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Cosey Relationships

Cosey Fanni Tutti is one of the UK’s most boundary mangling artists and sonic adventurers and in ‘Re-Sisters’, her new book, she examines her own life in relation to two other female pioneers: Delia Derbyshire and Margery Kempe.

I already knew something of Delia Derbyshire. She worked at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop during the 1960s and produced perhaps the greatest TV theme tune of all time: Doctor Who. A true unsung hero of electronic music, she would go on to influence everyone from Aphex Twin to The Chemical Brothers. Margery Kempe I was less sure of. An extremely pious woman, she lived during the 14th and 15th centuries and is credited with writing the first autobiography in the English language. On the face of it, the pair have little in common, save for the fact that they both managed to make their mark while operating in worlds heavily skewed towards men. Cosey Fanni Tutti, meanwhile, is another woman who has had to fight hard to be heard. A founding member of industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle, she’s also caused waves working as a visual and performance artist. In her fascinating new book she tells the story of Derbyshire and Kempe, while also revealing how they have informed her own life. A straight up and down biography of Derbyshire – or Kemp – would have made more sense, but Fanni Tutti has never done straight up and down and I, for one, was enthralled. RM

Re-Sisters by Cosey Fanni Tutti is released by Faber on 18 August.

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