Monday, March 5, 2007

Delia Derbyshire-Electro Sonic,LP,1972,UK

Delia Derbyshire (May 5, 1937 - July 3, 2001) was a British musician and composer who was a pioneer of electronic music. She is probably best known for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer's theme music to the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and for her work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Early career
Educated at Coventry Grammar School, Derbyshire then completed a degree in mathematics and music at Girton College, Cambridge. In 1959 she applied for a position at Decca Records only to be told that the company did not employ women in their recording studios. Instead she took a position at the UN in Geneva, soon returning to London to work for music publishers Boosey and Hawkes.
Some of her most acclaimed work was done in the 1960s in collaboration with the British artist and playwright Barry Bermange, for the Third Programme (the radio station which later evolved into BBC Radio 3). Besides the Doctor Who theme, Derbyshire also composed and produced scores, incidental pieces and themes for many BBC radio and TV programmes. A selection of some of her best 1960s electronic music creations for the BBC can be found on the album BBC Radiophonic Music (BBC Records), which was re-released on CD in 2002. Several of the smaller pieces that Derbyshire created at the Radiophonic Workshop were used for many years as incidental music by the BBC and other broadcasters, including the ABC.In 1966, while still working at the BBC, Delia with fellow Radiophonic Workshop member Brian Hodgson and EMS founder Peter Zinovieff set up Unit Delta Plus, an organisation which they intended to use to create and promote electronic music. Based in a studio in Zinovieff's townhouse in Putney, they exhibited their music at a few experimental and electronic music festivals, including The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave at which The Beatles' "Carnival of Light" had its only public playing. After a troubled performance at the Royal College of Art, in 1967, the unit disbanded.
Also in the late sixties, she again worked with Hodgson in setting up the Kaleidophon studio in Camden Town with fellow electronic musician David Vorhaus. The studio produced electronic music for various London theatres and, in 1968, the three used it to produce their first album as the band White Noise. Although later albums were essentially solo Vorhaus albums, the debut, An Electric Storm featured collaborations with Derbyshire and Hodgson and is now considered an important and influential album in the development of electronic music.
The trio, using pseudonyms, also contributed to the Standard Music Library. Many of these recordings, including compositions by Delia using the name "Li De la Russe", were later used on the seventies ITV science fiction rivals to Doctor Who; The Tomorrow People and Timeslip.
In 1967, she assisted Guy Woolfenden with his electronic score for Peter Hall's production of Macbeth with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The pair also contributed the music to Hall's 1968 film Work is a Four Letter Word.
Her other work during this period included taking part in a performance of electronic music at The Roundhouse, which also featured work by Paul McCartney, the soundtrack for a Yoko Ono film, the score for an ICI-sponsored student fashion show and the sounds for Anthony Roland's award-winning film of Pamela Bone's photography, entitled Circle of Light.
Later life
In 1973, she left the BBC and, after a brief stint working at Hodgson's Electrophon studio during which time she contributed to the soundtrack to the film The Legend of Hell House, stopped composing music. She had a series of jobs as a radio operator, in an art gallery and in a bookshop. She was briefly married but eventually she met her life-partner, Clive Blackburn, who gave her stability. She returned to music in the late nineties after having her interest renewed by fellow electronic musician Peter Kember and was working on an album when she died aged 64 of renal failure while recovering from breast cancer.
In 2002, a play entitled Blue Veils and Golden Sands about her work at the Radiophonic Workshop and subsequent life was broadcast as part of BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play slot. In September 2006 this was released as part of the 2-CD set, Doctor Who at the BBC: The Plays. In 2004, at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, her life was also portrayed in the play Standing Wave - Delia Derbyshire in the '60s written by Nicola McCartney.

From Wikipedia

get it here


Unknown said...


Just so you know, this has just been reissued on Glo-Spot:

Also, there are three composers, Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson & Don Harper.

Thanks so much for the excellent blog and all the out of print masterworks!

deltasleep said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I didn't know I had been looking for this!
I found a copy of White Noise in the plastic at a thrift store in high school, and it changed my life forever.

Anonymous said...

Great album! Thanks a lot.
I have a request:
Standard Music Library (1969)
Label: Standard Music Library
Cat: ESL104
Can you help me?
see you

Unknown said...

I just bought the re-issue of this in Portland very awesome. Thanks for having the most wonderful sight ever ever ever!

Anonymous said...

there is a brilliant doccummentry on the bbc readiophonic workshop on youtube for anyone who's ineterested, it also focuses on delia derbyshire specifically in part five

thanks again for the great posts and if you ever find time to put up white noise i would be very interested to hear it.

Anonymous said...

ah, that's a great share, many thanks. Brightens an otherwise grey and colourless day!

Anonymous said...

RE Stavrogin's post -

Standard Music Library ESL104

99% of this is on the Trunk release The Tomorrow People, with the exception of tracks A10-18

bs said...

Wow this is great!
I just found your blog through Artdecade.
Love that Delia Derbyshire.
Computermatic is the jam!

Kristina said...

This blog is fantastic! What a great way to learn about and preview some of the most elusive avant music. I have been looking for everything I could find on Delia Derbyshire, she is one of my greatest inspirations musically. I was shocked though when the "get it here" link did not allow me to download. I'm not certain if it's a dead link or what but I would REALLY appreciate it if someone could help me. I'd love to be able to listen to this!

Heather said...

I have not heard this album since my first year in college - in 2006. I lost the album when my HD crashed. Now I enjoy it again. Go Mutant Sounds!

Anonymous said...

literally unreal.. was in my taxi going home after a long night in town.. when he starts playing the album ! was amazing, since then i've always asked for the same driver at great stuff, he always keeps the album in his glove box for me haha