The audio archive at the Burgess Foundation comprises 1,094 cassettes and 87 reel-to-reel tapes.
The recordings run to over a thousand hours, and include interviews with the media, public lectures, private telephone conversations, piano playing and poetry reading at home, domestic discussions, and sometimes street noises and birdsong. Other tapes contain classical music, obscure radio programmes, and rare examples of Burgess reading his own work.
Liana Burgess, Anthony’s second wife and translator, acquired her first tape recorder in 1970 and kept one with her wherever she went: most of the sounds you hear in this exhibition were captured by her. Taken together, the tapes make up an extraordinary, detailed portrait of her life with Anthony and their son Andrew.
This online exhibition presents just a few of these recordings. To listen, click the links below and browse to your heart’s content.
Quick links: On A Clockwork Orange | On his novels | On Shakespeare | On the airwaves | At the podium | On his early life in Manchester | Anthony, Liana and Andrew Burgess at home | Musical writing | And popular music | Stage musicals | At the piano