Announcing Known 0.9

Named for Delia Derbyshire

We’re delighted to announce the release of Known 0.9.

This version contains a huge number of enhancements, new features and fixes. It’s much faster; it supports non-Latin characters in post URLs and hashtags; it supports Twitter cards; autosave works better and posting is more reliable; search is better; and much more. A lot of this is due to contributions from Kyle Mahan and Marcus Povey, as well as lots of energetic activity across the open source community. You can download it here.

Every version of Known is named to highlight someone whose creative work has influenced our lives. Previous versions have been named for Katherine Dunham, Miriam Makeba and Giotto Di Bondone.

A pioneering musician, decades ahead of her time

Delia Derbyshire joined the BBC in 1960, originally working on a classical music review show. Her scientific approach to music presented itself immediately: she was able to look at the grooves in the vinyl records and determine exactly when a certain instrument was playing.

However, she came into her own at the Radiophonic Workshop, an in-house sound effects studio that had been established at the BBC. Here, she famously recorded the theme tune to Doctor Who:

To begin with Delia 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.

Grainer fought for her to receive a composer’s credit, but the BBC’s policy was for Radiophonic Workshop members to remain anonymous. Broadcast in November, 1963, it remains one of the most hauntingly original theme tunes ever recorded.

Her later work is less well known, but is stunning: it predated EDM by around 30–40 years, but would not be out of place on a modern record label. (Her lost tapes are astonishing.)

Sadly, she didn’t receive the recognition she deserved in her lifetime.

Download Known 0.9 Derbyshire

You can get Known 0.9 in .zip and .tgz formats. Our source code is always available on GitHub.

Alternatively, you can host your Known site with us.

Originally published at on February 2, 2016.

Writer: of code, fiction, and strategy. Trying to work for social good.

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