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!



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.

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.

First round of Delia Darlings Tour done and dusted

Delia Darlings travelled to Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle and were delighted with sold out shows in each venue. We were delighted to see so many of you come to support our work and of course the late great Delia Derbyshire.


Kara Blake, filmaker who presented her  25 minute documentary film about Delia Derbyshire The Delian Mode


Caro C performing her new work Audient, My dear
with live visual accompaniment courtesy of Kara Blake


Naomi Kashiwagi performing her new work The Blues (Gramophonica Remix)


Brendan Ball & Heather Bird performing Ailís Ní Ríain’s new work The Consequences of Falling

See some video footage of this performance

An abundance of thanks again to our funding supporters: Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation and Quebec Arts Council.

Also mammoth appreciation to the wonderful venue partners Band on the Wall, FACT, Harley Live and Star and Shadow who looked after us so well and worked hard to help make these events happen.

More exciting news coming soon…

Delia Derbyshire Day 2013 Trailer

Sat 12 Jan 2013– Band on the Wall, Manchester– Full Day: £12 after. Afternoon event only: £6. Evening event only: £7.50. BUY HERE. Delia Derbyshire Day will be a day to celebrate and highlight the fascinating work of Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001), the pioneering electronic music composer most famous for realising the original Dr Who theme and her work for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Delia Derbyshire Day Poster

Delia Derbyshire Day project awarded PRS Women Make Music funding!

We have been awarded funding from the PRS Women Make Music latest allocation for Delia Derbyshire Day 2013!

More updates coming soon! Here’s an insight into the ethos of the award:

PRS Women Make Music

“We have created this call because we want to raise awareness about the funding we offer to music creators and encourage more women to come forward for this support. By promoting role models for future generations, we hope that we will be encouraging more women to think about making a living as a music creator.” Chair of Trustees (PRS), Sally Taylor.

Delia’s Darlings

Welcome to Delia Derbyshire Day 2013 project blog!

Welcome to our Delia Derbyshire Day project – or DD Day as we like to call it.

This project came about by 3 Manchester music based artists wanting to respond to the archives of Delia Derbyshire held on their doorstep at University of Manchester.

The first DD Day is scheduled to take place in Manchester in January 2013.

This event will celebrate the technical skills and creativity of DD with:

– a screening of Kara Blake’s award-winning documentary The Delian Mode

– a Q&A panel of DD ‘experts’ to be announced soon

– the first performance of 3 new commissions by experimental music producer caro snatch, contemporary composer Ailis Ni Riain and conceptual sound artist Naomi Kashiwagi.

We will be chartering our process as we meet Delia’s archives here in Manchester and write our new pieces inspired by her pioneering and downright rare work and working methods.

More to follow soon!