2nd Jul, 2022

Deliaphonic festival returns to celebrate the music of Coventry's Delia Derbyshire

AN ANNUAL festival which celebrates the life and work of Delia Derbyshire will return to Coventry from March 3 to 6.

Deliaphonic was announced this week by the Coventry City of Culture Trust and The Tin Music and Arts.

The event – which will see events take place at Coventry Cathedral and The Tin Music and Arts – usually takes place in May to coincide with Delia’s birth.

But this year it will be days before International Women’s Day and during a time when the City of Culture celebrates ‘Amazing Women’.

Composer and musician Delia was born in Coventry in 1937 and was hailed as the ‘unsung heroine of British electronic music’.

She oversaw and carried out pioneering work at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 1960s and was considered a visionary in her use of sound and voice.

It took decades for Derbyshire to be recognised for her work with the BBC’s standard practice at the time of crediting Radiophonic Workshop for compositions by its staff. This not only denied her royalties, but also ensured she remained obscure despite her huge contribution to electronic music.

Aphex Twin, The Chemical Brothers and Paul Hartnoll of Orbital, all hail Derbyshire as having influenced their music.

She composed music for more than 200 radio and TV shows and is probably best known for her electronic arrangement of the theme music to the BBC’s Doctor Who, but her wide range of works ranges from compositions for art films with Yoko Ono to creating sound effects for contemporary theatre.

After Derbyshire’s death, over 250 tapes and a box of 1,000 papers of her work were found in her attic.

Paying homage to the breadth of Derbyshire’s wide-ranging work, Deliaphonic will see four nights of events, including film screenings, talks, live music, DJ sets, projections, performance art and sonic installations.

On the Friday at the Cathedral, there will be icon Cosey Fanni Tutti and DJ sets from Julian House Ghostbox Records.

Family activities will take place on the Saturday and Sunday, including audiences being able to play musical instruments, children being able to explore mechanical sculptures and the Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave.

On the Saturday, founder of The Specials and 2-Tone Jerry Dammers will play a DJ Set of ‘Library Music’ with visual accompaniment and the night will be headlined by musician, songwriter, singer and producer LoneLady, aka Julie Campbell.

Visit coventry2021.co.uk for more information and tickets which go on sale on Friday, January 21.

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