28th Jun, 2022

Coventry artist recognised at museum

Shaun Reynolds 11th Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A COVENTRY-BORN electronic music artist whose music has been compared with the likes of Brunel, Newton and Da Vinci has finally been recognised for her work by The Coventry Music Museum.

Delia Derbyshire, who prematurely passed away from kidney failure in 2002, was described as a “legend” and someone who “set the benchmark” for other music writers.

Best known for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme tune to the hit BBC science-fiction programme Doctor Who, Delia’s work has been honoured with a permanent display dedicated to the lady herself.

Even the likes of Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd were influenced by Delia’s work.

As of today (December 10), visitors will be able to learn more about the hidden Coventry legend.

The museum has reconstructed a part of the radiophonic workshop, the place where Delia often used everyday objects to create unique musical masterpieces – including the famous Doctor Who theme.

Pete Chambers, Coventry Music Museum director, explained that the display features various items that belonged to Delia herself.

Her personal tape recorder is on show, as is her personal copy of the Doctor Who theme – all loaned by her partner, Clive Blackburn, who will open the exhibition.

Pete added: “It’s been a labour of love to make this happen – but it feels very much like ‘mission accomplished’.

“Finally having a place that celebrates her genius in her birth city is a great feeling, and one that hopefully our visitors will enjoy.”

The majority of Delia’s archive now belongs to The University of Manchester.

In her own words, Delia said the sound of the air raid sirens and the crackling of burning buildings during the Coventry Blitz helped open her ears to ‘found sounds’.

In tribute, Mr Chambers said: “It’s great that Coventry will finally celebrate Delia’s work after an extensive period of time where no one has really celebrated her in any great capacity.

“As a Coventry music historian I use the work legend a lot.

“However in Delia’s case, legend is the appropiate word to use.

“The music she created has set the benchmark for other music writers.

“Her legacy continues in the city and we now have a fantastic display to celebrate her work.”

The Coventry Music Museum is open Thursdays to Sundays – 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Entry is £3 for adults and £1 for children aged 5-15.

Visit www.covmm.co.uk for more information.

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