Go back to article: The Hugh Davies Collection: live electronic music and self-built electro-acoustic musical instruments, 1967–1975

Postscript: recordings

The author has staged several concerts of Hugh Davies’s music, including performances of his live electronic compositions Quintet, Galactic Interfaces, and Not to be Loaded with Fish, and other related repertoire. Video recordings of these performances, along with pre-concert lectures and programme notes, have been published by the University of Leeds and can be accessed online: http://archive.researchdata.leeds.ac.uk/view/collections/Hugh_Davies=3A_Electronic_Music_Innovator.html (Mooney, 2016a; Mooney, 2016b; Mooney, 2016c).

A number of recordings of Davies’s self-built instruments can be accessed via the British Library’s Sound Server: http://sounds.bl.uk/Classical-music/Hugh-Davies-experimental-music/ (British Library Board n.d.). Of particular relevance to the objects in the HDC are several recordings of Shozyg I and Shozyg I & II (grouped under the heading ‘Shozyg’), recordings of 15 Springboard solos (under the heading ‘Spring Song’), and a recording of Galactic Interfaces. Other recordings featuring Davies’s self-built instruments include ‘At home’, ‘Double Aeolian Harp’, ‘H.D. Breadbins’, ‘Improvisation’, ‘Music for bowed diaphragms’, ‘Music for springs’, and ‘Solo performance’, while ‘Salad’ features the musical use of egg, cheese, and tomato slicers.  

Commercial recordings featuring Davies’s self-built instruments or live electronic compositions have been released by Another Timbre (Davies, 2008; Davies et al, 2008), ECM (Music Improvisation Company, 2003), FMP (Davies, 1982), FMR (Davies, 1997b; Parker et al, 2003), GROB (Davies, 2000b), Incus (Music Improvisation Company 1992), Klangwerkstatt (Davies and Raecke, 1994), Parlophone (Talk Talk, 1988), Sub Rosa (Various artists, 2006), and on the CD accompanying Sounds Heard (Davies, 2002b).



The author would like to thank Tim Boon, Head of Research and Public History at the Science Museum in London, whose collaboration enabled access to the Hugh Davies Collection; and Sean Williams, Owen Green, and the other members of the ensemble Grey Area – Emma Lloyd, Dave Murray-Rust, Armin Sturm, and Shiori Usui – as well as Steve Beresford, Phil Minton, and Aleks Kolkowski, whose performances of Davies’s music played an essential role in this research. For their involvement in conversations that helped to shape this article, the author would also like to thank Simon Baines, Graeme Gooday, Ian Helliwell, Martin Iddon, Annie Jamieson, Robert Knifton, James Mansell, Tenley Martin, Richard Nicholls, Trevor Pinch, Philip Thomas, and the two anonymous peer reviewers whose comments helped me to add depth and nuance to the final text. Finally, thanks go to Graham Blyth, Rachel Proudfoot, and Brenda Williams, of the University of Leeds’ Research Data Management team, for their assistance in archiving performance recordings.

This research was supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Early Career Fellowship grant in partnership with the Science Museum, London, as part of the project ‘Hugh Davies: Electronic Music Innovator’. AHRC project reference: AH/M005216/1.

A note on references

In addition to the Hugh Davies Collection at the Science Museum in London (referred to in this article as HDC), there is also a collection of Hugh Davies’s manuscripts and papers, and a separate collection of recordings on reel-to-reel tapes, at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, United Kingdom. For clarity, in the list of references that follows, the following abbreviations have been used:

HDM: Hugh Davies Manuscripts. Refers to Davies’s manuscripts and papers. British Library call number: MS Mus 1803

HDR: Hugh Davies Recordings. Refers to Davies’s recordings on reel-to-reel tapes. British Library call number: C1193

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/170705/013