Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And Legendary Tapes

A new film, Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And Legendary Tapes, offers a unique take on the late electronic music pioneer.

The film, directed by Caroline Catz, is described as a ‘psycho-acoustic exploration’ of Derbyshire and debuts Thursday Oct 15, 2020 as part of the BFI London Film Festival. It mixes vintage audio and footage of Derbyshire with interviews, live performances by the director and more.

Here’s the official summary of the film:

‘Radio was the most important thing in my life and music, music, music!’

A true pioneer in audio exploration and psycho-acoustics, Delia Derbyshire conceived one of the most familiar compositions in science fiction, the Doctor Who theme, while working in a BBC basement. Her soundscapes felt like they connected to another realm.

Kicking off with the discovery of 267 tapes in an attic, along with a treasure trove of journals hidden in her childhood bedroom, this film tunes in to Derbyshire’s frequency; that of a life-long non-conformist, whose peals of laughter in an archive interview tickle with delight and eccentricity.

Featuring a rich archive, interviews, fictional embodiment and Cosey Fanni Tutti’s psycho-sonic channelling, director Caroline Catz traces acoustic pathways on her archeological dig into Derbyshire’s resonant life.

via Sonic State

2 thoughts on “Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And Legendary Tapes

  1. “BFI Player screenings are available to view in the UK only.” Bummer!

    Hope they make it available internationally afterwards at some point. DD4Life.

  2. I’ve been into high end audio since the mid 1970s, just a teenager at the time. I had numerous reel to reel tape decks through my home stereo business at the time, and always marveled at their ability to faithfully record any audio source, whether live or from vinyl records.

    Nearly 50 years later, the time came to get “back in the game” and pick up a serious, prosumer deck and in my search I stumbled upon the folks at Reel To Reel Heaven ( We chatted a great deal and became friends due to our shared passion long before I pulled the trigger and purchased one of their fully restored Otari MX-5050BII-2 machines. Ryan and Ozzie have been absolutely fantastic in regard to customer service and their depth of knowledge is impressive. Being able to chat with Ozzie directly about setup and calibration has proved invaluable. The unit was meticulously packed for safe transport to Maui, Hawaii and arrived in perfect condition. Their attention to detail was immediately evident and I can’t wait to get this deck into the studio with some local bands and start showing them why tape is (still) king.

    It’s a real crap shoot out there in the used reel to reel tape deck market, in regard to the condition of the machine you might be buying and how much work it may require, as well as proper packing and shipping methods to get it to you safely. Working with Reel to Reel Heaven ( took the guess work and uncertainty out of my purchase and they back their machines 100% with amazing customer service. I’m so happy I went with them to get a restored, reliable machine into my hands to start pursing my passion again, recording music!

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