BIMM Brighton’s Head of Live Sound Zoe Martin is a tutor and a working Front of House & Monitor Sound Engineer for top bands, including UB40 (feat. Ali Campbell), Ratatat and Bonobo. Her latest time on the road teamed her up once again with one of her favourites, The Radiophonic Workshop, who recently packed-out a show at London’s Jazz Cafe as part of the capital’s 50-year celebration of electronic music.
The current Radiophonic Workshop comprises of several former staff from the BBC’s pioneering sound effects unit. It was created in 1958 to produce sound effects, and new music for radio and TV and its output included groundbreaking electronic music compositions for Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
A graduate in Live Sound from BIMM Brighton, Zoe has been working with the Radiophonic Workshop for several years as Front of House Sound Engineer – both in the studio and on tour, as she recalls:
“I’ve have been to some really cool places with The Radiophonic Workshop, including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios. They’ve been relatively quiet so far this year, so I jumped at the chance to be back behind the mixing desk with them. This show at The Jazz Cafe included pieces written by Delia Derbyshire – who was a member of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 60s and 70s and a true revolutionary for women in music, which of course is a subject close to my heart!”
At the Jazz Cafe, the Radiophonic Workshop were joined by Delia Derbyshire’s former band, White Noise – fronted by David Vorhaus – as well as influential DJ, Andrew Weatherall.
Zoe regards them as ‘true innovators of their time’, and that legacy means their audiences come to the shows with high expectations:
“There’s always such a mix of people who come to the shows, some die-hard fans who come expecting to hear all the theme tunes The Radiophonic Workshop made back in the day, while other people come to shows expecting experimental weirdness! From my point of view, it’s such a privilege to be working with the original members. It’s completely unlike any other touring I have done in the past.”
Zoe’s work has taken her to all corners of the map, from Australia to Zambia. For over a decade she has been touring alongside some of the best bands around and she says she is delighted to hold such a critical role at the live shows:
“Being able to mix the Front of House sound for an artist for a packed out crowd is so much fun, and the adrenaline really hits as the artist walks on stage, knowing their sound is in your hands. It really is a fantastic job if you want to see the world.”
Zoe’s position at BIMM as Head of Live Sound, while continuing to work as a sound engineer, means she can introduce other engineers to these opportunities:
“Whenever I need cover, I have a list of competent go-to engineers who I know will get the job done to the highest standards. One of them recently was BIMM alumnus, Jack Bonney, who I had the pleasure of teaching a few years back. He has since gone on to work with some great bands after deputising for me at a moment’s notice for the Radiophonic Workshop, Maverick Sabre & Soul II Soul.”
Our congratulations to Zoe on yet another successful outing with a fantastic band, and for representing the best of BIMM.