Compositions Demonstrations 1946-1974

Hugh Le Caine

… insight into one of Canada’s most creative minds. The WholeNote, Canada

13 Compositions; 4 Humorous Sketches; 21 Demonstrations.

  • EMF Media

CD (JWD 03)

  • Label: JWD Music
  • JWD 03
  • 2000
  • UCC 653727917320
  • Total duration: 73:54
  • Jewel case
  • 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
  • 120 g

On the web

Some recommended items
In the press


David Olds, The WholeNote, no. 7:6, March 1, 2002

Canada has long been regarded as a breeding ground for electronic and electroacoustic activity. One reason for this was the creative genius of artistically inclined scientific inventor Hugh Le Caine (1914-1977).

Thanks to his invaluable contributions in the fields of radar and atomic physics Le Caine was given free rein to explore and develop his ideas regarding musical instrument design at the National Research Council. He developed a variety of instruments and devices incorporating technology several decades ahead of its time. Among his achievements were the “electronic sackbut,” one of the very first analog synthesizers, the “special purpose tape recorder” which allowed pitch alteration and incorporated primitive multi-tracking techniques, and the “touch sensitive keyboard” which enabled a performer to manipulate the notes on an electronic keyboard in ways that have only recently become commercially available. Gayle Young, who literally “wrote the book” on Hugh Le Caine (a biography entitled The Sackbut Blues) has produced a compact disc of incredible historic import. This document presents not only the technological achievements of this ingenious Canadian inventor, but also captures his sense of humour. While Le Caine did not consider himself a “composer” as such, he did have a background in music and the creative drive to use his training to create some exquisite “exercises” to show off his machines. And he created at least one “classic” of the electroacoustic genre, Dripsody, constructed entirely from the manipulated and transfigured sounds of a single drop of water. This CD provides not only an important piece of Canadian history, but also gives an insight into one of Canada’s most creative minds.

… insight into one of Canada’s most creative minds.