Peter Zinovieff's Computer Orchestra (1968)
By James Grahame
This newsreel footage of "boffin" Peter Zinovieff gives a bit of insight into how difficult it was to create electronic music in the 1960s. For several years, Zinovieff worked out if his futuristic shed with Delia Derbyshire (who pieced together the original ethereal Doctor Who theme) and Brian Hodgson on an ill-fated project to create and promote electronic music.
Zinovieff's groundbreaking contribution to popular music came a year after this newsreel, when he formed EMS with Tristam Cary and David Cockerell. Together, they produced the the VCS3 'Putney' synthesizer that retailed for the stunningly low price of £330. It was used on recordings by Pink Floyd, the Alan Parsons Project, Jean Michel Jarre, Todd Rundgren, Brian Eno and many others.
Over the next decade EMS released the Synthi range of instruments, culminating with the introduction of the Polysynthi in 1978.