1968 - 1971 – The Music Improvisation Company

Arguably the historic birthing of British Free Music. Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Hugh Davies, and percussionist Jamie Muir formed the Music Improvisation Company in 1968 after Parker and Bailey met had met in Spontaneous Music Ensemble earlier. Essential. 


Hugh Davies / electronics, organ
Derek Bailey / guitar
Jamie Muir / Percussion
Evan Parker / soprano saxophone, amplified autoharp


Tracks 1-4 were recorded, in mono, 4/7/69 in London; 5 & 6 were recorded, in stereo, 18/6/70 in London. Previously issued on Incus LP 17 in 1976. Recorded by Bob Wolford. Post Production by John Haddon. Layout by Karen Brookman. Painting by Jamie Muir. 


Available as 16bit FLAC or 320kbp MP3


1. Pointing - 7:10
2. Untitled 3 - 6:32
3. Untitled 4 - 4:10
4. Bedrest - 7:38
5. Its Tongue Trapped To The Rock By A Limpet, The Water Rat Succumbed To The Incoming Tide - 8:55
6. In The Victim's Absence - 10:35

Hugh Davies

Davies was born in Exmouth, Devon, England. After attending Westminster School, he studied music at Worcester College, Oxford from 1961 to 1964. Shortly after he traveled to Cologne, Germany to work for Karlheinz Stockhausen as his personal assistant. For two years, he assembled and documented material for Stockhausen's compositions and was a member of his live ensemble.

From 1968 to 1971 Davies played in a group called the Music Improvisation Company. The group's guitarist Derek Bailey later wrote that "the live electronics served to extend the music both forwards and backwards (...) Davies helped to loosen what had been, until his arrival, a perhaps too rarified approach". He was also a member of the group Gentle Fire, active from 1968 to 1975, which specialised in the realisation of indeterminate and mobile scores, as well as verbally formulated intuitive-music compositions (such as Stockhausen's Aus den sieben Tagen) and in the performance of its own Group Compositions.