Heard this at the end of Shaun Keaveny’s show and remembered it (I was thinking Magic Box…Music Box…not Picture Box!). It’s ”Manège” performed by the Lasry & Baschet Brothers as ‘Lasry-Baschet Structures Sonores’, who like Mr Partch built their own instruments, sound sculptures (hence Structures Sonores). This was played on their own invention the Cristal Baschet - their version of the glass harmonica.
Like Children of the Stones this scared the crap out of me…it was supposed to be a TV for Schools programme but at some point they changed the jaunty fairground organ music for a haunting, carousel of the dead theme.
It’s funny but I was thinking today about how children’s TV was the in-road for a lot of very radical/experimental artists…unlike today where it’s demographically analysed and money squeezed out within an inch of it’s life. Like most creative spheres kids TV is now is design by committee so the result is pretty boring, predictable (apart from Sesame Street and the rare likes of Yo Gabba Gabba and Adventure Time!) and usually very corporate.
But in earlier times like the hands-off approach of the Radiophonic Workshop, no-one higher up really cared that much what the kiddies watched or heard, as long as it was cheap and filled the time. And enough people lower down had quite a deep appreciation of the avant garde to let these people rip.
So the likes of Bonzo Dog Band – their first break was on kids TV, Delia Derbyshire, Oliver Postgate, and artists involved with Vision On (kind of the closest thing here to Sesame Street whose lunatics were similarly taking over the asylum over in the States) took to the the air. Along with some very avant garde musical choices like this one.