John Baker (Radiophonic musician)

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John Baker
Born(1937-10-12)12 October 1937
Died7 February 1997(1997-02-07) (aged 59)

John Baker (12 October 1937 in Leigh-on-Sea – 7 February 1997 in Freshwater, Isle of Wight) was a British musician and composer who worked in jazz and electronic music.

He was educated at the Royal Academy of Music where he studied piano and composition. In 1960 he joined the BBC as a sound mixer, before transferring, in 1963, to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop where he remained until 1974. He was the most prolific of the early Workshop composers, developing a trademark style, creating music by manipulating tapes of everyday sounds such as blowing across the top of an empty bottle. A rare snippet of Baker at work was included in the 1968 documentary film Music, which also featured the Beatles working on Hey Jude in the studio. A jazz pianist, he brought a sense of rhythm to the Workshop which some of the other more mathematical composers lacked. His work included many signature tunes for BBC television and radio. He was also particularly interested in combining recorded electronic music with live musicians.

After becoming an alcoholic, Baker recorded no further music after being sacked by the Radiophonic Workshop in 1974 and later died in poverty.[1] Two compilations of his work entitled The John Baker Tapes were released in July 2008 by Trunk Records.


  1. ^ "The Quietus - Reviews - The BBC Radiophonic Workshop".

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