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Coventry University building to be named after electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire

The late pioneer is being commemorated in her home city

  • 11 May 2024
Coventry University building to be named after electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire

A Coventry University building has been named after the late electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire in honour of her life and work.

Coventry University's new College of the Arts and Society building opened last week, now dubbed The Delia Derbyshire building, to commemorate the Coventry-born pioneer.

After plans for the building were unveiled in 2022 with a projected opening date of 2023, university dean Shaun Hide said that it hoped to find "the next Delia Derbyshire and 100 others who are doing things we can’t even envisage yet".

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Delia Derbyshire was born in Coventry in 1937. After studying maths and music at Cambridge University, her pioneering work led her to a position at the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop.

Derbyshire went on to co-compose the Doctor Who theme tune and became recognised for her signature sound. She was eventually nicknamed “the sculptress of sound” after her passing in 2001.

The new university building will honour Derbyshire’s life and work, urging students to experiment with sound. "That idea of experimentation between generations of technology is a really creative force that these students are brilliant at mobilising,” Hides said.

"Delia was so entwined in the city story being influenced by the air raid sirens that she heard as a child living in Coundon,” he explained.

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The building hosts metal and woodworking spaces, digital technology suites, and post-production studios, per the BBC, with forthcoming events including a panel from BBC Radio 6 DJ Stuart Maconie, DJ sets, talks, and sound masterclasses.

The building’s launch was planned by a group of enthusiasts, named Deliaphonic, who have helped to host events in honour of the late electronic music pioneer over the years.

In 2016, a street in Coventry was named after Derbyshire. The following year, she was awarded a posthumous honorary doctorate.

[Via the BBC]

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

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