Pete Kember

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Pete Kember, a.k.a. Sonic Boom, contacted Delia by searching the Coventry phone book[1] and they first met in September 1998.[2] He put her in contact with the current generation of musicians who were inspired by her music and coaxed her back into making music again.

She worked with him by phone and weekly visits to Rugby as adviser/co-producer of the EAR albums Vibrations (2000) and Continuum (2001) and together they created the track Synchrondipity Machine.

Delia thought so highly of him that she gave him her VCS3 synthesizer, a beautiful early model with duck egg white coloured panels.[3]

He appears in the Alchemists of Sound documentary in the section about Delia and plays himself in the radio play Blue Veils and Golden Sands.


I called Delia while we were recording the song 'Delia Derbyshire', which was the inception, I guess. I didn’t put her in touch with anyone much. She was very shy. I was not terribly successful at getting her back in the saddle. She definitely had been thrown a time or two too many by the music business and fate sadly played its hand early, just as she was just getting back into the whole thing. Delia taught me pretty much everything I know about the structure of sound and during those few years before she died, it was a high point of my life to talk and meet with her.[4]

Her ultimate resource — a limitless imagination.[5]

Shortly before Delia died, she wrote the following:

Working with people like Sonic Boom on pure electronic music has re-invigorated me. He is from a later generation but has always had an affinity with the music of the 60s. One of our first points of contact - the visionary work of Peter Zinovieff - has touched us both and has been an inspiration. Now without the constraints of doing 'applied music', my mind can fly free and pick-up where I left off.[6]


  1. Speaking his own lines in Blue Veils and Golden Sands (radio play)
  2. Delia in the Surface interview.
  3. Personal communication, 16th March 2012
  4. Peter Kember interviewed by Brian Coney in The Strange World Of... Pete Kember on The Quietus, July 9th, 2018
  5. Pete Kember quoted in the Fibre-Optic Flowers article.