Original Working Music, Cues & Effects
by Vernon Elliot
vinylrip -> 192kbps MP3 by d1fferent
This is the original music used throughout the 26 episodes of "The Clangers".
It is all taken from the quarter inch master tapes, which have been carefully stored in Oliver Postgate's "Underworld" since they were first recorded some 30 years ago. When making the episodes, all the music was initally "seen" if you like - sketched out by Oliver Postgate, and then given sonic life by his trusted composer friend Vernon Elliot.
Once composed, the music was often recorded in a village hall, with Oliver, Vernon and various musicians from Vernon's "Clanger" Ensemble. During some of these sessions the windows were open. You can hear the birds singing outside if you listen very carefully.
All these original recordings were then dubbed onto two track tape and used in sync with the animated Clangers sequences. The music in these sequences was always set back in the mix so here at last we have the opportunity to enjoy its beauty at full volume.
Actually compiling the tapes into a cohesive mix proved difficult. There were over 100 different cues, some missing, but all uniquely coded by Oliver so he could find them easily and fit them to the sequences they were designed for. In the end I just decided to run them all in the most obvious sequence.
First we have the introduction. This is actually the first introduction from the first ever Clangers episode. Then follow some Clanger lids and our music begins. On the first side are the "Alphabetical" cues from Series One. There are some full action sequences as well as everyday sounds from the planet - the music of rain, or running, of bombing around caves on the little paint trolley. And there's Tiny Clanger's Radio Hat in there too. Most of this music comes from Series One, but some of the small motion sequences ran throughout both series.
On the second side are the "Numerical" tracks. These are all from Series Two, and tend to be dramatic, longer musical sequences - major happenings on the planet. There's the Glowhoney episode, the seed invasion sequence and the music heard from the Gladstone Bag as he falls in love. We end with the magnificent "Music of the Spheres", played by Tiny Clanger and all the heavenly musical bodies from the last ever episode.
As for track listings, I have been precise where possible.
And any effects you may hear in this recording were made by Oliver in his basement, using his tape machine, microphones, a small tin guitar and anything else that came to hand.
I deliberately decided not to remaster the music in the way of today. So you will hear the music exactly as it was recorded. I think any changes would have destroyed the unique atmosphere it holds. Immediately you begin to listen, you find yourself transported to that little blue planet. The music is gentle, magical, calm, exciting, and from a very different place. It has all the lovely sound you rarely hear these days. I'm sure you will enjoy it for all sorts of reasons.
I must thank Oliver Postgate for letting me in and making me soup. And for making the best TV ever. And for being one of the planet's greatest human beings. Best wishes to Naomi too. Very special thanks to Peter Firmin and Bridget Dowdeswell. Oh, and Sean. And Wis. And DLB. And the ever patient Derek Collie.
The CD release of this music also contains Act One of "A Clangers Opera", compiled by Oliver Postgate. It's brilliant, as you'd expect. And there are more unseen pictures too.
- Johnny Trunk, 2001
Born into a musical family in 1927, young Vernon took up the bassoon from a very early age. From then on he had an eventful, busy and very musical life, one which saw him as a founder member of the Philharmonic Orchestra, a regular player at the Royal Opera House, conductor of the RPO, a musical teacher and occasional writer. He played jazz too. In the sixties he was asked by Steve Race, the director of ATV, to help Oliver Postgate by writing a bassoon theme for what we now know as "Ivor The Engine". The rest is history, and Vernon went on to compose the music to "Noggin The Nog", "Pogie's Wood", "Clangers" and more. Away from the music, Vernon was a keen sailor, skier and bee-keeper. Vernon died in 1996. I'm sure he's still listening.
A SMALLFILMS production. Written by Oliver Postgate and designed by Peter Firmin. Two series of 13 episodes each. First series 1969, second series 1971. Name derived from the "clang" of the dustbin lids they live below. Animated in an old barn in Kent. The Clangers are friendly, inventive, and have wonderful manners. If only people were the same. For the full and brilliant story read "Seeing Things" the [no further text]
Dedicated to Lilla who foolishly puts up with my unusual musical habits.
Sympathetically remastered by Sean Williams.
Design & artwork by Delby
For more info contact www.trunkrecords.com
A www.trunkrecords.com recording 2001
THE CLANGERS (c) 1969 SMALLFILMS. All rights reserved.
Music (c) Vernon Elliot