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July 23, 2008


Holy holy holy. Manchester University's School of Arts, Histories and Cultures has revealed the existence of 267 tapes found in Delia Derbyshire's attic when she died in 2001.

Amongst the recordings is some ethereal whooshing from a 1969 production of Hamlet at the Roundhouse in London; an extraordinary kit of parts for one of her most-admired pieces; and the theme for a documentary set in the Sahara which shows how she used her voice as an instrument.

Most unexpected of all, however, is a piece of music that sounds like a contemporary dance track which was recorded, it is believed, in the late sixties.

The BBC - for a brief moment fulfilling its public mandate - hosts audio clips. I confess I think they are over-blowing the dance track a bit. Despite what Paul Hartnoll says it is not a piece that could be released next week. It is, however, decades ahead of its time and part of a treasure trove for people who make electronic and experimental music. No need for hyperbole; Delia was the master.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 23, 2008 06:39 AM