Delia Derbyshire – The Delian Mode

Duration: 5'38

Derbyshire generally composed music of a contemplative, ethereal atmosphere with interwoven layers of sustained tones, and sparse textures combined with precise temporal placement of looped rhythmic patterns. She called her own compositional style ‘music to watch sculpture by,’ and The Delian Mode, composed at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, fits that description rather well. Although it stands perfectly well as a composition in its own right, it was used—along with Blue Veils and Golden Sands—as incidental music in the Dr Who serial ‘Inferno.’ The piece also provides the title of a 2009 documentary, directed by Kara Blake, that explores Derbyshire’s life and work.



James Mooney