Delia Derbyshire’s previously unheard tapes get discovered, chopped, and screwed in new Radiophonic Workshop track

Delia Derbyshire's previously unheard tapes get discovered, chopped, and screwed in new Radiophonic Workshop track
Delia Derbyshire: T.A.R.D.I.S. mechanic

They say that electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire was basically the personification of toil during her eleven years as a member of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (and for some time after). Usually when you put that kind of effort into an ongoing project or responsibility, it has a habit of spilling over into other parts of your life — like an existential version of a pot of boiling water that’s boiling too hot and too full during its early boiling stages.

Derbyshire’s colleague (both out and inside the Workshop) Brian Hodgson remarked in his obituary for the late composer that she eventually grew tired and unhappy as a result of 11+ years of incessant work, and that she eventually found a “normal existence” away from the innovative music endeavors for which she’s been primarily recognized. Still, those 11+ years came at a time when synthesizer sounds inspired something akin to spontaneous combustion among “traditional” music devotees — which makes Derbyshire’s experiments all the more artifactual.

Fortunately for non-adventure-archaeologists, Middle Eastern spelunking trips and cool fedora hats aren’t required to dig up Derbyshire’s supplemental works, because most of those just turned up inconspicuously in her attic! That’s where 300 tape reels were discovered subsequent to her death, and those very same tapes are the source of a new track from the new (and now BBC unaffiliated) Radiophonic Workshop. They compiled elements from the tapes into a track called “Future Ghosts,” which you can hear via the YouTube vid below, which also serves as a trailer for an upcoming panel discussion/recollection. (And, on the off chance that you are an adventure-archaeologist, don’t worry. YouTube itself is pretty much a perilous cave full of boobie traps and occasional gold.)

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