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As a clinician scientist I have worked extensively in the field of kidney failure, in particular working on the problem of fluid control in people needing dialysis. I am also a composer, recently returning to this after many years of medical research, which has led me more recently to focus my compositional efforts on the experience of illness,

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If there were someone trying to find purposes everywhere, there is not a single thing as useful as music, which, reaching our hearts soft but deeply, through the message left in our hearing, provides a clear benefit not only for our soul but also for our body

Tomás Luis de Victoria


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Simon Davies - Sickness Like Night

Simon Davies - Sickness Like Night

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Simon Davies Numbers

Simon Davies Numbers

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Simon Davies  Miserere Mei after and in tribute to Henry Purcell

Simon Davies Miserere Mei after and in tribute to Henry Purcell

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I am a clinician scientist working extensively in the field of kidney failure. I currently hold the position of Emeritus Professor of Nephrology and Dialysis Medicine at Keele University and was until recently an Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at the University Hospital of North Midlands. I undertook my medical training at King’s College Hospital and my doctoral research at Guy’s Hospital in London before moving to the North Midlands.


For many years my research has focussed on peritoneal dialysis, especially the role of the peritoneal membrane in determining the success of this treatment for kidney failure. This led to an increasing concentration on the management of fluid status in both peritoneal and haemodialysis and the understanding of centre-level practices in improving the experience of dialysis treatment.


From 2010 to 2012 I was president of the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis, a role which spurred my interest in the problem of inequity of access to treatments for kidney failure. I currently co-lead the International Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Failure Strategy and the development of a toolkit for delivering dialysis in resource-limited settings in conjunction with the WHO.


My research has been supported by Kidney Research UK, the National Institute of Health Research (UK), the European Union (Horizon 2020) and the National Institutes for Health Research (US). For details of my research publications see here:

In 2013 I was awarded the Distinguished International Medal by the American National Kidney Foundation and in 2018 the Oreopoulos Award from the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis.


My education was largely funded by music scholarships from the ages of 9 to 18, both singing and instrumental, first at the King’s College Choir School in Cambridge and then in Canterbury, where I first studied composition with Alan Ridout. I composed regularly well into my 20s but inevitably this took second place to my academic medical work, which also fulfilled my creative drive for many years. Subsequently I have returned to music composition undertaking a post-graduate research degree at the University of Birmingham with Michael Zev Gordon. The focus of my composing has been an exploration of the experience of illness in a project entitled "Tuning this curious harp: composing music that embodies the experience of illness", hence the name of this website. To be ill is to have first-person, embodied experience of disease. The person becomes dys-embodied. To compose music that explores the experience of illness, I have combined what I have learned from people living with kidney failure with my understanding of music as a profoundly embodied art, to create compositions that intend to bring the listener to a deeper understanding of the experience of illness. To do this I have used several approaches including embodied and blended metaphor, illness narratives and incorporation of text that directly reports the experience of illness. The music includes a String Quartet, Living Water, instrumental pieces Dys-embodied and Re-embodied and the Cantata The Noise of Waters.


I have remained an active musician throughout my career, studying singing with Nicholas Powell (previously Royal Northern College Music), singing with many choirs - most recently the Manchester Chamber Choir. I conduct the Border Singers, a chamber choir based in Whitchurch, Shropshire.


Please contact me to obtain scores and recordings

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