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2023 Trailblazer

Delia Derbyshire's relationships with Gilsland

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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.

By 1973, Derbyshire, disillusioned with the BBC left London and moved to Gilsland, Northumberland to work as a radio operator for Laing's Engineering in Hallbankgate, during the laying of a gas pipeline. She then worked and lived with Li Yuan-chia at his home and art gallery at Banks, on the line of Hadrian’s Wall, 2 miles away from our base at Green Croft.

Derbyshire’s creative activity during these years saw her working with visual artists, most prominently Madelon Hooykaas and Elsa Stansfield furthering her long-standing interest in the relationship between electronic music and the visual arts. On the 23rd November 2023 it will be the 60th anniversary of the first episode of Dr Who broadcast on TV.

In the lead up to and coinciding with this event we will be working with communties in West Northumberland and East Cumbria, offering music and sound workshops, creating new sound pieces for the landscape inspired by Dleia's methods, commissioning artists to have a creative response to the project and present new work in partners venues and within the landscape.

We will be revelaling more information on how you can get involved very shortly

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