Lost tapes by Delia Derbyshire

Delia Derbyshire was one of the earliest electronic pioneers, working at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop through the 60s. She was a major contributor to the Dr. Who theme music, and produced some amazing, atmospheric, avant garde music, years ahead of its time. Also, importantly, born in Coventry, in the West Midlands.

Pretty exciting for me, then, to see that David Butler of Manchester University's School of Arts, Histories and Cultures has recently revealed some of her previously-unheard tapes. Some of the snippets can be heard on the BBC website. Particularly remarkable is a piece of what can only be described as dance music, from the late 1960s, which is around 20 years ahead of its time.

If you're interested in more of her work, you can download some of her pieces here. You can also get an excellent compendium of BBC Radiophonic Workshop music which contains about half a dozen of her pieces. An album of her work, Electrosonics is available, but sold out within hours of release (I didn't manage to get a copy, though I tried). Also released this week is an album by John Baker, another Radiophonic Workshop luminary: I've just ordered it.

Here's a video of Delia, set to some music by The White Noise (of which she was a member):


That music is definitely

That music is definitely trippy, I think it would be pretty good if it was released today too. I love looking at that equipment, its so huge, its amazing that they could even work with it.