The Dreams

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The Radio Times entry for its first broadcast in 1964
The Radio Times entry for its second broadcast in 1975

The Dreams (1964) is the first of Delia's four Inventions for Radio produced in collaboration with the poet and dramatist Barry Bermange.

Part of the four programme "Inventions for Radio" series, created in collaboration with Barry Bermange, Dreams is a collection of spliced/reassembled interviews with people describing their dreams. Delia's editing and repetition, together with her dissonant, often terrifying musique concrete soundbeds, make this distinctly uneasy bedtime listening. The entire piece is 45 minutes in length.[1]

The text from the two Radio Times entries for when it was broadcast:

7.15 The Dreams
An invention for radio
by Barry Bermange
arranged in conjunction with
the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

This programme of sounds and voices is an attempt to re-create in five movements some sensations of dreaming—running away, falling, landscape, underwater and colour. All the voices were recorded from life and arranged in a setting of pure electronic sounds.
   -- The Radio Times, 1964

10.15 The Dreams
The first of three Inventions for radio by Barry Bermange, in collaboration with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. More than ten years have elapsed since these ‘re-creations in sounds and voices’ were first broadcast. They introduced a fresh genre to the medium and remain classics of radio technique.
   -- The Radio Times, 1975

It also gets called "Within Dreams".


Two different edits of the work were broadcast: one, for the UK, with five movements and one for overseas broadcast,[2] labelled "TX (Third) 5.1.1964", which lacks the third movement and has shorter, less elaborate versions of the other four.

1. Running (8:08)

The Dreams - 1. Running - Spectrogram.jpg

2. Falling (8:45)

The Dreams - 2. Falling - Spectrogram.jpg

3. Land (7:02)

The Dreams - 3. Land - Spectrogram.jpg

4. Sea (8:31)

The Dreams - 4. Sea - Spectrogram.jpg

5. Colour (6:23)

The Dreams - 5. Colour - Spectrogram.jpg

The Dreams TX

  • 1. Running (3:48)
  • 2. Falling (7:47)
  • 3. Sea (8:31)
  • 4. Colour (6:23)



  • DD014: "Amor Dei Part 2 & The Dreams Part 1"
  • DD015: "The Dreams Part 2"
  • DD271: Backgrounds
  • TRW 5099: "The Dreams" for series "Mid Century Attitudes"
  • TRW 6203: "The Dreams (for transcription)"


The Performing Right Society's list of works by Delia Ann Derbyshire has:

Title: The Dreams
Writer(s): Derbyshire, Delia Ann
Publisher: BBC Worldwide Music
Creation date: 11 August 1999



  2. "The BBC did a transcription set of 2 discs for worldwide spreading to India, Canada, etc -- all our colonies as of then. The versions are 25-30 min edits of the long versions." (James Percival, personal email)
  3. BBC Programme Catalogue entry for 5 Jan 1964
  4. 4.0 4.1 Notes to the Tape Library List's entry for TRW 5099.
  5. DD141714: Letter from TSgt Joe E. Salazar to the BBCRW asking about The Dreams broadcast on Bayerische Rundfunk.
  6. BBC Programme Catalogue entry for 19 Oct 1993
  7. BBC Radiophonic Workshop - surviving work
  8. The Tape Library List's entry for TRW 7059.