Tristram Cary

Monday 28 April 2008

More bad news: Tristram Cary has died at home in Adelaide, aged 82. One of the first generation of electronic composers, Cary was a co-developer of the legendary VCS3 synthesiser but, as these things so often go, he’s best remembered as one of the first composers on early episodes of Doctor Who.
Music Thing has a great video about Cary and his cohort, including archival footage of the man strolling round his studio filled with arcane electronic equipment while contentedly puffing on his pipe. There’s also a geeky-cool photo of a VCS3-shaped birthday cake.
I’ve just realised I don’t have any recordings of Cary’s music. Warren Burt has written a substantial review of a number of his pieces on the 2CD retrospective Soundings, giving some idea of the breadth and depth of Cary’s musical thinking.
  1. Hi Ben,

    Thanks for this post. ABC RN currently has an MP3 of an interview w/ Cary by Andrew Ford.

    Warren's review is a wonderful overview, but I'm fairly certain that the first all-electronic score to a BBC radio play was for Beckett's That Fall: broadcast in 1956, & scored by Daphne Oram. (There was once a transcription disc of the audio at the NFSA…)

  2. Cheers. I didn't know about a Beckett play with an electronic score.