charles Judd will be completely alien to most.

Public Information hopes to change that with a forthcoming retrospective of Fred Judd’s rhythms, tones and loops; a compilation of incredible, pioneering music from his archive called Electronics Without Tears.

But first to the documentary… Practical Electronica. A wondrous film directed by the man who made this entire project happen, Ian Helliwell.

After much research, enquiry and hard work Brighton based filmmaker, musician and scholar of electronic music Helliwell tracked down Fred’s widow Freda who kindly allowed him full access to Mr Judd’s personal archive. Ian set about making a film and in the process discovered many fascinating aspects of this remarkable man from Woodford, East London- his life, his work, his vision.


Fred was writing about electronics and the burgeoning tape recording/home radio scene as early as the mid-50’s, he went on to publish 11 books and countless articles in a quest to disseminate these thrilling new technologies out from academia into the front room. By 1963 Fred had built himself a dynamic home studio… sitting amongst the oscillators, tone generators, filters, amplifiers was an electro-mechanical drum machine and a voltage controlled keyboard unit to synthesize sound (a device that predated the Moog and Buchla synths). Using this equipment he wrote many FX and sounds for television and radio whilst self-releasing a handful of 45’s to a following of enthusiasts.

Practical Electronica explores these narratives and many more. The Sound World of F.C Judd is crafted into an extraordinary Audio-Visual feast for eyes and ears and brains. It’s an hour-long experimental collage of bold music, bright colour, vivid stills, super 8 home movies, archive footage, strking animation and an eye-sizzling reinterpretation of Fred’s own Chromasonics (a psychedelic sound visualisation process, running parallel to Daphne’s Oramics system).

Electronics Without Tears, a 35-track compilation of F.C Judd material (fully restored and mastered at D&M Berlin) will be landing soon on Public Information. Most of this music has never been heard before. For more information and for details of screenings around the UK, visit http://public-info.co.uk/

The film will be screening at Barbican Centre, London on Friday 25th November. We have 3 pairs of tickets to give away, simply email your name to info@bleep.com.


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