Field Trips & Workshops

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/Fairwood Music UK Ltd
Photos by Mike Harding
Holystone logo design by Jon Wozencroft