Raymond Scott on Radio 3

I’ve just listened to a R3 programme about the weird and wonderful world of Raymond Scott, Jazz musician and electronic engineer, which some may find interesting. He started building weird electronic instruments way back, and eventually developed his ‘Electronium’ which seems pretty bizarre to me.
Now on the Sounds app etc.

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The guy was amazing for his versatility.

Soothing Sounds For Baby Vol. 1 is very good (2 & 3) less so. The Manhattan Research Inc. compilation of his jungles and other works is great fun, This has been sampled endlessly:


Just listening to this, it might be entertaining for a baby, but it’s no lullaby. At one stage, I’m sure he’s sampled a smoke alarm.

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I discovered this side of Scott a few years ago when Stuart Maconie made this album of the week on The Freak Zone.

Not brave enough to try it out on the grandchildren!

People tend to think of music as a way of getting very young children to sleep, which it certainly can, but not this stuff! Still, I think it’s good to introduce them to music as enjoyment, not just as a sedative.

Dr. Alex Paterson (as Transit Kings), sampling Scott’s jingle for the Lightworks cosmetics line…

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I haven’t heard that programme, but came across Raymond Scott some time back… to my mind one of the pioneers of developing 20th century commercial music, with ideas and jingles for TV and film experimenting with artificial sounds. To my ears his sounds and arrangements were more impactful than his compositions.

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