Field Trips & Workshops

Environmental Sound Recording Course, France | 9th May 2018

This course will focus on all factors of working with environmental sound – recording, production, decoding and critical analysis. Taking place in the forests, mountains and high-altitude plains of the Haute Couserans, with field trips to some of the regions most spectacular locations, the course will cover:

Fieldcraft and microphone techniques
Spatial audio recording techniques such as spaced stereo microphones, surround sound arrays, Ambisonic techniques using a Soundfield microphone ST450, Schoeps double mid side arrays and Sennheiser middle and side systems
Experimentation with contact microphones, hydrophones and parabolic reflectors
Surround sound playback and multi-channel systems
Decoding techniques
Listening sessions and discussion of critical analysis
Technical operation and specifics of location recording equipment

The sessions will be accompanied by optional outdoors activities led by CAMP crew, including guided mountaineering, visits to local beauty points, and downtime to hang out, relax, enjoy the local food and wine, and learn informally from Chris, the CAMP crew, and your fellow students. Following the course, we will invite students to submit work for release on Language, our in-house field recording label.

Deep Ecology Day | London Buddhist Centre 23rd April 2017

2-5pm – donations and all faiths welcome
London Buddhist Centre
51 Roman Road
Bethnal Green
London E2 0HU
020 8981 1225

Chris Watson will give a talk on his work and perform “Okeanos”, an underwater journey from Antarctica to the Arctic, using 4 x Genelec 8050 speakers in immersive surround sound.

More info:

Wildeye Sound Recording in Sweden | 4–11th May 2017

We’re pleased to announce the annual Wildeye overseas sound recording field trip / workshop which will be led, as usual, by Chris Watson and Jez riley French. Plus, our special guest, Jana Winderen, will join us for a day or so to show us some of her approaches and talk about her work. 

We will be staying in the region of Västergötland, close to Vänern, Sweden’s largest lake and home to an abundance of bird and sub-aquatic life. We’re also close to some other important environments such as the Göta river and canal, Vänern, Kinnekulle, Hornborgasjön, a smaller lake famous for its colony of cranes, and of course vast areas of forest and national parks.

Orford Ness in Bomb Magazine | December 2016

Field Recording by Chris Watson

Orford Ness on the eastern coast of England is the longest shingle spit in Europe. For twelve miles this lichen-colored tongue of shifting sand and pebbles curls out into the North Sea. The Ness is a remote and isolated place, an uninhabited no-man’s-land, for decades occupied solely by the military for practicing the dark arts of war.

Wildeye Post Production | 16-18th December 2016

With Pip Norton and Chris Watson

This two-day course explores techniques of editing audio files on a computer and mixing soundtracks. Through demonstration and working on practical tasks you will learn how to create, edit, manipulate and improve sound recordings, and also how they can be effectively combined and mixed together to produce a soundtrack. This could be for a television or radio programme, for installations, movies, video games, CD/audio-file releases or for your own enjoyment.

The course includes the creation and production of Foley sound and sound effects, how to record the perfect voice over/narration, and covers the growing area of multi-channel mixing.

It is suitable for those who have already taken our Introduction to Wildlife Sound Recording course, or those who already have some experience of audio work. It will also be invaluable for video editors and producers who oversee the post production process.

The course is taught by Pip Norton, a highly experienced re-recording mixer and post production specialist, and Chris Watson, one of the world’s top wildlife sound specialists who regularly works for the BBC.

The location is Whitwell Hall Country Centre in the centre of Norfolk, UK. Accommodation is shared rooms (or there are nearby bed and breakfasts/hotels if you prefer), and there will be excellent home-cooked food.

It is recommended that you bring your own laptop/computer with editing and mixing programs installed and any sound recording equipment you may have. (If you have yet to invest in any audio software, one recommendation is to try Reaper – this is an excellent digital audio workstation which you can try free for 60 days, and if you wish to continue you can buy a license for just $60 (about £40)).

Oceanus Tyrol Watson Walk | 25th September 2016

„Ich habe im Laufe meiner Arbeit festgestellt, dass es Orte gibt, an denen eine besondere Atmosphäre herrscht, eine besondere Klangfarbe oder ein besonderer Rhythmus“, erklärt der britische Klangforscher Chris Watson. Der Peterlunger-Teich auf der Seiser Alm ist so ein besonderer Ort, sagenumwoben und inmitten einer viele Jahrtausende alten Kulturlandschaft gelegen. Ausgehend von der Bergstation der Seiser Umlaufbahn wandert das Transart-Publikum gemeinsam mit Martha Silbernagl dorthin und lässt sich von Chris Watson in eine Klangwelt der Vergangenheit zurückführen, als die Dolomiten noch der Meeresboden eines riesenhaften Ozeans waren.

Nach der Performance führt die Wanderung zurück nach Compatsch, wo das diesjährige Abschlusskonzert des Festivals stattfindet.

The Town Moor – A Portrait In Sound | Newcastle June – July 2016

Exhibition: 21 June – 24 July

Free in The Gallery, Mon – Sat 10:00-16:00, Sun: 11:00-16:00

The Gallery Tyneside Cinema is delighted to present The Town Moor – A Portrait In Sound, a sound installation by Chris Watson, one of the world’s most esteemed and successful wildlife sound recordists.

The starting point for the exhibition is material recorded for a BBC Radio Newcastle programme, for which Watson documented one year in the life of the Town Moor, capturing the sounds, birds, beasts and people in the ‘green lungs’ of the city. The material has been reworked and new recordings added in order to create an exhibition in The Gallery using 3D ambisonic sound to make an immersive sound work, and a ‘dark’ cinema experience. You are invited to experience the piece as if it was an image-less’ film, using the sound narrative provided by the seasons to create an acoustic picture of the Town Moor. The exhibition gives you the chance to discover the importance of sound within the cinematic experience.

The exhibition runs from 21 June – 24 July in The Gallery on the third floor of Tyneside Cinema.

Tyneside Cinema


The Monocle Weekly:
“Restaurateur, writer and food specialist Henry Dimbleby discusses the virtues of London’s food markets, typographers Nadine Chahine and Malou Verlomme of design agency Monotype explain their new font ‘Johnston100’ and Chris Watson, the pioneering musician and sound recordist for natural history programmes, tells us about his new event ‘The Town Moor – A Portrait in Sound’.”

The Creators Project
“Watson was a founding member of experimental Dada-influenced band Cabaret Voltaire, and as a sound recordist has worked on numerous Sir David Attenborough-narrated nature docs like Life in the Undergrowth and Frozen Planet. Now he’s chosen to turn his expertise and microphone-wielding skills to the moor, capturing its micro and not-so-micro-sounds…”

Other press coverage:
The Guardian ~ G2 | New Scientist | Caught by the River | Port magazine | Chronicle Live

Wildeye Sound Recording Courses

Several times a year, Chris leads sound recording courses organised by Wildeye, a UK-based company which specialises in wildlife film-making processes, including sound recording.

The courses have recently been extended to include overseas destinations, including France, Sweden and Iceland, but they take place twice a year in Norfolk, on the east coast of England. The courses are almost always over-subscribed, so it is recommended that you sign up to their newsletter…

Dawn Chorus Sound Walk | Newcastle 1st May 2016

Join Chris Watson to celebrate National Dawn Chorus Day on Sunday 1 May, for a dawn chorus walk through the Town Moor, Newcastle and see the world with your ears. The walk starts in the dark and as the dawn begins Chris Watson will record the activity, which will be included in his new sounds installation The Town Moor a Portrait in Sound opening at The Gallery Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle on 21st June.

More info:

Sounds of the Sea Workshop | Pevensey 23rd August 2015

Sunday August 23rd, 11am-1pm, Normans Bay, near Pevensey, East Sussex, BN24 6PS

The iconic Finback Whale of Museum of Zoology, Cambridge was washed ashore at Normans Bay near Pevensey in 1865. Join us as we return to the site with wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson to record the sounds of the sea. These recordings are for inclusion in the Ocean Song soundscape that will accompany the skeleton in its new home, a fabulous Whale Hall being built as part of the Museum’s redevelopment and due to open in 2016. Learn about recording the sounds of nature, discover the sounds beneath the ocean’s waves that are normally out our hearing, and have a go at collecting sounds yourself. This workshop is free. Places are limited and booking essential. To book a place, email here

Ocean Song at Pevensey

Sunday August 23rd, 3pm-5pm, St Nicholas’ Church,
Church Lane, Pevensey, East Sussex, BN24 5LD

Discover a world of underwater sound as we go on a journey from sea shore to open ocean with sound artist Chris Watson. Explore your own voice teacher and choir leader Rowena Whitehead, creating the sounds of the sea and the music it has inspired. Through this workshop we will be building a symphony of the oceans using human voices, to be recorded and woven into the sound installation that will accompany our iconic Finback Whale skeleton in his new home. Don’t miss out on being a part of the Museum of Zoology and add your voice to the Ocean Song soundscape!

To book, visit and for more information, visit the Ocean Song blog:

Sound Recording Weekend | Sheffield May 2015

Legendary Sheffield sound recordist Chris Watson returns to lead an inspiring weekend of have-a-go sound recording for all abilities, capture the orchestra of the dawn chorus and learn the post production skills needed to polish up your recording under Chris’s expert guidance.

Saturday 23rd May: dawn chorus – (exact location and time to be confirmed) Sun: 12–3pm


“The Songs of the Sands in the Forest”- du 7/06 au 5/10/2014.
Vernissage le 7 juin 2014
Création sonore

Paysage sonore insolite, à la croisée de l’Afrique du Nord et de la Franche-Comté, l’installation de Chris Watson est à la fois écho et célébration des grands mouvements de populations et des migrations saisonnières. L’artiste à choisi de mixer des sons recueillis par le passé dans les montagnes de l’Atlas à ceux prélevés au printemps dans la forêt de Chaux lors de sa résidence, pour offrir une approche poétique du nomadisme, une mémoire sonore des hommes et des territoires traversés.


Une première en France!
Accès libre et places limitées!
Le 18 avril de 14h30 à 16h30

Going With The Flow | February – August 2012

28th August Sound walk

‘Going With The ~Flow’ began in February with the sounds of shifting ice fragments in England’s last wilderness high on the northern Pennines.

Join renowed sound recordist Chris Watson on a slow walk at sunset and drift down stream with the Tyne as the river ebbs past Newburn and Blaydon. Out of hours the daytime industry and commerce crowding the banks fall silent whilst the river snakes through it’s heart and forms a transient wildlife refuge twice a day as the low tide reveals the mud. Curlew, redshank and lapwing have moved down river to roost and feed out on the exposed mudflats and they are joined by busy urban gulls and international travelling birds on their way south from arctic latitudes.

Participants are advised to wear dark clothing and bring binoculars if possible. There will be some recording opportunity for those with recorders and Chris Watson will bring along a number of microphone set ups to plug into.

Please note that this walk has a very limited capacity. To book your place go HERE.
Price: £5

5th September at 19:30 – 21:00

This major new commission by the world’s greatest sound recordist creates an acoustic journey down the River Tyne from its sources to the sea.

Going With The Flow is a unique soundscape, a seasonal time compression consisting entirely of location recordings gathered and composed between February and August 2012.

Taking inspiration from the actions and rhythms of the river, the recordings will track the course of the flow and the voices from the backsides between which is passes, following the sonic metamorphosis of upland rainfall to tidal seawater.

Extracts of Chris’s recordings will be presented at (TBC) and the final commission will be presented at The Sage Gateshead alongside visuals by Andy Greenwood.

Tickets £7.00
To book tickets visit or call 0191 443 4661.
The Sage Gateshead, St. Mary’s Sqaure, Gateshead Quays, Tyne and Wear, NE8 2JR

Wildlife Sound Recording in Northern India | January 2011

We’re very pleased to announce the dates for our next sound recording expedition to India – 14-24 January 2011. Full details at

A unique opportunity to record the rich sounds of the jungles of Northern India accompanied by experienced wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson.

Our base will be Camp Forktail Creek – a forest home surrounded by a dense Sal forest and moist jungles and the only ‘jungle’ camp of its kind within Corbett Tiger Reserve, offering exclusivity in game viewing, great walks and explorations on foot. Corbett National Park was the first National Park founded in Asia and being an excellent habitat for the Bengal Tiger, “Project Tiger” was launched here in 1973. Corbett is also rich in avifauna with counts of over 600 bird species.

From Camp you could get great sound recordings of Great Hornbill, Slaty Woodpecker, Oriental Scops Owl, Spot bellied Eagle Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Large Tailed Nightjar, Indian Cuckoo, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Cheetal, Barking deer and monkey alarm calls and if lucky a leopard sawing.

We have a fantastic itinerary planned with walks and game drives into various parts of the park. Although the focus will be on recording wildlife and natural atmospheres there will also be opportunities to record the wonderful sounds of the people and villages of the area.

Cost £1,495 plus flight – bookings via

Japan & Australia | Autumn 2009

2 day workshop at the Film School, Yokohama, followed by performance piece

Open Frame in Brisbane
In residency
With Alan Lamb at The Wired Lab in Cootamundra:

CHRIS WATSON PERFORMANCE: on the evening of Saturday 17th October, Watson will also give a  performance at the Cootamundra Creative Arts and Cultural Centre (CCACC). This will be your opportunity to hear Watson provide two live surround four channel sound mixes from his ‘Midnight at the Oasis’, a 20 minute time compression from sunset to sunrise in South Africa’s Kalahari desert. Along with; ‘Oceanus pacificus’ recorded on location around the Galapagos Islands 1000Km off the coast of Ecuador, and 10m below the sea surface. The Performance is open to the general public, $5-10 door fee, with proceeds to the CCACC, a volunteer run facility.


Workshop in Bath | 22-23rd August 2009

As part of the Staging Sound 2.0 programme. Staging Sound 2.0 is a three stranded (field/scavenged/homemade) exploration of experimental and DIY sound and music making around Bath.

It features a two-day field recording workshop with Chris exploring the urban, rural and architectural spaces around Bath; an online commission by Matthew Olden scavenging sounds and noises from Web 2.0; a Sound Hack with Dorkbot Bristol; and a series of guerilla performances in some of the City’s lesser known nooks and crannies.

Media Art Bath Website
Staging Sound 2.0 project page

Workshop in London | 27 – 28th July 2008

Monday 28th July (+ Sunday 27th July)
10am – 5pm (exact Sunday times to follow)

Field Recording in & around an Urban River
with Chris Watson

Museum of Garden History, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB.
Price: £60 (Students – £45)

Following the success of previous sound recording workshops, we are delighted to welcome back BBC sound recordist extraordinaire and founder member of Cabaret Voltaire, Chris Watson, who will lead a workshop concentrating on field recording in and around the Thames. The Museum of Garden History is located a stone’s throw from the banks of the Thames; a river which is itself a remarkable receptacle and generator of diverse sound. As the city interacts with the river, so the range and variety of sounds increases, from ferries to tidal barriers, and in doing so it creates a rich environment in which one can demonstrate field recording techniques and use amazing equipment like hydrophones. This event will provide attendees with the chance to gain practical experience in the field followed by a studio workshop.

On the Sunday, attendees are welcome to join Chris as he leads a recording session on location. Material recorded on the Sunday by attendees will then be used on the Monday as Chris demonstrates techniques and equipment and provides a critique of attendees work. Every attendee will have the chance to work one-on-one with Chris. The combined work created over the course of these two days will then be made available for each participant (subject to permission).

Cost includes lunch and refreshments on the Monday. Information concerning the times and location of the Sunday field session as well as equipment requirements will be released shortly. The workshop is suitable for both experienced and novice field recorders alike.

Sound Threshold, Italy | July & September 2008

Trentino: Sound Threshold: presented by Lucia Farinati & Daniela Cascella as a parallel event of Manifesta 7 in July.


A press release can be downloaded here


Monday 28th January 2008
10am – 5pm


We are delighted to welcome back natural sound recorder extraordinaire Chris
Watson for another field recording workshop following the sell-out success of his workshop as part of the Atmospheres festival in October 2007.

A voluntary recording session on the Sunday evening (27th Jan, 9pm – 1am) will allow attendees to gather recordings in a useful session in London lead by Chris himself, before the workshop commences on the Monday. The workshop will include a practical guide to techniques and equipment and also a critique of each attendees work. Cost includes refreshments, lunch, the Sunday evening session, and a copy of the workshop material on CD/DVD.

Cost: £50 (£40 Students)

Holystone with Mike Harding & Jana Winderen | March 2006

In March 2006, Chris Watson, Jana Winderen & Mike Harding visited Holystone in Northumberland.


Holystone Forest, Northumberland, England
Saturday 4th March 2006
Chris Watson & Jana Winderen with Mike Harding

Light snow cover/light breeze/cold/clear and dry/high pressure

Ancient oak woodland


1 x Shure single point stereo mic on 70m cable, rigged on tree stump about 3m high, back to observation point [OP] to Fostex FR2 field recorder
1 x Sennheiser MKH60/30 middle and side rig on 50m cable into a small clearing, back to OP to SQN 4S mixer feeding line inputs of a sound device 744T portable
hard disc recorder

3 pairs of headphones were shared by the group

0340 got up, cuppa tea
0410 on the road
0515 arr. Holystone
while setting up we heard several tawny owls singing, very clear and close
0610 recording commenced with quiet pre-dawn atmospheres – light snow drifted off branches onto dry leaf litter. Superb acoustic conditions and low ambient noise provided Chris with the best recordings of this type in deciduous winter woodland he has yet made
0715 derigged and relocated

birds recorded included robin, wren, blue tit, great tit, tree creeper, chaffinch, tawny owl, pheasant, crossbill, coal tit etc.

after approximately 30 minutes, the initial chorus subsided and after approximately 15 minutes we derigged and relocated.

In the car park, Jana practised using a Telinga “Science” parabloic reflector on a range of birds including chaffinch and coal tit in the coniferous woodland bordering the car park.

Then after relocating to the Northumberland Wildlife Trust Reserve, a mixed coniferous and deciduous woodland in the valley of Holystone burn, in bright sunshine, now calm, colder, but superbly clear conditions. We located a hairy wood ant’s nest after some alarm that our initial nest sites had been destroyed by forestry logging operations, and we carefully inserted 2 Dolphin Ear Pro hydrophones into the nest, approximately 20 cms into the main body of the nest on the south-facing side.

The nest was completely covered in snow and apparently inactive. We returned 15 minutes later to allow settlement and expecting more activity as the sun shone directly onto the nest. Listening revealed surprising levels of activity, despite the cold, but there were no visible signs of the occupants of the nest!

Conclusion: although the activity sounded close, further listening seemed to indicate that the ants were deeper underground that we thought, after a protracted period of cold. They were not near the surface as first thought.


Chris Watson:


Jana Winderen










All tracks published by Touch Music
Photos by Mike Harding
Holystone logo design by Jon Wozencroft