The Unexpected Country (1957)


‘The Unexpected Country’ was a 30-minute radio feature produced for the Home Service, written by Olwen Wymark. ‘ The Unexpected Country’ is described by the BBC Radio Play catalogue as “that private territory of hallucination and fantasy inhabited by someone at the point of death.” Roberto Gerhard collaborated with Christopher Terry to produce a sound montage involving the recording and manipulation of sound effects on tape.

Records on ‘The Unexpected Country’ are few, and the small fee offered to Gerhard, split with Terry, indicates that his contribution to the production was probably quite minor. Gerhard’s notebooks outline eight cues for the production, including the use of a dripping tap, wind and percussion, while the BBC describes the sound cues as consisting of “obsessive background sounds of the type most easily produced by tape loops.”