Installations & Performances

Sound Exhibition at The Hole Gallery | Prague, May 2013

May 6-20, 2013

More info can be found here

Chris Watson: Monte Bondone, Settembre
2013, 2 min 28 sec
Opening: May 6, 6pm

Galerie Díra / The Hole Gallery, Školská 28, Prague 1

Galerie Díra is sound art and site specific gallery in the backyard of no. 28 of Školská street, Prague.

The Echoes of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Composing Walks’

Aldeburgh Music’s PLACE weekend

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

BBC news

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

Chris Watson in Aldeburgh | 1st February 2013

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

Join us at @aldeburghmusic next week for the cross-arts PLACE weekend. #BrittenLivesHere

and you can read a feature in The Quietus here

Live in Geneva | 11th January 2013

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.

Robert Macfarlane & Chris Watson – The Sea Road


Robert Macfarlane & Chris Watson: The Sea Road (17.32) Recorded live at Port Eliot festival, July 2012

b/w Granite (7.05) (Watson) /Stormbeach (7.25)(Watson)
Rivertones 2. A 12” single, released 19th November 2012

Sold Out

Undoubtedly the highlight’s of Caught by the River’s summer was an utterly unique collaboration between two of Britain’s most forward-thinking adventurers, author Robert Macfarlane and sound recordist Chris Watson. They had been plotting something special for a few months, a performance piece based on Robert’s book The Old Ways that would blend archive audio, field recordings and spoken word. We put it on stage at our fifth birthday party at the QEH in May and then again at Port Eliot Festival. Robert read while Chris created a bespoke soundbed for the words. The result was eerie, trippy, uplifting, effortless and fantastic. Cut to a couple of months after Port Eliot. Chris Watson sends a jaw-dropping recording of the Port Eliot performance at the exact point we’re scratching our heads about what to put on the next Rivertones release…

Atmospheres 4 | Touch.30 Live at Beaconsfield


A two-day festival celebrating 30 years of Touch, with performances, installations and displays, and a full programme of workshops and masterclasses in design and music, recording, mastering and the digital realm. The full programme is now available to read below or to download.

The Festival Pass entitles you to access all events at this festival and is now onsale here:

Atmospheres 4 – Touch.30 at Beaconsfield is the main UK event in a year-round programme of activities celebrating 30 years of existence.

Atmospheres 4 – Touch.30 at Beaconsfield is a two-day festival with performances, installations and displays, and a full programme of workshops and masterclasses. The Festival will explore all aspects of Touch: the music; the distinctive and influential design and photography; the process of recording and mastering; and the opportunities of the digital realm.

Participation in the event will extend well beyond Touch artists and creative team into the hinterland around the label: academics, industry professionals, other ground breaking music organisations etc.

Atmospheres will be curated by two of Touch’s founders and the current creative team, Mike Harding and Jon Wozencroft, and produced by them with along with Touch’s experienced digital and live production team already responsible this year for events in the UK, Germany, Belgium, USA and elsewhere detailed here

Venue: Beaconsfield, 22 Newport St, Vauxhall, London, SE11 6AY
Dates: 5-6 December 2012

Day One – Wednesday 5th December 2012
Afternoon events, 2pm-6pm:
• 2pm: Jon Wozencroft talks about the history of Touch, “Through the Digital Glass”
• 2:30pm: Denis Blackham (Skye Mastering) and Christian Fennesz on mastering for digital manufacture and the demands of the “Venice” project
• 3pm: Chaired by John Kieffer: Denis Blackham, Jason (Transition Mastering Studios) and Jon Wozencroft on digital and analogue sound, and how this determines listening outcomes
• 4:15pm: Chaired by Tony Myatt (University of Surrey): Mike Harding, Seb Jouan (Aecom Acoustic Design & Arts & Culture) on multi-channel with Hildur Gudnadottir. This session reflects upon hi-audio formats, a specific example, and their future
• Sonic interventions from ELEH/Ryoji Ikeda/Mika Vainio & Panasonic. “When did sound become music?” (Followed by questions)

Screening Situations (upstairs), 6pm-7pm
• Coda-plus 47 (audio by Fennesz & Ryoji Ikeda)
• Liquid Music (audio by Fennesz)

Evening Performances, 8pm-11pm
• Hildur Gudnadottir – Leyfɗu Ljósinu (Beaconsfield version)
• audio intervention by David Toop, a presentation of “Yanomamo Shamanism”, released on ‘Touch Travel’ [T4] in 1984.
• Philip Jeck
• audio intervention by BJNilsen, who plays a new piece recorded outside the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, “The cackle of dogs and laughter of death”.
• Playback of a surround-sound rendition of his Touch.30 piece “Brussels Nord” by Chris Watson (in absentia)
• Fennesz

Day Two – Thursday 6th December 2012
Afternoon events, 2pm-6pm:
• 2pm: Mike Harding introduces Touch’s digital presence on the web with Philip Marshall (websites) & Tim Medcalf (iOS devices) followed by at
• 2:45pm: Paul Wilson & Cheryl Tipp from The British Library on the TouchRadio archive
• 3pm: Jon Wozencroft & Garry Mouat – “Bromides and Spray Mount” – Touch design in the early years
• 3:45pm: Design Seminar by Jon Wozencroft – How Touch has responded to changing formats and download culture
•: 4:30pm Jon Wozencroft & Peter Saville discuss their parallel experience of visual culture, and the movement of graphic design to the art world (Followed by questions)

Screening Situations (upstairs), 6pm-7:15pm
• The Whitstable Symphony (audio by BJNilsen)
• The Suffolk Symphony (audio by Philip Jeck & BJNilsen)

Evening Performances, 8pm-11pm
• Thomas Köner
• followed by an audio intervention by Bruce Gilbert – “Sliding off the World”
• CM von Hausswolff
• Jon Wozencroft introduces Jon Savage’s and his pirate broadcast for Network 21 in 1987
• Biosphere – transfiguring Arnold Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht”

To be allocated: audio interventions by People Like Us | Edwin Pouncey | Heitor Alvelos | Simon Fisher Turner…

In the Bar: Photography by Jon Wozencroft: The Listening Eye

send + receive | Canada 14-17th October 2012

The 14th edition of send + receive will feature performances and works that explore distinct interpretations of natural sound by artists from across Canada and around the globe.

Featuring performances by:

Akio Suzuki (JP)
Tomoko Sauvage (JP/FR)
Nmperign (US)
the Rita (BC)
Angela Forget (MB)
Jeffrey Allport (SK)
Featuring works by:
Chris Watson (UK)
Douglas Quin (US)
Jana Winderen (NO)
Hope Peterson (MB)
Jane Tingley (QC)
Garth Hardy (MB)
Jamie Woollard (MB/QC)
George Brecht (US)
Christian Wolff (US) ‘stones’ performed by the send + receive Temporary Ensemble (MB)

Complete details are available now on our website:
For press enquiries please contact our Director crys cole

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

Salon North | Harrogate, 11th July 2012

Chris is taking part at the Harrogate International festival

You can find out more here

Nature Disco: Dawn Safari :

For our final session we are so privileged to have coming to Salon North the magic that is super sound recordist Chris Watson. If you have ever heard the sound of an animal putting tooth to flesh in any of the David Attenborough’s series it is our Chris who was there, literally placing his boom deep inside the leopard’s mouth. David Attenborough will work with no-one else, and Chris has built up, over many decades travelling a world class sound archive. If it’s sounds of ice fields groaning as they split apart deep under the ice caps or electrical storm in the Serengeti desert you want, Chris is your go to sound guy. For Salon North Chris will be taking us on select sound safari, playing the sounds of the dawn during our British summertime. From the tip of the Orkneys to the far west of the British Isles, Chris will be playing the sounds of our nation’s dawn in Salon’s very own nature disco.

Touch.30 | Two Installations for Sounding City: Public Sound

Sounding City: Public Sound, Kortrijk, Belgium, 28.04.12 – 13.05.12

Opening on the 28th with a presentation of the work of Chris Watson by Mike Harding and a live performance by Jana Winderen.


Chris Watson – installation inspired by “After the Deluge (Na de Zondvloed)” by Roelant Savery @ Broel Museum

Jana Winderen – installation – “The Moat” & live performance

Unfortunately Chris Watson cannot be present for family reasons, so his work will be presented by Mike Harding from Touch.

Touch.30 Live at Kingston University | May 3rd 2012

May 3rd Touch.30 live at Kingston University
Improvisation and Digital Arts Festival

Market House, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey UK


Philip Jeck –
BJNilsen –
Chris Watson –

1500-1700 Touch Seminar: Mike Harding chairs a panel with the artists
2000-2200 Touch.30 Live


A Journey South | Leeds 7th March 2012

Old Broadcasting House, Leeds, England 7th March

6:00pm : Drinks, snacks & chats
7:00pm : An Introduction by Mike Harding of Touch
7:10pm : A Journey South, with Chris Watson
8:30pm : Q&A
9:00pm : Close

***This event is now sold out***

Touch.30, in conjunction with the Oates100 Campaign and nti Leeds present an audio-visual journey to the South Pole with Chris Watson.

As part of the team for the David Attenborough BBC series “Frozen Planet”, Chris travelled to Antarctica to record the ambient sounds, the wildlife, the water – even the groaning of a glacier as it moves. Chris talks about his experiences there and brings the remotest continent to life with his stunning recordings.

Chris is is one of the world’s leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena. His recordings are used in TV, Radio and Film including contributions to the award-winning re-release of “A Great White Silence”, originally filmed during Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.

For Touch he edits his field recordings into a filmic narrative released on CD & Vinyl, such as his latest release “El Tren Fantasma”; viewed by one reviewer as “a benchmark in field recording not to mention a map of the soul, an insight into the human condition and a key to dreams”.

Chris has characterised his work as “putting microphones where you can’t put your ears” – come along to experience the incredible surround-sound results for yourself. This is part of a series of events intended to commemorate Captain Lawrence “Titus” Oates, who sacrificed himself 100 years ago in an effort to save the lives of his fellow explorers during Captain Scott’s attempt to be the first to the South Pole.

Generously hosted by nti Leeds at Old Broadcasting House with equipment loaned from Leeds Metropolitan University, this is a unique event to commemorate a true Leeds hero.

This is now sold out
Directions and parking:
All profits go to: Help For Heroes

Chris Watson at Bluecoats | Liverpool 27th January 2012

Gina Czarnecki exhibition until 19 Feb ’12

A retrospective exhibition by this award-winning artist, featuring new commissions and other works being shown in the UK for the first time. Daily 10am – 6pm.

Related events

Fri 27 January 7.30 – 9.30pm

Chris Watson – Quarantine:
Founder member of influential Sheffield based music group Cabaret Voltaire, Chris Watson is one of the world’s leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena. Here Watson presents the UK premiere of new album El Tren Fantasma and a live performance of his sound score for Quarantine, a video work by Gina Czarnecki.

Chris Watson at The Louvre, Paris | 3rd November 2011

To mark the start of the month of events curated by Nobel Prize winning author JMG Le Clezio in Le Louvre the author will deliver a presentation about his work in the auditorium this evening followed by a soundscape response to the writer’s work by Chris Watson.
This will be an Acousmatique diffusion of ‘Oceanus pacificus’ through a 24 channel system specially installed by GRM.
You can read The Louvre’s blog on soundlandscapes here

Skelligs Calling


(Photo: Seán Mac an tSíthigh)

RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland
18h00 Monday 31st October 2011

Presented by Luke Clancy, Skelligs Calling offers a sonic portrait of Skellig Michael in the company of world-renowned recordist, Chris Watson. Surveying the sounds of this UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, Chris captures the gurgling of Storm Petrels – who nest at the island’s monastic summit – and the raucous music of Manx Shearwaters as they swarm around Christ’s Saddle in the dark. Producer: Kevin Brew.

Made by kind permission of the Commissioners of Irish Lights and The Office of Public Works.

This programme was made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Chris Watson will be Keynote Speaker at the 6th Audio Mostly

Chris Watson will be keynote speaker at the 6th Audio Mostly, a conference on interaction with sound, in 7-9 September 2011. The conference, steered by the Interactive Institute, Sonic Studio in Piteå, Sweden, will be hosted by the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and held in co-operation with SIGCHI and the Association for Computing Machinery, ACM, New York, USA.

The Audio Mostly Conference series fosters the thoughtfulness for the unexploited potential of audio in computer-based environments and across many contexts. It aims to help open up this area of thinking by bringing together audio experts, game designers, content creators, and technology and behavioral researchers. The conference theme, this year, is “Sound and Context”. Chris’ background and the great appreciation his work enjoys among practitioners and researchers make him a natural fit in as a keynote speaker in this event.

Salon X | London 14th September 2011

White Noise

Hello. We might have only just met, but by the time we’ve spent 30 minutes together we will have lied to each other 3 times. So says Ian Leslie who will explain why we are all Born Liars. We also have Mary McCaughey, on the subject of the influence of art on architecture, her work, her love and her passion. And we have Chris Watson, the world’s premier nature-o-grapher, Chris travels the world putting his microphone where Attenborough fears to put his ears and will take us on his ‘Journey South’, an aural soundscape of the remotest continent.

Doors open at 7pm, prick up your ears for 8.

Chris Watson
Nature Disco

Watson is one of the world’s leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena, and for Touch he edits his field recordings into a filmic narrative. For example. the unearthly groaning of ice in an Icelandic glacier is a classic . . .

Mary McCaughey
The Influence of Art on Architecture

Mary McCaughey developed the famed concept of English Garden Lounging. Her company is responsible for curating of art exhibitions in the most magical of settings. She’s curated-created for the The Tate the Turner Prize and for the . . .

Ian Leslie
Born Liars

Ian Leslie is a writer who lives in London. BORN LIARS, his book about the role of lying in our lives, will be published in Spring 2011. Ian’s first book, TO BE PRESIDENT, was described by Sky’s Adam Boulton as “the most comprehensive account yet of the historic 2008 presidential election”. He has contributed pieces to The Guardian, The Times and Prospect. He’s appeared as a talking head on BBC News, Sky News, Radio 4 and Five Live. He is somewhat uncomfortable about referring to himself in the third person.

Down There Among The Roots | Newlyn May – July 2011

13th May – 9th July 2011 at Newlyn Art Gallery

Down There Among The Roots features the sound recordings of BAFTA award-winning Chris Watson, and the site-specific clay installations of recent V & A artist-in-residence Phoebe Cummings.

Through the exhibition both artists investigate the passage of time in relation to specific geographical locations; revealing aural and visual elements that are often overlooked. The lower gallery space will be filled with the haunting sounds of Chris Watson’s recordings of wires and water, sounds which were captured by burying equipment below the ground and submerging hydrophones within the ocean. The room will be dark except for a spotlight illuminating Phoebe Cummings’ miniature landscape, intricately crafted by the artist from un-fired clay.

The upper gallery’s light, airy space has influenced the second of Phoebe’s specially commissioned pieces. This will be a large, clay installation comprised of exquisite small scenes and life-size fragments informed by details from the Cornish landscape, such as satellite dishes and palms. Alongside this will be Chris’ second piece, recorded in the air, which will create an immersive acoustic environment. The exhibition culminates in The Studio cafe which will be filled with telecommunication artefacts and books that shed light on some of the inspirations behind the work.

Co-curated by students from MA Curatorial Practice at University College Falmouth (UCF), this is the third year of a successful collaboration with Newlyn Art Gallery. As Blair Todd, Exhibitions Curator/Deputy Director at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange says: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the MA Curatorial Practice course at UCF. This is the third year of tutoring, mentoring and assisting the students to realise a public exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery. Down There Among The Roots proves again the commitment and ambition of both the course and the gallery to bring the best of national contemporary art to the region.”

Down There Among The Roots 13th May – 9th July 2011 Preview 12th May 7 – 9pm
Newlyn Art Gallery, New Road, Newlyn, Penzance TR18 5PZ
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm, Sunday: Closed Free Admission


Dialogues Festival | 22nd April 2011


Dialogues proudly acknowledges the support of the Sound Design and Digital Composition and Performance MScs, the Informatics Forum, and the HSS Knowledge Transfer Office at the University of Edinburgh.

The University of Edinburgh’s Inspace is a public engagement facility that explores the cultural significance of informatics and new media practice. Inspace is home to a joint research partnership between the School of Informatics and New Media Scotland.
You can read more about Chris’s trip to Edinburgh here, and you can read an extended version by Neil Cooper on his blog.

ORF have made an announcement of his performance in Krems and a short portrait of Chris Watson.

Donau Festival | May 2011

A Journey South

Chris Watson was not only co-founder of legendary Sheffield art-rock band Cabaret Voltaire, he is meanwhile also one of the most renowned collectors of animal and nature field recordings. His album “Weather Report” from 2003 is, according to the Guardian, one of the 1000 albums to hear before you die. For the donaufestival he has prepared an installation and a live-performance. As part of the former, “Sea Ice”, he captured the melting of Antarctic ice in five collaged soundtracks, while the latter, “A Journey South”, sees the familiar sounds of Europe slowly dissolving into dark and beautiful soundscapes at the end of the world.