Music Matters - ‘Delia Derbyshire' documentary, which explores Coventry music legend, premieres - The Coventry Observer

9th Aug, 2022

Music Matters - ‘Delia Derbyshire' documentary, which explores Coventry music legend, premieres

Coventry Editorial 23rd Oct, 2020

THE CURATOR of the Coventry Music Museum, Pete Chambers BEM, writes exclusively for the Coventry Observer.


I HAD the great pleasure of watching the premiere of ‘Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and The Legendary Tapes’ this week, an extraordinary journey through the life of Coventry electronic music legend Delia Derbyshire.

Written and directed by, and starring, Caroline Catz (famous for her role as the long suffering Louisa Glasson in TV drama Doc Martin) an expanded idea that began life as a ‘short’.

Caroline has visited the Music Museum on several occasions and is a total Delia fan. So I figured this was not going to be your average biopic and I was proved absolutely right.

This is an on-screen journey into a world where aural is beyond just sound, where harmonic structures and applied mathematics meet the magic of psychodelia – all combining to create a visual tapestry (as well as the expected soundscapes of course).

Every important part of Delia’s life is explored here, some as straight drama, some as ‘in the mind musical moments’ and some as plain narrative, but it all combines to create a delicious cocktail of a story that has as many facets as its chosen subject.

So little wonder it was picked as one of the features at this year’s BFI London Film Festival.

I had planned to make this probably the first Delia article that didn’t mention a certain British sci-fi TV show based around a time-travelling Gallifreyan, but the scene where we see Delia begin to create the Doctor Who theme was way too emotional (well it was to this Delia fan), so I copped out and had to mention it .

The film does happily intertwine the original Delia musical creations along with a soundtrack created by musician Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle, Chris and Cosey, Carter Tutti Void) and the whole thing works superbly. Also, all hail Cosey for giving Derbyshire Way the prefix it deserves (you will have to watch the film to discover what I am talking about).

On a personal note, I was honoured to get mentioned in the credits. I’m looking forward to seeing this masterpiece getting a full release.

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