Doctor Who fans will be among the coterie of admirers of Delia Derbyshire, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop sound engineer who realised Ron Grainer’s original theme to the BBC-Tv sci-fic series in the 1960s. BBC Radio 4 broadcast a tribute to Derbyshire last Monday, which you can still catch on iPlayer until 10:02pm 3 April 2010. According to the BBC programme puff, this ‘Archive on 4’ special ends with a track entitled ‘The Dance’ from the children’s programme ‘Noah’, recorded in the late 1960s this tape “sounds like a contemporary dance track which wouldn’t be out of place in today’s most ‘happening’ trance clubs” – as if the stuffed shirts who run Radio 4 would know!
Anyway, the 58-minute programme includes many extracts from Derbyshire’s surviving sound archive, including her 1971 composition marking the centenary of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) – now, of course, the Institution of Engineering & Technology (hurrah!). The piece – ‘IEE 100’ was performed at a special concert given by the Radiophonic Workshop at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 19 May 1971. You can hear extracts from IEE 100, and Delia Derbyshire explaining how she found her inspiration for the commission from the letters ‘IEE’, in the programme around the 43 minute mark… Here’s a scan from IEE News covering the event: