Loved by children and adults alike, the theme tune made for the Dr Who series in 1963 has gone down in TV history. Working with a melody supplied by composer Ron Grainer, Delia Derbyshire, a member of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, breathed life into Grainer’s score with otherworldly whooshes and sci-fi sound effects. Her contribution to the theme was long-overlooked by the BBC, but Derbyshire is now recognised as a musical pioneer for her adventures on the frontier of sound. Now, a mini-symposium at Band on the Wall, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary the Dr Who series, reappraises her musical influence. An afternoon event will include a screening of award-winning film the Delian Mode, followed by a Q&A with director Kara Blake, and a panel discussion featuring experts on Derbyshire’s life and work (3pm-6pm). Derbyshire’s archive, which comprises original tapes and writing, is held right here in Manchester at the John Rylands Library, and three Manchester-based sound artists have spent time in the archive to create new works which will be presented during a later evening event (8pm-10.30pm). Fear not if you can’t make it to the Manchester day, as the film and performances tour to FACT in Liverpool (Wed 16 Jan), Queens Social Club, Sheffield (Fri 18 Jan, supporting the Eccentronic Research Council) and Newcastle’s Star and Shadow cinema (Sun 20 Jan).

Sat 12 Jan, Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JZ. Tel: 0161 830 3884, 2.30pm – late, day pass: £12, afternoon only £6,  evening only, £7.50,

Sat 12 Jan
Natalie Bradbury
Published on:
Wed 9 Jan 2013