Hugh Davies' Shozyg I

Palermo, Settimio Fiorenzo ORCID logoORCID: (2018) Hugh Davies' Shozyg I. In: Music and Sonic Art: Theories and Practices. Doğantan-Dack, Mine and Dack, John ORCID logoORCID:, eds. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 59-77. ISBN 9781527513532. [Book Section]


The musical instrument Shozyg I, built by the British composer and inventor Hugh Davies (1943-2005), deserves closer scrutiny for its capacity to bring into relief the historical, social, and political processes shaping the traditional musical canon. Shozyg I lends itself to several readings: it can be seen as professing the experimental music credos of Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995) and John Cage (1912-1992), as well as being a product of the imperatives of modernism; as pointing to the century’s technological advances but also to an archaic, “primitive” form of music making; as representing an early example of live electronic music as well as a critique of capitalist technology; as bridging fine art and musical praxes, while engendering a collapse of the boundaries between art and life; as an instrument for greater social inclusion and an articulation of ethical and environmental concerns in music. Built in 1968, this musical invention can also be interpreted as a mediation of the cultural and socio-historical events of the time and of the radical intents that motivated them. Shozyg I thus presents an ideal case-study material in relation to the issues that characterised musical aesthetics as well as the political struggles in Europe and the USA during the late twentieth century, with ongoing, unresolved repercussions.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Music group
Item ID: 26102
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Fiorenzo Palermo
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2019 10:26
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 16:59

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.