Elizabeth Parker Future Perfect

6th October 2023

Format Info

LP - black vinyl

First ever release of pioneering radiophonic / experimental / electronic / soundtrack composer you may never have heard of but really should have by now. 26 tracks in all.

As we began the mammoth task of whiQling down material for this album Elizabeth recalled the ]me she met Delia Derbyshire. It was during a party for exis]ng and former Radiophonic Workshop composers at BBC Maida Vale in the early 1980s. Delia introduced herself with typical energy and exuberance proclaiming “It’s up to you now – I’m passing the baton. Show these men how we get things done”. That must have been quite an honour and responsibility for a young, female composer establishing herself within the male-dominated environs at Delaware Road. Looking back over a musical career spanning almost five decades, it’s clear Elizabeth rose to the challenge and made her mark. She was consistently in demand with television and radio producers, composing for an array of ground-breaking, cri]cally acclaimed and popular BBC projects. Whilst Delia’s legacy has achieved mythical status with her posi]on as an innovator and feminist icon secured, the majority of Elizabeth’s recorded work remains unavailable so her contribu]on to the output of the Workshop and evolu]on of Bri]sh electronic music is somewhat underappreciated. Perhaps this record will help start to remedy the situa]on. Included are early tape experiments, home demos and non-BBC commissions from the early 1970’s to the late 2000s. Having listened to 260+ digital audio tapes from Elizabeth’s personal archive we have barely scratched the surface but hope to provide an indica]on of the breadth of her composi]onal and sound design skills. Classically trained in cello and piano, Elizabeth graduated from the University of East Anglia with a degree in Music in 1973. She was mentored by Tristram Cary who helped her to become UEA’s first recipient of a Masters in Electronic Music and later awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Staffordshire University. Joining the BBC as a studio manager in 1975, Elizabeth transferred to the Radiophonic Workshop in 1978. One of her first tasks was to create special sound effects for Blake’s 7 using tape loops, the EMS 100 and trusted VCS3. Her celebrated score for The Living Planet in 1982 featured early use of the PPG synthesizer and earned an Emmy nomina]on. Over the following years studio technology evolved rapidly, but Elizabeth transi]oned from analogue recording techniques to newer digital plarorms with rela]ve ease, using samplers, midi sequencing and computer controlled worksta]ons. With an incredible 1,400 commissions to her name, she created special sound for The Day Of The Triffids, Lord Of The Rings, countless radio dramas including Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea, Harold Pinter’s Moonlight, all of Howard Barker’s plays, produc]ons of King Lear, Wordsworth’s Prelude and The Pallisers. The success of The Living Planet led to further work for the BBC Natural History Unit followed by numerous commissions for The Natural World. At one point in the late 1980’s at least five of her signature tunes were being broadcast every week including Points Of View, Horizon, Doctors To Be and Everyman. Aser the closure of the Workshop in 1996 Elizabeth became freelance, arranging Faure’s Pavane for the BBC World Cup ’98 coverage (reaching no. 9 in the UK singles chart). She wrote addi]onal music for Monty Python’s Holy Grail DVD, scored Michael Palin’s Full Circle and Sahara TV series, The Lost Gardens Of Heligan and The Human Body with Robert Winston. Re]ring from the music industry in the late 2000’s, Elizabeth recently returned to her East Anglian roots and now lives near the coast. She walks daily, listening to all kinds of music, new and old, on her beloved air-pods. TRACKLISTING: Side One: Space Dris, Memory Loss, Siren-Call, Harmonisers of The Spheres, Telepathy Beyond Time , Older Than Time , Conges]on Hoe-Down, Shadowland, Celandine and Columbine, The Dying Of The Light , Cloud, Darkness At Noon , Future Perfect, The Killing Skies Side Two: Into The Depths , She Calls , Lazy Summer Asernoon, Insects Revolt, Blood Runs Cold , Post Apocalypse Fog , Fish Don’t Cry , Ghost In The Abbey, Insects Dance Dreams Of Magic And Cornfields , Devil’s Lightning, Danger Hurts, Why Me?