As the countdown commences to our exciting DD Day 2016 at HOME in Manchester, we would like to introduce you to our wonderful newly commissioned artists.
As with our previous DD Day events in Manchester in 2013 & 2014, we have commissioned North West England based artists to produce new work as a creative response to the Delia Derbyshire Archive held at John Rylands Library (part of University of Manchester). This year’s new artists’ works works will be performed for the first time at DD Day 2016 at HOME on 17 Jan 2016.
The theme for DD Day 2016 is music and the visual arts. So it seems only fitting that we have a new work by a music composer who has composed music for film, a visual live artist and a pop-up performance mini-commission by a composer and film maker who have all been inspired by Delia’s work and working methods.
We believe these artists are dedicated to their craft and dare to be rare. Like Delia did.
Mandy Wigby – music composer & studio producer/engineer
Mandy Wigby is a Manchester-based composer and music/studio producer with music broadcast on films, BBC TV, BBC Radio 1 and 6music.
Mandy will perform as The Architects of Rosslyn with multi-instrumentalist Howie Jacobs and produce a live soundtrack for a 17 minute collage of films by artist and ‘movician’ Di Mainstone especially compiled for DD Day 2016.
Mandy Wigby performing as a member of Sisters of Transistors
Mandy gives us an insight into her creative process for this commission:
“Delia Derbyshire’s realisation of the Dr Who theme opened my mind to electronic music at a very early age, although it wasn’t until later I began to discover the full extent of her work with The Radiophonic workshop. Being able to immerse myself in Delia’s archive at Manchester University and experience more of her imagination, playfulness and incredibly evocative sound pieces for theatre and film has been a real treat.
I was particularly inspired by the dark and brooding theatre sound effects which had been made for Macbeth and Medea – the way she plays with harmonics, building sounds from everyday objects then disguising them, sometimes morphing and manipulating these elements to play with the audience’s subconscious ear.
In contrast to the dark side were other collaborations with artists in the archive which showed her playfulness, charm and wicked sense of humour. Her interest in sound and vision led to many projects about, and also with, visual artists.
I tried to incorporate these elements to inform my piece, responding to Delia’s archive to develop the way I work. Through collaborating with multi-instrumentalist Howie Jacobs, creating new sounds through processing and technology, and also by working with film maker and artist Di Mainstone, this commision allows me to push myself and my music into new areas of exploration in the spirit of Delia Derbyshire.”
Mary Stark – live visual artist
Mary Stark is an artist based in Manchester.
Mary will present a visual live art performance to accompany a new 17 minute collage of audio material from the Delia Derbyshire Archive. The audio collage has been compiled by David Butler, lead researcher of the DD Archive and senior lecturer of Screen Studies at the University of Manchester.
Mary tells us about her journey in creating her performance piece:
“The most inspiring things I’ve found about Delia’s archive has been looking through her papers gaining insight to her process of working with sound through her graphic scores. I’ve really enjoyed looking at all of the documents, seeing her handwriting and her school books, which contain doodles and sketches alongside mathematical drawings and diagrams, showing how her approach to composition and perception of sound developed from early in her life.
The drawings are delicate, sensitive and often repeat patterns. Sometimes they have been drawn on the back of papers that must have been lying around her desk, such as invoices or posters advertising concerts. which I really like as it hints at her way of working that she might have just grabbed at what was nearby when inspiration hit.
The graphic scores, notes and drawings have all been informing the cameraless black and white film I’ve been making. I’ve been drawing directly onto 35mm film and making digital drawings on acetate sheets, which are then printed photographically onto 35mm film in the darkroom, in a process similar to Man Ray’s photograms.
The way I make films also echoes Delia Derbyshire’s work with reel-to-reel tape, as I cut and splice film by hand. It’s laborious and repetitive, involving sustained physical contact with the filmstrip and long periods in the dark room. I’ve been listening to Delia’s sounds collaged by David Butler on repeat whilst working in the darkroom and it is a true honour to be given the chance to respond to her work!”
Janet Wolstenholme – music composer & studio producer/engineer
is a highly experienced and prolific composer of electronic music, a film maker, a singer songwriter and has been in many Manchester music bands including Bandit Queen and Beyond the Glass. Janet is also a committed sound engineer and studio producer, recording and doing live sound for many bands and artists. Janet works as a music facilitator and producer and engineer at Seed Studios
Janet’s piece, called Just Before Now, will be an improvised pop-up performance in the foyer of HOME on DD Day (4.30-5.30pm) utilising her technical and creative skills with live sampling, looping and manipulation.
DD Day 2016 is very grateful for funding support from Arts Council England, The Granada Foundation and University of Manchester for making these artist commissions possible.