I first met Hugh when Richard Orton invited him to York to play and improvise with a group of us there. Gentle Fire grew out of that meeting.

Hugh was a man of many parts: both diffident and expressive; passionate, meticulous and painstaking, incredibly open and inventive about the means of making sounds (shozygs, feedback, telephone dials…) and extremely fastidious when it came to their amplification; he was a scholar and archivist, inventor, composer and improviser. I remember all sorts of things: Appolinaris Water, apfelsaft, map reading in half-familiar German towns, the enormous speakers which went up and down flight after flight of stairs to and from his flat – which itself was a seeming chaos of equipment, tools, wires, bits of metal, piles of books and folders, whatever half a dozen projects he was currently engaged in. I remember, of course, the ubiquitous performance table - piled with equipment, uher mixers, built instruments, bits of junk - the centre of a spaghetti of wires through which he would trawl, making connections (Hugh was very good at making connections between things) and occasionally losing his temper. Like everyone who cares passionately for what they do he could sometimes be irascible and difficult; like the good man that he was he was kind, considerate of others and wonderfully generous: I well remember the time and effort he put into designing and building ring modulators that would produce the particular clean sound I needed for a piece,  I well remember how much of himself he poured into the collective work of Gentle Fire.

These many diverse parts, at a casual glance as apparently chaotic as his table, were, I feel, very much of a piece, and as well ordered as that table.

In the time that I was seeing a lot of him, Hugh didn’t experience the same satisfaction in his personal life that he did in his creative life; I’m glad that came to him later, he deserved it. I didn’t see him often in recent years, but when I did I always felt that he was doing what we all hope we do: becoming more richly and fully himself. Hugh.