Well, in January 2013, I’ll be doing a waltz from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra again. I’ll be participating in the international convention to celebrate Delia Derbyshire, the great pioneer of electronic music and icon for women composers the world over. Here is the announcement on Manchester’s Band on the Wall website. If you buy your tickets before the 12th of December, you will not only be assured of a place, you will get a discount too!
There will be experts, delegates and fans from all over the world at this auspicious gathering. Perhaps many regular readers of the blog will be wondering about both my level of enthusiasm and in fact whether they know of Delia Derbyshire at all…
Everyone has heard Delia Derbyshire’s music. She began working for the revolutionary BBC Radiophonic workshop in the early 1960s and she recomposed Ron Grainger’s material and rearranged it into the original Doctor Who Theme. This theme was considered ground breaking at the time because Delia fused it together using no ‘musical instruments’ at all; just electronic equipment. On hearing the amazing theme, Grainger exclaimed, “… Did I write that?!” Delia is said to reply, “… Well, much of it…”
I remember hiding behind the settee as a child, as John Pertwee tackled the Blue crystals and the spiders, etc. Delia’s wonderfully haunting theme used to excite me and chill me to the bone in equal measure.
The Arts Council of England, the PRS women in music fund, and others, have stumped up the cash for three internationally renowned women composers/performers to delve into Delia’s archives (held by Manchester University) and put on the most spectacular tribute to a unique talent by three equally unique talents. Apart from an amazing day out for Dr Who fans, this is a major celebration of the evolution of electronic music/sounds and a celebration of the essential (and much undervalued!) role that women have played in world music. To find out more about this original genius click on the following link. It is a truly fascinating journey…
So, what am I doing at the Delia Derbyshire Day international convention? Well, I have been collaborating rather heavily with international award winning composer Ailis Ni Riain, of late. This will be the third world premiere I have played for Ailis in as many years. Wearing my other hat as the trumpet player for contemporary music group, Ensemble 10.10 I was mesmerised by the ethereal ‘In Sleep.’ I have recently performed 8, challenging ninety minute solo shows to a packed Liverpool Anglican Cathedral for Ailis’ ‘Treasured’ spectacular, jointly created by Jen Heyes. I will, needless to say, be playing trumpet and Heather Elisabeth Tudor, founder of Classical Revolution Manchester, will be playing both double bass in the world premiere of “The Consequences of Falling”.
Ailis is one of three so called ‘Delia’s Darlings’ who are putting the creative input into three specially commissioned works for what has become known as DD Day! The other two performers will be internationally renowned experimental electronic expert Caro C and gramophonica expert Naomi Kashiwagi, and will be displaying their new work, influenced by detailed study of the Delia Derbyshire archive.
There will also be a lecture By Canadian film director, Kara Blake, and a showing of her award winning documentary, The Delian Mode – all about Delia Derbyshire.
Just take look at the wonderful creatives I get to work with
My involvement is with the third world premiere of Ailis’ music in as many years. Having done two world premieres already I am as excited as ‘hell’ about this one. Ailis’s music is extremely challenging but so beautiful to play, at the same time. She doesn’t write for the trumpet, as most do, but for the performer’s particular personality and emotions etc. Everything is tailor made and bespoke for the ‘peculiarities’ of the individual. She also changes the composition as she hears me trying out her ideas. Her work is uniquely organic, in this respect, from my experience.
For “The Consequences Of Falling Down” Ailis took some inspiration from the following Delia Derbyshire music – Pot Au Feu…
The above link will also tell you all the details about the following tour of the North of England cities. Yes, Brendan is going on the road! We will be taking this incredible show to Liverpool (FACT 16th Jan 6.30pm), Sheffield (Sensoria Film Festival Queens Social Club 18th Jan) and Newcastle (Star & Shadow 8pm 20th Jan).
To say I’m excited is to say the least.
Keep your eyes peeled for more news of these great events!