Delia Derbyshire, Electrosonic, and “Nightwalker”
In addition to her day job at the Workshop, Delia Derbyshire continued to experiment elsewhere with radiophonic techniques; some of her output was recorded as library music. We’ve already mentioned ESL 104; there was also Electrosonic on KPM, another collaboration with Brian Hodgson, published under their Li de la Russe and Nikki St George aliases. She and Hodgson also collaborated with American David Vorhaus under the name “Unit Delta Plus”, producing theatre music and other experimental radiophonics. As the band White Noise, they recorded the magnificently psychedelic An Electric Storm. Later, Hodgson and Derbyshire also collaborated on the soundtrack for the film The Legend of Hell House.
“Nightwalker”, presented here, is one of the Electrosonic pieces. Hodgson recalls that they recorded it partly at their Camden studio, Kaleidophon, and “sometimes we used to creep in the back of the Workshop at night and do it there”. Like “Blue Veils and Golden Sands”, “Nightwalker” is one of those deceptively simple, multilayered pieces made of overlapping tones and textures. It’s propelled forward by a descending, erratic rhythmic figure that reverses halfway through, suggesting a change in plot or direction. It’s quiet and elegantly creepy; very much a Derbyshire and Hodgson composition.
- Electrosonic, Glo-Spot, 2006. Liner notes by John Cavanagh.