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Trailblazer Exhibition
Trailblazer Exhibition

Sat, 13 Jan

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RSPB Geltsdale Gallery

Trailblazer Exhibition

An exhibition featuring new sound commissions inspired by Delia Derbyshire and her archive.

Time & Location

13 Jan 2024, 09:00 – 17:00

RSPB Geltsdale Gallery, RSPB Geltsdale, Stagsike Cottages, Brampton CA8 2PN, UK

About the Event

Delia Derbyshire 

Delia Derbyshire was a trailblazer as a female figure in the development of electronic music in the twentieth century. Working from the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, she is best known for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme music to the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. On leaving the BBC, Delia moved to Gilsland, Northumberland. She worked for Laing's Engineering at Hallbankgate Quarry and at the LYC Musuem with Chinese abstract artist Li Yuan-chia. 

Trailblazer Festival

The 23rd November 2023 (Delia Derbyshire Day) was the 60th anniversary of the first episode of Doctor Who broadcast on TV.  Trailblazer was a festival of electronic sound, Dr Who, sci-fi, and dark skies inspired by Delia Derbyshire and her connection to Gilsland at The Sill, National Landscape Discovery Centre, Once Brewed. The festival featured an exhibition of new sound and moving image commissions, video screenings, talks, workshops and stargazing activities.

The Trailblazer Exhibition is on tour and is currently at The Gallery, RSPB Gletsdale. 

Trailblazer Exhibition 

RSPB Geltsdale Visitor Centre, Stagsike Cottages, Brampton CA8 2PN

Thursday 30th November 2023 - Sunday 28th January 2023

Open everyday 9.00am - 5.00pm

Getting Here

  • Parking: The car park is open daily, dawn-dusk. 8 spaces with two Blue Badge spaces. The visitor centre is a 20 minute walk from the car park across uneven footpath. Sturdy footwear is recommended. 
  • Accessible parking: Additional blue badge parking is available close to the Visitor Centre and to book a space contact geltsdale@rspb.org.uk or call 01697 746717
  • Weather: RSPB Geltsdale is in an open exposed rural location and the weather can change quickly. Bring windproof and waterproof layers. 
  • Cafe: There are basic coffee and tea making facilities at the visitor centre. The nearest cafe is Hallbankgate Hub, 1 mile away. 
  • Toliets: There is a single accessible toilet with large space to side and hand rail ladjacent to the visitor centre. The toilet is around 30m down a shallow slope from the Blue Badge parking spaces.

The Trailblazer exhbition features three new sound and moving image commissions inspired by Delia Derbyshire and her archive at the John Rylands Institute, Manchester Univeristy. 

Kit Haigh - Concrète Mixeur

A unique hands-on interactive console, styled to resemble something from  the 1960s era BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Play with the vintage knobs and buttons to create your own mix of loops, swoops and samples inspired by Delia Derbyshire’s Musique Concrète sound archive at The John Rylands Institute, Manchester. 

Kit Haigh is a multi skilled artist with numerous award winning credits, working across music, photography, sound design and installation. His varied musical career has included major label releases with The Flaming Mussolinis, representing the UK in the World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, composing for stage and screen including EMMY winning C4 documentary ‘The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off', long-term collaboration with Kathryn Tickell and performances with Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Dame Evelyn Glennie. Always hands-on with technology, he has award winning production credits and has toured internationally as a live sound engineer, built his own guitar rigs, photographic sets and furniture, and creates interactive installations with music & visual content that responds to movement.

Victoria Macarte - Into the Glisk

Into the Glisk is an eco-feminist sci-fi dance film shot at RSPB Geltsdale and made with the local community. A group of walkers connect with nature to transcend the human, animal, plant and mineral world to become pure communication and travel freely through space and time. Glisk derives from Cumbrian dialect verb, meaning to glitter, shine, sparkle, glisten. 

Performers: Ann Stuart, Caroline Steven, Emma Skelton, Lara Martyn, Sharon Robson, Antonia Chica and Amanda Drago.

Victoria Macarte is originally from Cumbria but currently lives is Spain. After training in theatre, ballet and contemporary dance she moved into the underground electronic music and digital arts scene expanding across music, performance, spoken word, video and cinema. Immersed in the natural environment, defined by an aesthetic rather than a medium or discipline, her work seeks to reconcile the beauty and horror in the world for an ellipsis in time. When she grows up she hopes to become a force of nature.

Kate Halsall - Outlier

Field recording, spoken word and transformed piano come together in a new soundscape inspired by the outlying rural Fellfoot communities and environments of Westmorland and Northumberland.

Kate Halsall is a pianist, composer and collaborator, whose solo performances often combine old/new music with improvised elements and electronics written by her and for her, by composers including Pippa Murphy, Fumiko Miyachi, Leo Chadburn and Diana Salazar amongst many others. She grew up rurally on North Stainmore in the Upper Eden Valley, Cumbria and then trained at the Royal College of Music in London. She worked in London for 25 years and then returned to the North, where she’s worked since across the North West and North East, creating new projects with a number of ensembles and other artists.

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