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Delia Derbyshire [Electronic Music Pioneer]

Delia Derbyshire

Delia Derbyshire was born in Coventry, England, in 1937. Educated at Coventry Grammar School and Girton College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a degree in mathematics and music. In 1959, on approaching Decca records, Delia was told that the company DID NOT employ women in their recording studios, so she went to work for the UN in Geneva before returning to London to work for music publishers Boosey & Hawkes. In 1963, soon after joining the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Delia Derbyshire, who has died of renal failure aged 64, was asked to to realise one of the first electronic signature tunes ever used on television. It was Ron Grainer's score for a new science fiction series, Dr Who. She used concrete sources and sine- and square-wave oscillators, tuning the results, filtering and treating, cutting so that the joins were seamless, combining sound on individual tape recorders, re-recording the results, and repeating the process, over and over again.

 

Unit Delta Plus studio

[Unit Delta Plus studio] Unit Delta Plus was an organisation set up in 1966 by Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and Peter Zinovieff to create electronic music and also promote its use in television, film and advertising. The Unit Delta Plus studio was based in Peter Zinovieff's townhouse in Deodar Road, Putney, London.

 

THE COLLECTOR :: eclectic magazine ::  2005 - 2006