Conference paper Open Access

Hugh Davies's Electroacoustic Musical Instruments and their Relation to Present-Day Live Coding Practice: Some Historic Precedents and Similarities

Mooney


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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;The purpose of this paper is to present the self-built electroacoustic musical instruments of Hugh Davies&amp;nbsp;(1943-2005) to the international live coding community, and to propose points of similarity between&amp;nbsp;Davies&amp;rsquo;s practice and present-day live coding practice. In the first part of the paper, the context within&amp;nbsp;which Davies&amp;rsquo;s instrument-building practice developed, in the late 1960s, is outlined, and a number of&amp;nbsp;specific instruments are described. Aspects of Davies&amp;rsquo;s performance style, repertoire, and the ensembles&amp;nbsp;with which he performed are discussed, as are activities such as instrument-building workshops and public&amp;nbsp;exhibitions of instruments, in which he regularly participated. In the second part of the paper, four areas of&amp;nbsp;connection with present-day live coding practice are suggested. Respectively, these focus upon live coding&amp;rsquo;s&amp;nbsp;status: (1) as part of a long historic tradition of live electronic music performance (as opposed to electronic&amp;nbsp;music constructed in the studio); (2) as a practice in which the performer him or herself builds the apparatus&amp;nbsp;(whether physical or code-based) through which the music is mediated; (3) as an improvised or semi-improvised art-form in which music is developed in real time, within a framework bounded by material or&amp;nbsp;quasi-material constraints; and (4) as a community of practice with a distinct agenda of promoting&amp;nbsp;understanding through engagement. This paper is presented as a case study in exploring live coding&amp;rsquo;s&amp;nbsp;historic precedents, and as a contribution toward situating live coding within a broader historical, cultural&amp;nbsp;context.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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