A sound map of Sheffield via its famous river systems and concluding in the Megatron
Installations & Performances
Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) and Chris Watson collaborating with producer Iain Pate have been awarded two major commissions totalling £60,000 through the inaugural Jerwood Open Forest initiative.
The announcement was made at Jerwood Space, London on 11 February 2014 by selector and artist, Tania Kovats. The selected proposals will be produced and realised within England’s Public Forest Estate, continuing a national conversation about how contemporary visual artists engage with the environment today.
To find out more about Jerwood Open Forest and follow the progress of the two winning commissions visit www.jerwoodopenforest.org.
The Foundling Museum has announced the appointment of the 2014 Foundling Fellows, joining the Fellowship in the 10th anniversary year of the Foundling Museum in London.
Artist Cornelia Parker, named as Hogarth Fellow
Poet Lemn Sissay, named as Coram Fellow
Musician and sound recordist Chris Watson, named as Handel Fellow
Each Fellow will undertake a project for the Museum with special relevance to children, inspired by the principles of philanthropy and creativity of the great founding figures of the original Foundling Hospital, Thomas Coram, William Hogarth, and George Frideric Handel.
Chris’s project celebrates International Dawn Chorus day on 4 May 2014 and will see Chris work with young people to record the dawn and evening chorus of birds, as well as other sounds, in the local area around the Museum. His idea is to compare the sounds of today with the sounds of the Foundling Hospital estate in the 18th Century and we hope to find out if the wild and urban sounds the foundlings heard in then are different to today. The work will be edited and turned into a sound piece. The final piece is intended to be played on radio stations, including Resonance FM, and will be exhibited in the Introductory Gallery at the Museum.
12:00 to 16:15, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan’s College, Durham
The second inter-disciplinary seminar in the SLOW University series is organised in collaboration between: the School of Applied Social Sciences, the Ustinov Seminar Series and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The SLOW movement promotes a socio-cultural shift towards slowing down the pace of work, life and consumption and providing a counter narrative to processes of globalization. Chris Watson’s SLOW sound walks [in seminar one from palace Green to Ustinov College] enabled a slowing down and tuning in to the signature sounds of the spaces and places along the route.
It is clear that these lines of thinking, dialogue and creative application are gathering momentum. The purpose of the second seminar on the SLOW University at Durham [that will then travel to other collaborating Universities] is to harness these dialogues and ask – What does it mean if we take a look at the University and our relationship to as academics and researchers in relation to time, speed and SLOW? What new philosophies, practices, structures and governance might emerge?
Mirror Lands is a film and sound installation exploring diverse relationships to place on The Black Isle in the Highlands of Scotland.
Venue: CCA, Glasgow
Date: 7 – 9 March, 2014
Time: Friday – Saturday: 11-6pm Sunday: 12-6pm
Thursday 6 March / 20.00 / £5 / Screening and Q&A with Cathy Lane and Chris Watson
Booking: Book Tickets here
The isle is full of noises
Howard Assembly Room, Opera North, Leeds
Friday 28 February to Saturday 15 March
2pm – 8pm (runs on a 30 minute loop)
Open to the public Tuesdays – Saturdays
Hy Brasil is a mysterious, enchanted island, hidden in fog somewhere off the coast of Ireland. It reveals itself to human eye and ear just one day every seven years. This specially commissioned work by sound artist Chris Watson (BBC TV’s award-winning Frozen Planet), brings that day on Hy Brasil to life in an immersive sound installation.
Hy Brasil is composed of compelling wildlife sounds from around the world, drawing visitors deep into the haunting song of seals and the awe-inspiring shrieks of thousands of Manx shearwaters. With glorious ambi-sonic sound and beautiful lighting, lose yourself in the strange and magical world of Hy Brasil.
Supported by the Opera North Future Fund, The Emerald Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Audio equipment supported by Pro Audio
This new commission by Chris Watson captures the voices and rhythms locked inside the Dunstanburgh Diamonds, presenting an ambisonic soundscape of Embleton Bay, from Low Newton to Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland. These ancient black dolerite stones are part of the Great Whin Sill, which lies exposed along parts of the coast whilst the surrounding landscape has been eroded around it. Countless tides have shaped the Whin Sill into smooth boulders that murmur, groan and growl with each passing ebb and flow. This new composition extracts the spirit of historic events and memories that have been stored in the stones for generations.
This event is part of the Digging for Sound weekends of new commissions, concerts and walks focusing on the geology, topography and mining legacy of the North East England landscape.
These sound walks with Chris Watson explore the particular sounds stored along Embleton Bay, which have informed his new Festival commission. The guided walks will begin at Low Newton and end at Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland.
The new commission captures the voices and rhythms locked inside the Dunstanburgh Diamonds, from Low Newton to Dunstanburgh Castle. These ancient black dolerite stones are part of the Great Whin Sill, which lies exposed along parts of the coast whilst the surrounding landscape has been eroded around it. Countless tides have shaped the Whin Sill into smooth boulders that murmur, groan and growl with each passing ebb and flow. The new composition extracts the spirit of historic events and memories that have been stored in the stones for generations.
This event is part of their Digging for Sound weekends of new commissions, concerts and walks focusing on the geology, topography and mining legacy of the North East England landscape.
£5, limited capacity
Sat 15 March and Sat 22 March 2014
Sat 15 March 2014, 9am
Sat 22 March 2014, 9am
Low Newton Carpark
Meet at car park at
PULSE and The University of Glasgow present Chris Watson, who will be performing “Songs from the Silverbank”
Tuesday 11 February 2014, 7.30pm
7:30pm Q&A with Mike Harding (including audience questions)
8:45pm “Songs from the Silverbank”
You can read an article in the Glasgow Herald
CORNELIA PARKER, LEMN SISSAY, CHRIS WATSON – ANNOUNCED AS 2014 FELLOWS FOR FOUNDLING MUSEUM’S 10th ANNIVERSARY YEAR
The Foundling Museum has announced the appointment of the 2014 Foundling Fellows, joining the Fellowship in the 10th anniversary year of the Foundling Museum in London and also coinciding with the 250th anniversary of the death of William Hogarth, whose donation of paintings to the Hospital laid the foundations of the collection of the Museum.
You can read the full press release here
6th November 2013, 13:25 to 17:30, IAS, Palace Green, Durham
A Seminar organised in collaboration between: the School of Applied Social Sciences, the Ustinov Seminar Series and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The SLOW movement promotes a socio-cultural shift towards slowing down the pace of work, life and consumption and providing a counter narrative to processes of globalization that Hale, Held and Young (2013) write about in ‘Gridlock’.
Two World Premieres from Chris Watson + Hildur Guðnadóttir, and Anna von Hausswolff
19th October 2013, 7:30 – 9:30pm, Lincoln Cathedral
Touch is delighted to be invited back to play live in Lincoln Cathedral by Frequency, after the hugely successful 13th edition of Spire, which took place in the same space, in October 2011. You can purchase tickets here.
Chris Watson (field recordings) and Hildur Guðnadóttir (cello) will be collaborating on a brand new collaborative multi-channel sound work, titled “Sönghellir (The Cave of Song)” – a sound journey from under the waters of Faxafloi, Iceland, alongside some of the largest animals on the planet. Up, onto the lava beach, across the lava fields and reindeer moss to the foot of the snow mountain, Snaefellsnes. The journey continues up and then into the mountain, ending inside Sönghellir, the song cave…
On a clear day in Reykjavik, one can gaze northwest and see the shining Snaefellsjokull glacier, 60 miles away. Though the glacier is nowhere near in size to some of Iceland’s others, it is by far the most mysterious and popular. It rests near lands end on one of Iceland’s most beloved landscapes – the Snaefellsnes Peninsula – and its bright, mysterious beauty seems to embody the entire region. One of the reasons why Icelander’s love the Snaefellsnes Peninsula so much (aside from its enchanting landscape brimming with lava caves, waterfalls, and mineral hot springs) is that it is a veritable heartland of history. Some of the best and most important sagas took place here, and it is said that Christopher Columbus once spent a winter in Ingjaldsholl, where he heard stories of lands to the west.
Anna von Hausswolff, a Swedish singer, pianist and songwriter, will be performing a new score for the organ, titled “Källan”.
The Eternal Chord, an improvisational work from some of the artists present, will close the evening.
Thursday 12 September 2013 – Sunday 23 February 2014
From making childhood recordings of birdsong in his garden, to co-founding electronic pioneers Cabaret Voltaire, and his work as one of the UK’s pre-eminent sound recordists, Sheffield-born Chris Watson has had an enduring fascination with sound.
In this ambitious new exhibition, Chris will transform the Millennium Gallery into an immersive ‘sound map’ of Sheffield, charting its boundaries on the edge of the Peak and travelling its waterways to the bustling heart of the city. By truly hearing the sounds of the city, perhaps for the first time, we hope that visitors will gain a new perspective on Sheffield in 2013.
From an exceptional response of strong and diverse proposals for the inaugural Jerwood Open Forest, five projects have been selected for a six-month research and development period.
Juan delGado, Adam James, Amanda Loomes, a project by Chris Watson, collaborating with producer Iain Pate, and artist duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) will each receive a £2,000 research and development fee and be supported by Jerwood Visual Arts and Forestry Commission England to expand on the concept of their proposal and explore potential sites through this phase.
The research process will culminate in a curated exhibition at Jerwood Visual Arts, London in January 2014. One project will then be selected by the panel of leading practitioners and project partners to receive a £30,000 commissioning budget to realise their proposal.
Further information and updates of the research and development period will be available on this website soon.
For full information: www.jerwoodvisualarts.org
6th July 2013 – 30 September
10am – 4pm daily, Holy Cross Chapel, Durham Cathedral
Throughout human history artists have been influenced by their surroundings and the sounds of the landscape they inhabit.
When Eadfrith, the Bishop of Lindisfarne, was writing and illustrating the Lindisfarne Gospels on that island during the late 7th Century and early 8th Century he would have been immersed in the seasonal sounds around the island.
For ‘In St Cuthbert’s Time’, a collaboration with Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study, and other Durham-based researchers, artist Chris Watson has created a sound installation that reflects the acoustic landscape of that island during the time that the Lindisfarne Gospels were being considered, written and illustrated.
Durham Cathedral’s Holy Cross Chapel provides an inspiring location for quiet reflection and meditation on the sounds St Cuthbert and the other monks would have experienced for themselves.
The installation will run continuously on a loop lasting around forty to fifty minutes and reflect the seasonal changes of a year out on the island. It will be played at a very discrete level as the intention is to create an atmosphere within the Chapel as if the Chapel was on the island and the natural sounds of that place were percolating inside through the two large unglazed windows. The replay level and spatial representation of the work is key to its success.
Visitors will be able to engage in conversation without having to raise their voices, as the sounds will be audible simply at the level they would be experienced in reality. Those who choose to listen will be able to engage with the work in a way which encourages a creative thought process regarding the spirit and sense of place.
The Installation will run from 06 July 2013 – to 30 September 2013, daily between 10am and 4pm.
[Photo by Maggie Watson]
Chris retraces the steps of Benjamin Britten and tunes into the Suffolk countryside which inspired the composer.
Chris Watson talks to Pascal Wyse, The Guardian 31st January 2013: The echoes of Benjamin Britten’s ‘composing walks’
In Port Magazine, the wildlife specialist shares anecdotes from his career, and his latest commission in Suffolk (see above).
In The Financial Times: A walk with the FT: In Britten’s footsteps
The Liminal write about “Chris Watson – In Britten’s Footsteps” installation
The Guardian reviewed the piece on 5th February:
Gamophone Magazine review can be read here
PLACE WEEKEND: Roots – Journeying Home
The third edition of our annual winter weekend exploration into the culture and meanings of place looks at the nature and resonance of home. It draws its inspiration from the life and travels of Benjamin Britten, and its title from an astute observation he made in 1951 about the importance of Suffolk to his life and creativity.
Over the weekend (see below), in the company of award-winning writers, thinkers, artists, musicians and film-makers, Roots will explore what home means in an age of globalization, from considerations of domestic architecture to the psychology of unsettlement, and from the lure of the local to our place in the cosmos.
As always, the approaches will be various – readings, screenings, music, performance, discussion, walks and installation – and we’re especially pleased to announce a new commission by internationally acclaimed sound artist Chris Watson, In Britten’s Footsteps, responding directly to the Aldeburgh landscape, and a presentation by conductor and writer Paul Kildea, the author of an important new Britten biography.
PLACE is curated by Gareth Evans in association with Aldeburgh Music.
Join us next week at Aldeburgh Music’s cross-arts PLACE weekend. More info and tickets here, hope to see you there http://www.brittenaldeburgh.co.uk/whats-on/event/place-weekend-roots-journeying-home
Join us at @aldeburghmusic next week for the cross-arts PLACE weekend. http://www.brittenaldeburgh.co.uk/whats-on/event/place-weekend-roots-journeying-home #BrittenLivesHere
and you can read a feature in The Quietus here
Il présentera à Genève en première mondiale Blue Notes, une création unique inspirée de l’océan, qui en traduira le rythme et la musique avec des sons enregistrés pour la plupart en milieu subaquatique. Tout un art !
He will present in Geneva the world premiere of Blue Notes, a unique design inspired by the ocean, which results in the rhythm and music with sounds recorded mostly in an underwater environment.