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The Delian Mode (2009)

The Delian ModeDirector: Kara Blake
Featuring interviews with Peter Kember, Mark Ayres, Brian Hodgson, Ann Shenton, Alan Sutcliffe, Adrian Utley, David Vorhaus, Peter Zinovieff


This short documentary feature about Delia Derbyshire would be a revelation to some people as I knew that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop was responsible for the Dr Who theme, but didn't know Delia was the one who actually wrote it (the BBC apparently acknowledged it eventually, but wouldn't make it retrospective.)

It is so easy to do effects on music with computers these days it is easy to forget how hard it used to be when the only thing they had was a big reel to reel tape player that could be sped up and slown down and not much else. The composers also had to splice tape manually and re-record it if they made a mistake and there is even a mention of unspooling tape down the hallway to make it easier (it was done late at night.)

I enjoyed the samples of Delian's music played and it would have been hard to come up with something suitable to show while it was being played.

It was an interesting documentary and I am sure it will find a wider audience with people interested in experimental music and Dr Who fans.



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