The Delia Derbyshire Archive
Pictured above: Delia Derbyshire
- Full Research Presentation of the Delia Derbyshire Archive (in English) (opens on a new window)
- Presentacion del Archivo de Delia Derbyshire (En Español) (abre en una ventana nueva)
In 2007, the Centre for Screen Studies, in research in partnership with NOVARS Research Centre, was delighted to announce the acquisition of the archive of Delia Derbyshire as a permanent loan to the University of Manchester gifted from the Derbyshire estate and the composer Mark Ayres, former custodian of the archive.
Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001) was one of the pioneering figures in British electronic music, and was based at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.
Most famous for her realisation of the original version of the Doctor Who (1963) theme, Derbyshire produced a remarkable and distinctive body of work combining the popular with the experimental, that contributed considerably to the awareness of electronic music in Britain.
Delia Derbyshire worked alongside other composers at the time such as Daphne Oram (31 December 1925 – 5 January 2003), was a pioneering British composer and electronic musician. Oram's archive resides at the Music Department of Goldsmiths College in London She was the creator of the "Oramics" technique, a technique used to create electronic sounds.
Read related article in The Times
18 July 08. Delia Derbyshire, producer of Doctor Who theme music, has legacy restored. Follow this link
Delia Derbyshire: The music of mathematic. Follow this link
Tristram Cary: Godfather of British electronic music who set the mood for the Daleks in Dr Who and pioneered the VCS3 synthesizer. Follow this link
DIGITALISATION AND ARCHIVING:
In all, there are 267 tapes of music, principally on 10.5” reels. Many of the tapes are fragile and have not been played for over forty years. Our core task was to make digital transfers of the tapes in order to conduct the repeated listening necessary for close analysis and, ultimately, open the archive to the wider research community and composition students. This initial work was undertaken and completed by Louis Niebur of the University of Nevada and David Butler of the University of Manchester in the summer of 2007.
CREATIVE OUTPUT DERIVED FROM THE ARCHIVE:
A number of cataloging and creative initiatives have cristilised since 2007:
- 2007: Digitalisation work undertaken and completed by Louis Niebur of the University of Nevada and David Butler of the University of Manchester in the summer of 2007.
- 2007: Promotion of the archive in Latinamerica with a presentation at the CMMAS, Centro Mexicano para la Musica y las Artes Sonoras
Pictured above: Presentation of the Delia Derbyshire archive in Mexico; Nov 2007 (CMMAS) by Ricardo Climent
- 2008: An official launch of the archive at the MANTIS Festival 2008 including a Sonic Documentary as a work-in-progress presentation of the findings in the Delia Derbyshire archive with David Butler, Camilo Salazar, including Pete Stollery's piece Serendipities and Synchronicities and a selection of pieces by NOVARS's Artist in Residence Pippa Murphy
- 2008: Commissioning of new creative work from the archive to Colombian composer Camilo Salazar, as part of his residency at NOVARS
- 2008: A Masters thesis on Delia Derbyshire's music by Breege Brennan under the supervision of Dr. Victor Lazzarini at the National University of Ireland (by providing access to the catalogue for academic musicological purposes).
- 2009: a presentation of the archive at the Elektroakustische Musik hören, Institut für Sprache und KommunikationFachgebiet Audiokommunikatio, Technical University of Berlin by Ricardo Climent
- In 2009, the first institutional visit to national archives at the Fonoteca Nacional in Mexico City, by Ricardo Climent with the hope to learn about their archiving processes and to strenght future collaborations.
- An installation at the Sensoria Festival of Film and Music, with David Butler and Camilo Salazar: To An Independent Listener, Delia Derbyshire Installation at the Bloc Gallery, Sheffield, UK. April 25-30, 2009.
- MANTIS premiere of "To an Independent Thinker", acousmatic version (8'50) by Camilo Salazar. A NOVARS/Delia Derbyshire's archive, Centre for screen Studies commission.