freddie phillips: the mystery box
here is a box… a mystery box.
\”Here is a box, a musical box… Wound up and ready to play. But this box can hide a secret inside, Can you guess what\’s in it today ?\”
– Briant Cant.
The broadcasting bastion of traditional moral values, the BBC was babysitter to the nation. An institution of Orwellian proportions; entrusted with the wellfare of the young and vulnerable. That\’s not to suggest that there was anything inherently sinister with these particular programmes. There was, however – during the 1950s and 60s in particular – a unique edge to childrens\’ tv as produced in Europe which draws from a deep well of culturally informed fairytale and folklore. Those individuals directly involved in developing this tiny area of programming, too, were pretty much allowed creative free reign in return for successfully bringing in their production on a miniscule budget. Like their independent counterparts in the music industry, the end result was, more often than not, inspired and defiantly original.
A pioneering exponent of multitrack recording technique, Phillips – who enjoyed a formal career in a number of highly regarded European orchestras in tandem with his work for radio and television – was responsible not just for the accompanying music but for the provision of the equipment on which to record it:
\”…putting the M&E tracks together, to meet a deadline, followed by longer days feeding them to Brian Cant (who didn\’t read music) in the recording cubicle through ear-phones.
His work for the BBC throughout this entire period is the stuff of legend. As influential as The Beatles, perhaps, Freddie Phillips deserves to be celebrated as a national treasure in his own right. ▼ BRIAN CANT & FREDDIE PHILLIPS: THE MUSICAL BOX from \”Camberwick Green\” BBC TV (BBC) 1966 (UK) ▼ FREDDIE PHILLIPS: CAMBERWICK GREEN from \”Camberwick Green\” BBC TV (BBC) 1966 (UK) ▼ FREDDIE PHILLIPS: CHIME & CLOCK THEME from \”Trumpton\” BBC TV (BBC) 1967 (UK) ▼ FREDDIE PHILLIPS: TRUMPTON from \”Trumpton\” BBC TV (BBC) 1967 (UK)