Caro C, Ailis Ní Ríain and Naomi Kashiwagi founded Delia Derbyshire Day in 2012 and as a team produced the first Delia Derbyshire Day 2013 which took place at a full capacity Band on the Wall, Manchester, England on 12 Jan 2013. The event included a screening of Kara Blake’s award-winning documentary The Delian Mode, panel discussion with esteemed Delian experts and debut performances of 3 new music commissions by Ailís Ní Ríain, Caro C and Naomi Kashiwagi plus DJ Tukatz and live visual accompaniment by Kara Blake.They then toured these music commissions and film to full-house audiences in Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle.
These events were a lot more popular than they expected. Interest and demand was high for further events of this sort and the word inspirational came up a lot in audience feedback – both for Delia herself and our work.
So, a second Manchester event DD Day 2014 took place on SAT 12 APRIL 2014 at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation with a fresh format and new artist commissions by Daniel Weaver (electro-acoustic) and Andrea Pazos (film and live digital visuals). This event was followed by touring events in Hebden Bridge, London, Bristol and Norwich. They presented new artist commissions (Daniel Weaver & Andrea Pazos) and a 45 minute audio visual collage of Delia Derbyshire archive material compiled by David Butler (lead researcher of DD Archive).
A third DD Day 2016 public event took place on 17 January 2016 at HOME in Manchester with hands-on workshops for families, a special music and visuals arts programe and a pop-up live music performance filling the HOME building with Delia-n spirit. This was a visual arts focused event where they screened two artist films for with music composed by Delia which had recently been donated to the DD Archive: Two Houses by Elizabeth Kosmian (1980) and One of These Days by Madelon Hooykaas & Elsa Stansfield (1973). New artist commissions were presented by Mary Stark (a 17 minute handmade film to accompany a new audio archive collage by David Butler) and Mandy Wigby as the Architects of Rosslyn with Howard Jacobs (new music commission inspired by the DD Archive and a live soundtrack to a collage of films by Di Mainstone). They were very grateful to have Madelon Hooykaas (herself a pioneer of video art) present at DD Day 2016 and taking part in an artists Q&A.
For our fourth DD Day 2017, to honour would have been Delia’s 80th birthday year, they held a special Heritage Lottery Fund supported DD Day 2017 cultural heritage event at Band on the Wall, Manchester, UK.
Our daytime workshops for children and adults were fully booked, with many learning electronic music production and sound recording techniques for the first time. Participants were supported to work with found sounds and sound loops like Delia did. Plus there was the opportunity to try out the MS20-mini and ARP Odyssey synthesisers on loan from Korg UK. A highlight was the attendance of our trustee Brian Hodgson (colleague and friend of Delia as well as working on Dr Who for many years) who was himself inspired by the workshops. One parent got in touch to say: “A day later my daughter was getting to grips with LMSS freeware…well it worked for New Order!”
For our evening live event they were excited to welcome Delia’s friends and colleagues from The BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Dick Mills, Brian Hodgson and BBC archivist Mark Ayres joined us to share memories of Delia and insights into her working methods including “How we made the Dr Who theme.”
Further insight into the sonic treasure trove that is the Delia Derbyshire archive held at The John Rylands Library was provided through Dr David Butler’s 17 minute audio archive sharing accompanied by an exquisite film from Andrea Pazos inspired by Delia’s archive, music and tactile working methods.
A busy Band on the Wall audience were wowed by new Delia inspired art commissions and live performances. From Tracey Zengeni’s energetic live painting responding to a mesmerising new composition by Manuella Blackburn. The Architects of Rosslyn brought the house down with their intricate and visceral live electronic score accompanying Di Mainstone’s uniquely surreal films. One audience member said “Humble and engaging speakers with incredible stories to share, fantastic music and cross media performances too.”