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Coventry University to name building after electronic pioneer Delia Derbyshire

todaySeptember 23, 2022 3

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The late Delia Derbyshire is getting a building at Coventry University named after her.

Born and raised in Coventry, Derbyshire was known and is still celebrated for her work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and as the co-composer of the Doctor Who theme tune.

To open in 2023, the new arts and humanities building adds to the university previously awarding Derbyshire with a posthumous honorary doctorate in 2017.

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Derbyshire passed away in 2001, but remains a name etched into electronic history especially in her hometown of Coventry, with tributes including a street named after her back in 2016.

The electronic pioneer is described by the university’s chancellor Dr Margaret Casely-Hayford as an “iconic influencer on the city and the arts industry” reports the BBC.

As a leading sound designer and composer the university note that her work during the 1960s and ’70s “paved the way for women working in the music production business”.  

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The new art and humanities sector will combine the Graham Sutherland and Maurice Foss buildings with an new extension for immersive studios with virtual reality and mixed reality technologies.

Last year, Caroline Catz released the film Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes’, exploring the life of Delia Derbyshire.

The film explores the life and output of Derbyshire including the trauma she faced as a child in the blitz to her facing gendered imbalances within her work.

Archival materials, interviews with collaborations and dramatisations are all utilised in order to tell Derbyshire’s story – while Cosey Fanni Tutti complements Delia’s music with her own soundtrack within the film.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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