The name "Delia Derbyshire" may not be familiar to you, but if you were even a marginally geeky child in junior high, you’ve probably heard her work. Derbyshire, who died this July at the age of 64, wanted to be a recording engineer for Decca, but was turned away because she was a woman. Instead, she went to work for the Radiophonic Workshop at the BBC instead, and quietly developed into a prolific and pioneering electronic composer, working with comparatively primitive equipment to create haunting music for television, records, and live performance. Derbyshire worked on the David Vorhaus’ first White Noise album, for which she received credit for "electronic sound realisation". Burnt out by intensive her work habits — and perhaps by the lack of financial success; she didn’t receive royalties for her work on the Doctor Who theme song, certainly one of the most recognizable pieces of music for television ever recorded — she, like the Silver Apples‘ Simeon, left music in the ‘70s, working as a radio operator during the laying of the British national gas pipeline. But, like Simeon, she was rediscovered by a later generation of electronic music fans and artists. The electronic act Spectrum recorded an album with the Silver Apples, and Sonic Boom of Spectrum conducted one of the few interviews with Derbyshire. Part of it can be attributed, I think, to a burgeoning genre trying to find its roots (witness the revival of interest in old-school synthesizers), part to the lasting popularity of Derbyshire’s work (particularly the repeatedly remixed Doctor Who theme song, and part, I suspect, due to Derbyshire’s incredibly cool name. I mean, she even sounds like a superhero. Who can pass that up?