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Blip.050: Delia Derbyshire
The unsung heroine of British electronic music.
Edited to clarify that Delia performed the Dr. Who theme, but didn’t write it. Thanks to Neil Milton for the clarification.
The other day, my friend Richard sent me a link to a fascinating documentary about a woman named Delia Derbyshire. Delia was a pioneer of electronic music, years before the first synths like the Moog were commercially available. She created music by field recording sounds onto magnetic tape, then playing the sounds back at varying speeds to create notes, which she would then painstakingly cut, paste, and re-record, all by hand to create songs. She performed the theme song to Doctor Who, written by Ron Grainer in 1963, as a part of the now-famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The BBC re-released some of the recordings on LP and CD, which you can still find on eBay.
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