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.

HOME Delia Derbyshire Day Family Workshop 2016  - 2

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!



Introducing our new Delia Darlings artists for DD Day 2014

We would like to introduce you to two new artists whose response to the Delia Derbyshire Archive held at Manchester University (UK) will be performed alongside developed versions of Delia Derbyshire Day 2013 commissions by Caro C and Ailís Ní Ríain for our DD Day 2014 touring events.

Daniel Weaver

Daniel Weaver is a West Yorkshire/Manchester based composer and instrument maker amongst a panoply of creative skills. His creative technical approach to making music and personality infused output meant he was an ideal new recruit for the Delia Darlings’ somewhat radical music programming.

Daniel explains: “I have always made instruments in search of new sounds and I try to use only found and recycled materials in an effort to reduce waste and encourage resourcefulness.”

Daniel Weaver

Daniel’s DD Day 2014 performances will introduce a newly invented mechanical instrument – inspired by Delia’s use of tape, looping, experimental processes and collage. It will feature found objects as sound sources in collision with cheap, broken and resuscitated electronics and attempt to create an atmospheric, theatrical and maybe even humorous work.

Like Delia, Daniel has also produced ‘functional’ music for example theatre, dance, installations and sound effects as well as solo concerts, collaborations and cabarets.

Daniel again: “I’ve really enjoyed the research so far and learning more about her techniques and especially her works for Theatre. My commissions also usually come from collaboration with Theatre makers so I am familiar with starting from text, ideas, strange associations and nebulous concepts. Recent performance work of my own has been looking into childhood, and anyone who grew up with the BBC in the 60’s and 70’s (as I did) has Delia in their psyche and it’s a pleasure to be guided back there with experts.”

Andrea Pazos

Andrea Pazos is a Manchester based artist working within the design/visual art and music/sound art sector with extensive experience of implementing designs and exhibitions throughout Europe.

Andrea’s spirited response to visiting the DD archive:

“What captivated me is Delia Derbyshire’s working process. In the archive I could see loads of handwriting: small sketches of music compositions, ideas, notes, thoughts…This gave me a slight glimpse into her personality, dedication and specific way of working.”

Andrea photo

Andrea will collaborate with the music/sound artists and create digital visual accompaniment to enrich and support the live music performance experience. She has also produced the animated trailer for DD Day 2014.

Andrea again: “What I have in mind for the outcome of the project is a middle point between Delia’s inspiration and the Delia Darlings’ interpretation.”

You can buy Delia Derbyshire Day 2014 tickets from Skiddle and DD Day 2014 tour dates in Hebden Bridge, London, Bristol & Norwich

FON air radio commission

FON air radio commission – Delia Derbyshire Day 2013 – Wed 20 March 2013

So folks, out last outing for DD Day 2013 Phase 1 before we go into planning stages of DD Day phase 2 🙂

As part of Full of Noise Festival in Barrow-in-Furness there are a series of radio programmes  – FONair micro-commissions – around the theme of SPACE.


Delia Darling Caro C will present a live one hour programme WED MARCH 20 at 13:00 about our first Delia Derbyshire Day, the amazing experimental early electronic music pioneer that is Delia Derbyshire, the Delia Derbyshire Archive, The Delian Mode documentary, the artists involved and playing extracts of the new music-based commissions.

Caro C on CBBC with Dick and Dom + upcoming FREE event at Manchester Art Gallery

Post DD Day 2013 and touring events in Jan 2013 we come with news of more happenings brought to you by the Delia Darlings in honour of the late great Delia Derbyshire.

WED 20 FEB at 18:15: CARO C on CBBC Absolute Genius with Dick and Dom

and on BBC iplayer until April 2013

Delia Darling Caro C was invited to take part in a new series CBBC with Dick and Dom entitled Absolute Genius with Dick and Dom. This is a 10 part series looking at the likes of Archimedes, Newton and Da Vinci. And a programme looking at Delia Derbyshire, her work as an innovative electronic musician and of course her stunning work on realising the original Dr Who theme in 1963.

Dick and Dom Absolute Genius

Experimental electronic music maker Caro C describes her involvement:

“We did a ridiculous remake of Delia’s amazing realisation of the original Dr Who theme tune using largely found (and yes) animal sounds.

Once we had gathered a load of pinging, bonging and wooshing bric-a-brac from charity shops, we set about creating the first 45 seconds of her iconic piece using just a laptop and a few software plug-ins.

Therefore, deliberately contrasting Delia’s intricate and time-consuming methods of working with our making electronic music with-a-few-clicks-of-a-mouse times. I also wanted kids to see how easy and accessible making music can be nowadays.”

The show was aired on CBBC on WED 20 FEB at 18:15 and will be available to view on BBC iplayer until beginning of April.

In other news:

UPCOMING EVENT at Manchester Art Gallery Thursday 14th March, 6:30-8pm, Free, booking advisable- book here

A free event as part of Manchester’s Radical Women programme for March 2013, Naomi Kashiwagi and Caro C will present Delia Darlings: Celebrating the Life and Work of Delia Derbyshire. For more information please proceed to our UPCOMING EVENTS page.


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.