Festival of electronic sound, Doctor Who and dark skies

festival of electronic sound, Doctor Who and dark skies

 Trailblazer: Delia Derbyshire

A festival of electronic sound, Doctor Who and dark skies

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Delia Derbyshire was a pioneer in the development of electronic music in the twentieth century. Working from the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, she is recognised for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme music to Doctor Who.

On leaving the BBC, Delia moved to Gilsland, on the Northumberland Cumbria border where she initially worked as a french speaking Radio Operator before working alongside Chinese sculptor Li Yuan-chia at the LYC Museum at Banks.

On the 23rd November 2023 (Delia Derbyshire Day) it will be the 60th anniversary of the first episode of Doctor Who broadcast on TV. To celebrate Green Croft Arts are planning Trailblazer, a family friendly festival of electronic sound, Doctor Who, dark skies and Delia at The Sill Landscape Discovery Centre on Sat 25th & Sunday 26th November.

festival of electronic sound, Doctor Who and dark skies

The festival will feature screenings of and about Delia’s work, new sound and moving image commissions inspired by Delia’s archive, talks, book illustrations, Whovian Monsters, sound, art and craft workshops and stargazing events.

The exhibition will include a number of new artistic sound commissions as well as visual arts:

Kit Haigh presents Concrète Mixeur: A unique hands-on interactive console, styled to resemble something from a 1960s era BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Kate Halsall presents 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.

Victoria Macarte presents Into the Glisk: An eco-feminist sci-fi dance film shot in the local landscape and featuring performers from the local community.

Neil Cole presents Derrick Serwin: Baptism of Fire: An exhibition of original illustrations featured in the forthcoming book Derrick Sherwin: Baptism of Fire – A memoir by Doctor Who Script Editor and Producer Derrick Sherwin.

Neil Cole, curator of the Museum of Classic Sci-Fi in Allendale, will also be leading an “In Conversation” event on Saturday afternoon from 4.00pm – 6.00pm with some of Doctor Who’s most well respected crew members. Director, Greame Harper the only person to have directed episodes of both the original run and revived run of Doctor Who and Margot Hayhoe who was assistant floor manager and production manager on a number of original Doctor Who episodes. There will also be a Meet and Greet opportunity for ticket holders earlier in the day.

They are partnering with the Stargazing Team at The Twice Brewed Inn to offer a range of family friendly stargazing activities benefiting from the minimal light pollution of the Dark Sky Park.  You can also enjoy 360 degree immersive films bringing the universe to life in their purpose built planetarium.

Alongside this there will be a workshop programme, learning from some of the region’s best artists and facilitators. Try your hand at soldering and electronics to make your own synth or theremin?  Join in with our Pop Up choir to learn the Dr Who theme tune or imagine and draw your own sci-fi creatures. It’s a great chance to enjoy nature, dark skies, Delia Derbyshire and Doctor Who all in one place. 

Tickets and more information can be found on the Green Croft Arts website: www.greencroftonthewall.com 

This project has been financially supported by Arts Council England, The Sill – National Landscape Discovery Centre, Northumberland National Park, the North Pennines AONB Partnership, through the Fellfoot Forward LPS, and RSPB Geltsdale.


Saturday 25 November – 12pm to 6pm

Sunday 26 November – 10am to 4pm

Some events require a ticket which can be purchased in advance on their website: www.greencroftonthewall.com 

Where: The Sill Landscape Discovery Centre, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 7AN

To learn more about what’s happening follow Cumbria Guide on our social media


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