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Delia Derbyshire at the Radiopnonic studio.

Delia Derbyshire hard at work

Festival remembers city's musical master

A three-day arts and electronica festival will be remembering Coventry’s industrial heritage - and the arranger of a very famous theme tune.

A Thing About Machines, which takes place from 19 - 21 September, will also look back at the city’s technological past and feature performances and exhibitions at various venues.

The festival is named after an episode of the television series The Twilight Zone where technology takes over the life of a writer.

The cult television theme continues in the form of a tribute to one of Coventry’s famous daughters and arranger of the Doctor Who theme tune.

Delia Derbyshire was born in the city and attended the Grammar School before going on to Girton College, Cambridge. It was here that she studied mathematics and music.

Sarah Jane and K9 in Doctor Who

Sarah Jane and K9 in Doctor Who

In 1960, Delia joined the BBC as a trainee studio manager and then moved to the Radiophonic Workshop – a place where the Doctor Who theme tune would come to life.

As part of her work at the Radiophonic Workshop, Delia developed composer Ron Grainer’s written music into the distinctive theme tune we all know today.

Throughout the festival, performances and compositions by electronica bands and artists, which have been inspired by Derbyshire’s work, will be held at various venues in Coventry – including the Medieval Crypt at St Mary’s Guildhall and Bablake Old Boys School.

St Mary's Guildhall plaque

St Mary's Guildhall plaque

Organiser Cormac Faulkner said: "Delia Derbyshire and Doctor Who theme tunes helped bring electronica to the forefront of music and has had a huge impact thousands of artists and musicians over the years, but she’s not widely celebrated in Coventry, which is a terrible shame.

“Our aim is to attract people who haven’t thought of seeing an event like this before. For example, St Mary’s crypt usually attracts tourists and people booking weddings, so people wandering past might not expect to find themselves in an electronica soundscape, but if they find their curiosity has been awakened and come to see us as a result, we’ve accomplished something. Even if they hate it."

Other venues taking part in the festival include Taylor John’s House and Inspire Café-Bar.

To find out more about the festival and the audio and visual performances, visit the A Thing About Machines website:

A Thing About Machines runs from from 19 - 21 September 2008

last updated: 01/09/2008 at 12:42
created: 01/09/2008

You are in: Coventry and Warwickshire > Entertainment > Music > Features > Festival remembers city's musical master

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