Published on July 31st, 2014 | by Jonathan Appleton
Delia Derbyshire 7″ Vinyl Limited Edition
Derbyshire, one of the great unsung heroes of the creation of Doctor Who, is best known for her brilliant and enduring realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme but this was just one of the ground-breaking compositions she was responsible for.
A true pioneer of electronic music, Derbyshire has in recent years started to be recognised for the key role she played in experimenting with sounds which were unlike just about anything previously heard.
Now Silva Screen Records have put together a limited edition 7″ vinyl release consisting of two tracks which give a flavour of this brilliant composer’s work: The Delian Mode and Blue Veils and Golden Sands.
The Delian Mode, the A side track on the disc, was composed as incidental music for the BBC’s long-running star gazing series The Sky at Night in 1969 and Blue Veils and Golden Sands was written for a 1967 documentary.
Delia would go on to describe in beautifully poetic terms how the latter piece involved a fair amount of improvisation which involved her own voice and a BBC lampshade:
“I analysed the sound into all of its partials and frequencies, and took the 12 strongest, and reconstructed the sound on the workshop’s famous 12 oscillators to give a whooshing sound. So the camels rode off into the sunset with my voice in their hooves and a green lampshade on their backs.”
Reviewed by Gramophone Magazine when these pieces were released on the BBC Radiophonic Album, it’s clear that the writer could see that a special talent was at work, even if they struggled to explain why:
“Blue Veils and Delian Mode are probably the finest music here. It may be no accident that the latter is reminiscent of the beginning of Xenakis’s OrientOccident for Delia Derbyshire follows the analytical approach of the more sustained electronic compositions. If her best pieces seem the most imaginative here—and they are—it is because she more fully explores the implications of her material.”
The disc is released on 25th August 2014 consisting of 7″ vinyl, gatefold sleeve and pull-out poster and is available for pre-release at £11.99. Be quick – only 500 have been made!