Announcing: Delia Derbyshire 80th birthday electronic music heritage project

We are very excited to be able to announce that funding of £42,600 has been awarded by The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a programme of activities and events to celebrate the late Delia Derbyshire’s 80th anniversary year.

With our board of trustees, we have devised a variety of events and activities giving lots of opportunities for people of all ages, with lots or no knowledge of Delia to enjoy and be inspired by what we think is a gem of electronic music heritage.

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Project partners include the Delia Derbyshire Estate, John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, One Education Music, Full of Noises Festival, Digital Women’s Archive North and Band on the Wall. Recruitment managed with two DD Day trustees has led to the appointment of Caro C as the Project Manager and Vicky Clarke as Assistant Project Manager.

Nathan Lee, Head of HLF North West comments:

“We’re delighted to support this project to shine a light, not only the pioneering impact of Delia Derbyshire’s work, but also on this significant and fascinating part of John Rylands Library. Thanks to National Lottery players, DD Day can share the musical roots of electronic music to a new generation.”

Key dates & outputs:

5 May 2017Delia’s 80th Birthday – launch new website, short film about the DD Archive and “Deliaphonica Soundbank” (an interactive web platform) public engagement activity

10 June 2017 – A very special DD Day 2017 MCR at Band on the Wall – electronic music-making workshops for families and evening music/arts event, archive sharing, expert panel discussion/Q&A with very special guests, live music/visual art performances.

5 Aug 2017 – DD Day touring event at Full Of Noises (FON) Festival in Barrow-in-Furness – participatory workshops for families and evening cultural heritage event with archive sharing, panel discussion/Q&A, live music/visual art performances.

Sept-Nov 2017 – 8 week education project in 2 primary schools in Manchester including production of a short film about the DD Archive by the young participants.

5 Dec 2017DD Day and Digital Women’s Archive North (DWAN) symposium event at Anthony Burgess Foundation 6-9pm (time TBC) – with guest speakers, archive sharing and open forum discussion.

We are most grateful to Heritage Lottery Fund support and all the support-in-kind we have been given by our project partners, trustees and contributors. If you are a venue, school or arts organisation that would like to host a DD Day activity or event, we’d love to hear from you. And of course we are very grateful for your continuing public support for Delia and our work and look forward to enchanting you anew with more Delia-n delights!



Delia Derbyshire Day 2016 – taking stock and moving forward

As we compile our Annual Report and take stock after another round of wonderful Delia Derbyshire Day activities, we would like to thank everyone who helped make it all happen.

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DD Day 2016 took place on Sunday 17 January at HOME cinema and arts centre in Manchester. We chose this venue as it HOME is a new high profile arts venue with high quality cinema and music facilities. This helped us to further raise the profile of Delia Derbyshire and her cultural legacy and thereby increase the impact of our charitable objectives.

Click here to visit the DD Day 2016 info page & reviews

Other DD Day 2016 activities

Alongside a smashing Delia Derbyshire Day 2016, we also carried out:

Partnership event with Digital Women’s Archive North – [DWAN] Digital Women’s Archive North and Delia Derbyshire Day teamed up to deliver a pre-DD Day 2016 event, titled Archiving Women’s Performance Practice, on Thursday 14 Jan 2016, 5.30pm-9.30pm at HOME.

This was a high impact event for the organisation and our aims as the Delia Derbyshire archive is becoming increasingly integrated into the Manchester music landscape and beyond. Representatives and leaders of arts & education organisations and many interesting artists were present and took part in the event’s discussions and informal networking.

Leeds College of Music – we were invited to present a touring event of DD Day on Tues 2 Feb 2016 as part of Leeds College of Music 50th anniversary events programme. This was a showcase of DD Day new music & digital visual commissions from 2013-2016 featuring Mandy Wigby/Architects of Rosslyn & Di Mainstone, Daniel Weaver & Andrea Pazos and Caro C & Andrea Pazos. What another attentive audience and a lovely venue with great sound facilities and enthusiastic staff.

HOME Delia Derbyshire Day Family Workshop 2016  - 2

Future Plans

We are now cooking up our plans for the next phase of development as a charitable organisation. This will involve organisational development, fundraising, planning the next DD Day and further developing our education work with John Rylands Library (home of DD Archive). More info in due course.


We are so grateful for another rewarding phase of our DD Day endeavours. Heartfelt thanks to our audiences for coming along to our events and being so supportive and attentive; all the children taking part in our education and participation work who have been inspired by Delia and worked hard to learn a lot about music technology in a relatively short time; commissioned artists for embracing the challenge of producing a creative response to Delia’s archive with such respect for Delia, passion, and dedication to their craft; media supporters for helping publicise Delia’s work and the work of DD Day to much wider audiences, funding bodies Arts Council of England, The Granada Foundation and University of Manchester Social Impact Fund; the hardworking staff at HOME for helping produce a great event in their high quality venue; Mark Ayres for re-mastering  “Two Houses” film for DD Day 2016; David Butler for co-curating DD Day 2016, producing the fascinating new audio collage of archive material, successfully raising and managing funds from University of Manchester Social Impact Fund; Jenna Ashton for doing most of the organisation for the DWAN/DD Day partnership event; trustees for agreeing to take on the responsibility and filling out all the paperwork to get DD Day off the ground as a CIO. And lastly of course thank you to Delia for being such an inspiring, dedicated craftswoman and creative talent with such a fascinating body of work and enduring cultural legacy.

Here’s to another great year and more exciting developments for DD Day!



Announcing: Delia Derbyshire Day 2016 at HOME, MCR

We are very excited to annouce our next Delia Derbyshire Day event in Manchester will be on Sunday January 17th 2016 at the lovely new HOME Manchester.

We are very pleased that HOME want to be the new home of Delia Derbyshire Day and we all feel it is an especially good fit given that the focus of our next round of events will be MUSIC & VISUAL – as we will screen 2 new donations to the Delia Deryshire Archive for which Delia provided the sound and music. More exciting information on these pieces to come.

mary stark 1 copyFor DD Day 2016 we will commission 2 new creative responses to the Delia Deryshire Archive by North West based artists who are dedicated to their craft and dare to be rare. Like Delia did. Introducing:

  1. A new archive sharing audio collage by David Butler with visual live art response by artist Mary Stark;

  2.  A new DD Day 2016 music commission by The Architects of Rosslyn – Mandy Wigby Producer/Composer feat. Howard Jacobs Composer/Musician – responding to the inspiring Delia Derbyshire archive performing a live soundtrack to a collage of films by artist and ‘movician’ Di Mainstone.

Hands on workshops for families

At DD Day 2016 at HOME, we will also be offering hands-on workshops for families to have some fun making music inspired by Delia’s archive and working methods.

Much more info to come – we just wanted to let you know that our next round of Delian treats are on their way! And we are grateful for the support of The Granada Foundation for our first fundraising success to make DD Day 2016 happen.

granada logo CMYK

Delia Derbyshire Day 2014 Manchester

Happy DD Day 2014!

DD Day 2014 IABF poster

We are busy getting everything ready for our second Delia Derbyshire Day event here in Manchester, which is home to the Delia Derbyshire archive (University of Manchester).

And my do we have some excitements in store..Delia Darling Caro C:

The success of DD Day 2013 far exceeded our expectations, demonstrating great interest in Delia’s work, her archive and support for our rather radical cross-genre programming. Phase 2 of the project sees a DD Day 2014 with a fresh format. We are excited to be able to present an audio visual collage of Delia’s archive material, new music and visual art commissions and a short presentation by Delia Phd researcher Teresa Winter. We hope Delia would approve of us shaking things up and not just duplicating a successful event.”

Click here for info on full line-up for DD Day 2014

BUY TICKETS for DD Day 2014

We strongly recommend buying tickets in advance to avoid disappointment on the day as the lovely Anthony Burgess Foundation has a limited capacity. And you will save 75 pence..

Here is a lovely mix made especially for us by avid Delia fan and music collector Steve Simms-Luddington  to get you in the Delian mood/mode.

And, worry not for we are not just bringing this treat to Manchester. We will then be doing a few tour dates to Hebden Bridge (17 APRIL), London (19 APRIL), Bristol (26 APRIL) & Norwich (4 JUNE). See Delia Darlings on Tour for more info thereupon.

DD Day 2104 bannerWith much appreciation for support from the Delia Derbyshire estate, Arts Council England, University of Manchester, Burgess Foundation and all supporting peoples, we look forward to enchanting you with Delia’s musical magic.

DD Day 2014 trailer & latest news about the Delia Derbyshire archive

As countdown commences to Delia Derbyshire Day 2014 here in Manchester, UK and proceeding touring events to Hebden Bridge, London, Bristol and Norwich, we thought it might be nice to give you the latest news on the Delia Derbyshire archive here in Manchester, the development of public access to it and more.

So Caro C went to interview David Butler  – Delia Derbyshire researcher and Senior Lecturer in Screen Studies at Manchester University – who had some exciting news, insights and revelations to share.

You can buy tickets for DD Day 2014 and touring events here – advance purchase is recommended given the popularity of last year’s events.


Happy Delia Derbyshire Day eve!

So, we very kindly have 2 guest mixes to get you in the Delia mood:

Guest mix by Steve Simms-Luddington of Manchester based band Monkeys in Love

Steve is a big Delia D, radiophonic fan and music collector who has kindly compiled this delightful 45 minutes of sounds especially for Delia Derbyshire Day 2013 at BAND ON THE WALL, MCR, UK on SAT 12 JAN 2013 from 3pm.


(sorry won’t embed)

This shorter mix that is Delia’s music all the way was kindly compiled by the Kraut und Owt DJs who just happen to be Caro C‘s neighbours who look after the cat when she is away and massive Delia fans too.




delia_derbyshire-1Delia Derbyshire Day 2013 will be the first of its kind and we ALL like firsts. But this is an important one as Delia Derbyshire is an icon of electronic music and should be celebrated as such. That is exactly why Delia Darlings are presenting a Delia Derbyshire Mini-symposium at 3pm on Saturday 12th January 2013 at Band on the Wall, Manchester.  We intend to celebrate and highlight the fascinating work and important work of Delia Derbyshire through a series of talks, films, discussions and listening sessions with a panel of esteemed guests being central to the proceedings on Delia Derbyshire Day at Band on the Wall in Manchester on 12 JAN 2013.

The panel will be hosted by Cath Aubergine a well known Manchester based reviewer and feature writer for music websites including Manchester Music, Louder than War and Incendiary. She first came across the name Delia Derbyshire courtesy of Peter Kember, but had in fact been listening to her music for a lot longer than that without knowing who was behind it. A Dr Who obsessed child, Cath used to borrow music from the library that was credited only to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop not to Derbyshire individually. “We had all grown up listening to the analogue oscillators, filtered white noise and processed found sounds of The BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Many of these incredible sounds had been created by a woman who had refused to let gender stereotypes keep her from what she wanted to do.”

Kara Blake – Canadian Filmmaker


We are thrilled that Kara Blake will be joining us. Kara is a Canadian filmmaker who made The Delian Mode the documentary about Delia which won the prestigious Genie Canadian cinema award in 2010 for best short documentary. An audio-visual homage, the film seeks to explore the life and work of Derbyshire in a spirit indicative of its subject matter and continues to generate new fans for this unique pioneer. We are grateful to the Quebec Arts Council for supporting Kara to come to Manchester to take part in our symposium. We will present a rare screening of The Delian Mode and Kara will take part in our panel discussions.

David Butler – Guardian of the Delia Derbyshire Archive at Manchester University

whoc Alongside his job as Senior Lecturer in Screen Studies at the University of Manchester David has been working on a long-term project on the life and work of Delia Derbyshire. He helped to bring her archive to Manchester and oversaw the digitisation of the tapes, which was carried out principally by Louis Niebur. Most of his work on the archive since then has been research focused on cataloguing and identification, cross-referencing the holdings in Delia’s archive with other related archives around the country as there were (and still are) plenty of missing details and questions about the contents of the archive.

“Beyond Delia’s astonishing realisation of the Doctor Who theme tune, the first time I became absolutely spellbound by her work and consciously aware that she was responsible for the music was when I got the cassette ‘Doctor Who: Earthshock – Classic Music from The BBC Radiophonic Workshop – Volume 1’ and heard ‘Blue Veils and Golden Sands’ – officially, the piece lasted just under three and a half minutes but it felt so much longer and simultaneously no time at all – I was lost in that piece and its shimmering, melancholic beauty, its liquid depths and sense of something beyond a distant horizon.”

Mark Ayres Composer and BBC Radiophonic Workshop archivist

_44597139_radio_lamp512Mark represents the Delia Derbyshire estate and was bequeathed her archive following her death before donating it to the University of Manchester. He is a television composer who is best known for his work on Doctor Who. He was also involved in the last days of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, cataloguing and archiving their recordings for future use. As part of the BBC’s unofficial Doctor Who Restoration Team, Ayres has also done much of the audio restoration work for the later VHS Doctor Who releases, as well as many of the DVD releases, and all of the “Missing Soundtrack” CD releases since 1999.

Teresa Winter is currently undertaking a PHD at the University of York, specifically researching Delia’s creative processes and her historical, artistic and cultural significance as a composer of electronic music in Britain.


“Derbyshire contributed an original talent for moulding electronic sounds into what many consider to be conventionally beautiful music, at a time when the sounds of technology were mostly conjured to purvey a sense of fear of the unknown, disturbance, or strangeness in popular culture, compounded by its use in sci-fi from the late 1950s. I am particularly interested in the mix of familiarity and strangeness that resulted from the pressures of having to make music for a large audience. Something new was created, even where the musical language itself didn’t radically depart from tradition. This is one of the reasons why she has become a cult heroine for many, and is often credited with helping to inspire a generation of musicians to create popular electronic music in the 1990s.”