Delia Derbyshire | Artist

Delia Derbyshire | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Gender_Female, Genre_Ambient, Genre_Electronic, Genre_Experimental, Origin_UK, Type_Artist

Delia Derbyshire was an English mathematician, musician and composer of electronic music born 1937 in Coventry, UK. She is best known for her pioneering work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop during the 1960s, particularly her popular electronic arrangement of the theme music to the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who. Her intellect was evident from an early age when, by the age of four, she was teaching others in her class to read and write in primary school. Later, she was accepted into both Cambridge and Oxford universities, which was rare at that time for a woman from a working class background. She graduated with a BA in mathematics and music at Cambridge. In 1966 Derbyshire and two BBC colleagues set up Unit Delta Plus cooperative which performed experimental electronic music, working with basic electronic components such as oscillators, recorded and manipulated using tape loops. It was with this group that the Beatles gave a one and only performance of an experimental piece called "Carnival of Light". Another collaboration was the White Noise band which recorded the album An Electric Storm, regarded as a milestone in the development of electronic music. After her death at age 63, researchers found 267 reel-to-reel tapes of unheard recorded music in her attic. Outstanding albums include An Electric Storm (1969) by The White Noise, The Tomorrow People Original Television Music (2006), Circle of Light (2016) and BBC Radiophonic Music (1968) and Standard Music Library: Electronic Music (1969) which was re-released in 2017 under the title Electronic. The 2019 archival release The Dreams (2019) on the Fantôme Phonographique label is also highly recommended. Derbyshire also released works under the name Li de la Russe. In one of her rare recorded interviews, Derbyshire said her fascination with electronic music started with the sound of WWII air-raid sirens during The Blitz experienced when she was a child in Coventry.

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Featured Albums: Delia Derbyshire

Related Artists: The Beatles, Yoko Ono, White Noise, Li de la Russe, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Ron Grainer

Video Clips: The Delian Mode, Pot Au Feu, Dr Who Theme

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