About the film
The Delian Mode is a a short experimental documentary revolving around the life and work of electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, best known for her groundbreaking sound treatment of the Doctor Who theme music. A collage of sound and image created in the spirit of Derbyshire’s unique approach to audio creation and manipulation, this film illuminates such soundscapes onscreen while paying tribute to a woman whose work has influenced electronic musicians for decades.
The film features interviews with Brian Hodgson and Dick Mills of the now defunct BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the founder of Electronic Music Studios Peter Zinovieff, musicians Peter Kember (Sonic Boom), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Ann Shenton (Add N to X) as well as other friends and colleagues of Delia.
Ayres has been composing music for film and television since 1984 and is best known for his work on the most recent Doctor Who programs. He has been responsible for cataloguing, restoring and archiving the work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop since its closure in 1998.
Blackburn met Delia in 1980 and became her life partner until her death in 2001.
Hodgson was employed at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop at the same time as Derbyshire and later became the department’s organizer. He and Delia collaborated on several projects outside the BBC and maintained a life-long friendship.
Kember is a musician who has worked under the names Spectrum, Sonic Boom and E.A.R. (Experimental Audio Research). As a result of Kember contacting Derbyshire in the early 1990’s he encouraged her return to music and was one of the last people to collaborate with Delia creatively.
One of the first staff of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Mills worked there for 40 years creating sound effects for radio and television. He assisted Delia in the realization of the Doctor Who theme.
Part of the now defunct London based electronic band Add N to (X), Shenton currently performs music with the group Large Number. Shenton curates a compilation CD series entitled The Electronic Bible which included the collaborative piece by Derbyshire and Kember recorded in 2000.
Sutcliffe is one of the founding members of the Computer Arts Society, established to promote the creative use of computers and met Delia at a music conference in the 1960s.
Ultey is a revered artist in the music world and one of the driving forces behind the popular band Portishead.
Vorhaus became Derbyshire’s protégé after hearing her lecture on electronic music. The two, along with Brian Hodgson formed the first incarnation of the band White Noise in 1969. The band’s first release was the groundbreaking album An Electric Storm featuring a variety of tape manipulation techniques and use of the VCS3 synthesizer developed by EMS.
Founder of the company EMS (Electronic Music Studios), Zinovieff is a musician and inventor. EMS was at the forefront of using the first computer technology for musical applications and was responsible for the creation of early synthesizers like the VCS3 used by the Radiophonic Workshop and many musical acts including Pink Floyd. Zinovieff briefly collaborated with Brian Hodgson and Delia under the name Unit Delta Plus.
Written and directed by
Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre & Kara Blake
Philippe Blanchard & Kara Blake
Lynne Trépanier & Simon Gervais
Julie Blake/Third Side Music
Bande à Parte
Editing & compositing
Additional sound engineering
Alec Dippie (Spider Cat Records)
Elizabeth Klinck & Monica Penner
Malcolm Fraser, Becky Blake, Gordon Allen, Krista Muir