Kevan / Kevan Davis

Still a bit astounded that I can fill my phone with good spoken-word radio just by right-clicking on things.

There are no people in Kevan’s collective.

Huffduffed (286) activity chart

  1. Fireside Chat: Brian Eno

    Electronic music didn’t start with Brian Eno, but it was certainly never the same after him. On Roxy Music’s first two albums he helped make synthesizers and tape effects part of a rock lineup, pricking the ears of future synth-pop creators such as Human League. As a solo artist he forged a new genre, which he dubbed ambient music, before effectively becoming a one-man genre himself, lending touches to Genesis (where he’s credited with “Enossification”), John Cale, and David Bowie during his golden Berlin period. There wasn’t much in the way of experimental 70s music that wasn’t made a little odder by Eno’s touch. But that touch could also be a multiplatinum one, as he showed as a producer for U2 in the mid-80s and Coldplay 20 years later. In the 90s he created perhaps the most widely heard music of all: the six-second start-up sound for Microsoft’s Windows 95 operating system. Typically mischievous, he later let it be known that he’d created it on a Mac.

    (The token-tagged MP3 link this uses will probably expire at some point. You can listen to it at instead.)

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  2. RSA - The Self is Not an Illusion

    For the last 50 years, the idea of the self has dramatically fallen out of favour. The incredible discoveries of neuroscience have prompted us to largely dispense with our gut instincts about our subjective selves, and in their place many of us have adopted the materialistic ‘we are our brains’ thesis.

    But is the self really an elaborate illusion created by our brain cells and processes, and what do we have to sacrifice in order to hold that view? How do our subjective experiences and thoughts contribute to our selfhood, and is there an inherent contradiction at the heart of a physical answer to a moral problem?

    Britain’s leading moral philosopher Mary Midgley, visits the RSA to investigate the breach between our understanding of our sense of our ‘self’, and today’s scientific orthodoxy that claims the self to be nothing more than an elaborate illusion.

    In conversation with Rob Newman, writer, political activist and comedian.

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  3. Green Templeton Lectures 2014: The Tyranny of the Normal

    Mainstream Hollywood cinema, the dominant medium of the twentieth century, represented the disabled more fully than most minorities, but what (or who) are these images really about?

    This lecture traces a paradoxical cultural history with the help of half a dozen film clips, from directors as different as William Wyler, Robert Altman and John Carpenter.

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  4. Private Dreams and Public Nightmares (1957)

    An early BBC experiment in radiophonic sound, predating the establishment of the Radiophonic Workshop, created by Frederick Bradnum and Daphne Oram and produced by Donald McWhinnie.

    "This programme is an experiment. An exploration. It’s been put together with enormous enthusiasm and equipment designed for other purposes. The basis of it is an unlimited supply of magnetic tape, recording machine, razor blade, and some thing to stick the bits together with. And a group of technicians who think that nothing is too much trouble - provided that it works."

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  5. Wee Have Also Sound Houses - Daphne Oram

    To mark the 50th anniversary in 2008 of the creation of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the programme examines the life and legacy of one of the great pioneers of British electronic music - the Workshop’s co-founder Daphne Oram.

    As a child in the 1930s, Oram dreamed of a way to turn drawn shapes into sound, and she dedicated her life to realising that goal. Her Oramics machine anticipated the synthesiser by more than a decade, and with it she produced a number of internationally-performed works for the cinema, concert hall and theatre.

    Daphne Oram was among the very first composers of electronic music in Britain and her legacy is the dominance of that soundworld in our culture today.

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  6. Intelligence Squared: We’ve Never Had It So Good

    It’s 2014 and what does Britain have to look forward to? Osborne’s welfare cuts. An umpteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother. Adult children still living at home and cadging off the Bank of Mum and Dad (repayment not guaranteed). That’s the gripe of the Debbie Downers, but give a thought to how life used to be even within living memory. Buttoned up emotions. Casual racism. Meagre defences against disease and infection. And no internet. Surely life is better now than it’s ever been before? On 22nd January we brought together a star panel to slug out the arguments in our debate “We’ve never had it so good”. Two of Britain’s most brilliant and sardonic writers, Will Self and Rod Liddle, opposed the motion. And the journalist and satirical novelist Rachel Johnson and Jesse Norman, the brilliant Tory MP who has been hailed as a man to watch even in the pages of the Guardian, proposed it.


    Tagged with will self

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  7. RSA - RSA Commencement – with Jon Ronson

    Acclaimed writer and documentary maker Jon Ronson has spent his life meeting extraordinary people and exploring curious events. In his RSA Commencement address he shares some of the life lessons he’s learned along the way.


    Tagged with jon ronson

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  8. BBC Radio 4 - The Grand Masquerade

    Thirty years after the publication of Kit Williams’s groundbreaking picture puzzle book Masquerade in 1979, John O’Farrell reflects on the mayhem that followed as millions of readers became caught up in the search for a jewel-encrusted hare, buried somewhere in the British countryside.

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  9. Kit Williams Interview with Don Swaim

    In this 1984 interview with Don Swaim, Kit Williams, creator of the puzzle book Masquerade (still unsolved at that time) describes his childhood and remembers doing poorly at school, then leaving school to join the British navy. When life in the the navy became very mundane for him, he left the navy and adopted painting as his new trade. Eventually, he gained recognition for his art and later went on to publish several novels such as Book Without a Name, Engines of Ingenuity and Masquerade.

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

  10. 99% Invisible - Barcodes

    When George Laurer goes to the grocery store, he doesn’t tell the check-out people that he invented the barcode, but his wife used to point it out. “My husband here’s the one who invented that barcode,” she’d occasionally say. And the check-out people would look at him like, “you mean there was a time when we didn’t have barcodes?” A time without barcodes is hard to imagine now. But it wasn’t that long ago, and the story doesn’t start with George Laurer. It starts with an engineer named Joseph Woodland.

    —Huffduffed by Kevan

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