Delia Derbyshire was born in Coventry, England, in 1937. Educated at Coventry Grammar School and Girton College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a degree in mathematics and music.
In 1960 Delia joined the BBC as a trainee studio manager. She excelled in this field and thought she had found her own private paradise where she could combine her interests in the theory and perception of sound; modes and tunings, and the communication of moods using purely electronic sources. Within a matter of months she had created her recording of Ron Grainer’s Doctor Who theme, one of the most famous and instantly recognisable TV themes ever. On first hearing it Grainer was tickled pink: “Did I really write this?” he asked. “Most of it,” replied Derbyshire.
Thus began what is still referred to as the Golden Age of the Radiophonic Workshop.
Derbyshire soon gained a reputation for successfully tackling the impossible. When asked to “make some TV title music using only animal sounds” – much thought and ingenuity resulted in Great Zoos of the World. Delia always managed to soften her purist mathematical approach with a sensitive interpretative touch – ‘very sexy’ said Michael Bakewell on first hearing her electronic music for Cyprian Queen.
On being told at the Workshop that her music was ‘too lascivious for 11 year olds’ and ‘too sophisticated for the BBC2 audience’, Delia found other fields where the directors were less inhibited – film, theatre, ‘happenings’ and original electronic music events, as well as pop music and avant garde psychedelia. To do this she encouraged the establishment of Unit Delta Plus, Kaleidophon and Electrophon, private electronic music studios where she worked with Peter Zinovieff [composer and inventor], David Vorhaus and Brian Hodgson.
Delia’s works from the 60s and 70s continue to be used on radio and TV some 30 years later, and her music has given her legendary status with releases in Sweden and Japan. She is also constantly mentioned, credited and covered by bands from Add n to (x) and Sonic Boom to Aphex Twin and The Chemical Brothers.
A recent Guardian article called her ‘the unsung heroine of British electronic music’, probably because of the way her infectious enthusiasm subtly cross-pollinated the minds of many creative people.
By the mid 1970s Derbyshire was disillusioned by the apparent future of electronic music and withdrew from the medium. In the musical dark ages to follow, she worked in a bookshop, an art gallery and a museum. In the mid 90s she noticed a change in the air and became aware of a return to the musical values she held so dear. Delia passed away in Northampton, England, on July 3rd 2001.
Take a look at this incredible art/dance piece by Artist Nobuyuki Hanabusa and dancer Katsumi Sakakura, together known as Kagemu.
Kagemu’s Black Sun is a meticulously choreographed projection of motiongraphics onto dance, combining traditional and modern elements of Japanese culture and martial arts. Artist Nobuyuki Hanabusa and dancer Katsumi Sakakura, together known as Kagemu, have since been widely imitated by others, including Beyoncé.
Orientarhythm, created in 1991, is an original dance style that features the movement and the rhythm of the Karate and Kabuki. That is: the traditional culture of Japan with Street dance. Japan’s traditional culture has “Japanese Cool” crystallized in it. Kagemu first started to study the uniqueness of Japan’s traditional culture, and realized that Karate stances and Kabuki poses have distinct rhythm and movements. They extracted this rhythm and movement, and combined it with street dance to create a totally new type of dance.
Below, Hanabusa talks about the creative process behind the innovative performance and his take on the Beyoncé story.
What is your artistic background? How did you come to work in the medium of projected motion graphics?
Nobuyuki Hanabusa: I am very influenced by Ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints) artists such as Hokusai Katsushika, but more than that, Japanese comics and movies with VFX like Star Wars have influenced me a lot. I love to imagine invisible things from childhood.
Black Sun draws on traditional Japanese theater, martial arts and aesthetics to create something totally modern. How did you collaborate with Orientarhythm to develop this piece? What was your inspiration?
When I was thinking about creating something mixed of live action and video picture, I met Orientarhythm and we created the unit called Kagemu. Since space on dance stages is limited, we came up with this process that enables our performance with simple equipment. After a continuing process of trial and error, Katsumi Sakakura, the dancer, and I refined our idea.
There has always been a culture in Japan that values the minimum, such as the simplest design expresses the perspective of the world. The culture takes root in graphics and influences Black Sun, which leads us to portray Japan without images like ‘geisha’ or ‘Fujiyama.’
In addition, Orientarhythm introduces into their dances the motion of Japanese fighting sports. It is traditional but also gives people a modern impression as the dances are connected with modernistic elements of motion graphics.
We could not do Black Sun without Orientarhythm, Sakakura’s original style. He originated Orientarhythm by combining street dance with the intermittent rhythm and straight-line motion of Japanese traditional culture such as Karate and Kabuki.
How did you create the imagery used in the piece?
Here is the process of the movie. First, I shoot the dances and scan the data into a computer. I analyze the motion of a dancer one frame at a time and lay out my graphics in an appropriate position. By continuing this process, I create the animation linked with the dancer.
The Creators Project recently wrote about the debate around Beyoncé’s 2011 Billboard Awards performance vs. Lorella Cuccarini’s 2010 performance, tracing the inspiration for both back to your work in 2009. How do you feel about the situation?
I think all creators in the modern world are influenced by old pieces in some way. In that sense, a purely original piece does not exist. However, as long as the creators have pride in themselves, I believe they will pursue a new piece or originality. As one of the creators, I honestly regret this case and want the world to know that our performance is the original one.
What’s next for you?
Kagemu is currently working on a new piece with a different style from Black Sun. For my personal works, I am thinking about creating motion pictures that enable viewers to participate in the pieces.
Interview via The Atlantic
ANDRES HERREN is a young photographer based in zurich, switzerland.
A trip to LA during the summer of 2009 was a life changing experience for him on a personal as well as artistic level. The vibrating city with its many different facets captured his interest. The lowrider scene and the LA CULTURA inspired him a lot.
Mark Jenkins is redefining sculpture as part of the urban environment. His first book, The Urban Theater, documents Jenkins’s compelling, often disturbing street installations and demonstrates his talent for provoking reactions from passersby. For Jenkins, these spontaneous responses and interactions are an integral part of the life cycle of his works.
Jenkins creates and sets free a colorful cast of characters by way of clear tape casts: the homeless, kids, vagrants, polar bears, and horses (to name but a few) all take their place in the wild, wild urban space, while interacting with the surrounding buildings and public places that provide the context and set the stage. Positioning them around the world, Jenkins’ sculptures have made their way around the world in cities throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Disturbing, humorous, and enigmatic in equal measures, Mark Jenkins enlists his hyper-realistic sculptures into the service of, for example, Greenpeace, as well as for exhibitions, performances, art galleries, and workshops.
Fucking mad beautiful xit a.k.a.(or in their own words) “you can’t feel a tweet’s texture, smell a Facebook friend request, sustain a self cauterizing paper cut through a Google-plus post or enjoy the recalibrative effects of natural light as it bounces off rough-cut traps to make a lithographic link to your heart which knows better than your brain that something tangible smells like fresh ink without the stench of easy internet money. In a sea of scrolling pixels and recycle bin-binned CMYK far east printed dime a dozen hardcover duhsign books, we’ll send you 96 pulpy pages without regretsy-purchase angst for the cost of proffering information which undoubtedly has been promulgated throughout the internets anyway.”
Also, check their Plog (Blog) and the incredible Plinc Photo-Lettering app, where you can preview your logos, headlines or text font, in the irremarkable style of the House Industries crew of talented peeps.