Delia Derbyshire was a musician and composer, born in Coventry in 1937. At the age of three Delia was evacuated straight after the devastation caused by the Coventry Blitz — an event that would be reflected in her work in later years. After her return to Coventry, Delia attended Barr‘s Hill, at that time an all-girls Grammar School, before being accepted for both Oxford and Cambridge. She was awarded a scholarship and graduated from Girton College, Cambridge with a BA in mathematics and music.

Delia returned to Coventry to teach in a primary school, before working for the UN in Geneva. Delia moved to London to look for a career that would best make use of her talents. After a refusal from Decca Records on the grounds that they did not employ women in their studios, she joined the BBC in l960 as a trainee studio manager.

In l962, Delia moved to the Radiophonic Workshop based in Maida Vale, where she worked for the next l l years producing music and sound for radio and television programmes.

In l966 Delia, fellow Radiophonic Workshop member Brian Hodgson, and founder of the Electronic Music Studios {EMS), Peter Zinovieff formed Unit Delta Plus. Intended to create and promote electronic music they performed at festivals such as The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave, alongside The Beatles’ Carnival of Light.

 

In the late sixties, Delia worked apain with Brian Hodgson, alonp with David Vorhaus, to set up the Kaleidophon Studio. Alonp with music for film and theatre they produced their first album An Electric Storm as White Noise. Durinp this period Delia also worked on music for The Tomorrow People, the score for Peter Hall’s production of Macbeth for the Royal Shakespeare Company, a collaborative sound-track with Yoko Ono, as well as the score for the award-winning film Circle of Light.

 

In 1973 she left the BBC and worked briefly at Hodgson‘s Electrophon studio.

Her influence in the late l960‘s and early 1970‘s cannot be underestimated. Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pink Floyd, Anthony Newley, Paul McCartney, George Martin and Brian Jones are amongst the many who knew her, and were undoubtedly influenced by her work and her approach to music and sound creation.

After years out of the music business she returned in 2000 working on two Experimental Audio Research {E.A.R.) projects with Pete Kember, Vibrations and Continuum.

Delia died on the 3rd July 2001, aged just 64.

She has since developed a cult status the world over.