While the world was engrossed with rock n’ roll music and its stars, a lady genius was busy tinkering away with analog recording equipment to create the earliest forms of electronic music.
Electronic music has its own presence in the music world today, but perhaps not many are familiar with one of the geniuses who pioneered the genre. Meet Delia Derbyshire, known to those who recognize her exceptional artistry as the world’s first DJ.
Like any other artist, Derbyshire had her own humble beginnings, but it didn’t take long for her to tread upon the path of unique musical brilliance. In 1962, she joined the Radiophonic Workshop, the sound effects and experimental incidental music arm of BBC, as a trainee studio manager. Derbyshire has created many notable pieces during her stay with BBC, but she fashioned her most memorable and acclaimed piece in 1963—the theme for science fiction series Doctor Who. She gave Ron Grainer’s score a unique electronic rendition by blending it with tape loops, valve oscillations, and filters. Impressed with her work, Grainer made efforts to give Derbyshire co-authorship and royalty for the theme, but was blocked by BBC.
Curious? You know you want to hear Derbyshire’s Doctor Who work, which was the standard theme of the series for 18 years!
Now, it’s time for you feast your eyes and ears on how the virtuoso does her thing, showing how electronic music is done, the awesomely analog way!
Delia Derbyshire, the First DJ on Kottke
Delia Derbyshire - electronic music pioneer on Amoeblog
Delia Derbyshire on Wikipedia
What do you think of Delia Derbyshire’s amazing analog method of making electronic music? Tell us through a comment below!