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Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes

Thursday 17 March 2022, 7.00PM

Docudrama that explores the life and creative output of Coventry born-Delia Derbyshire – electronic musician, sound pioneer and female outsider in postwar Britain.

From 1962 until 1973, she worked at the BBC’s Radiophonic workshop, where she created the iconic Doctor Who theme tune, which remained uncredited in her lifetime.

Delia Derbyshire introduced avant-garde electronic sound to a whole generation through the medium of a children’s teatime television show. Sound was both a refuge for Delia and a haunting manifestation of something darker. Delia was three years old during the Coventry blitz listening to the electronic sounds of the air-raid sirens against a backdrop of her devastated hometown.

Delia describes the sound of the ‘all-clear' and air-raid sirens as her first experience of electronic music. This is a life story told through sound, using both Delia’s own pieces of music alongside a soundtrack constructed from samples chosen with musician and performance artist Cosey Fanni Tutti from Delia’s attic tapes. It explores the fantasy of a collaboration, an exchange of ideas across eras between two fascinating musicians. It celebrates independence and imagination and looks at how, when that energy is evoked by women and creates a spark, the pattern seen throughout history is that it is often dismissed, ridiculed or downplayed.

A cinematic exploration of a legendary musical figure, written and directed by Caroline Catz, who also plays Delia.

Location: Rymer Auditorium