Installations & Performances

Australia | November 2010

The WIRED Lab, in association with The British Council proudly present….

Rolling Stock
20TH NOVEMBER

A series of art happenings on a vintage train moving through the landscapes of Junee (SW NSW)

Featuring Chris Watson (UK), Renny Kodgers, Kate Murphy, Alan Lamb, Dave Noyze, PVI Collective, Public Assembly, Shannon O’Neill and more…

View poster here

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: www.rolling-stock.org

Chris Watson Live Audio performance

Evening also includes performances by the WIRED Lab.
When: Wednesday 24th November 2010, 7pm
Where: Chauvel Cinema, Paddington Town Hall, Corner of Oxford St & Oatley Rd,
Paddington, Sydney.
Cost: Adult $15, Concession $10
TICKETS ON SALE NOW: www.stickytickets.com.au

24TH NOVEMBER
Chris performs “A Journey South”
View poster here
You can read press and radio coverage here

Radio

14.11.10

Interview on ‘Canvas’ arts program on FBI radio, Sydney
24.11.10
ABC 1 hour interview with Margaret Thosby
21.11.10
JJJ Soundlab program with Fenella Kernebone
18.12.10
ABC Radio National ‘New Music Up Late’ special on Rolling Stock, 2 hour program featuring interviews with Chris and participating artists.
TBA
ABC Radio National ‘The Night Air’ prerecorded a special focus program with Watson, but this has not aired yet, will keep you posted on its broadcast date.

Press

23.11.10
Review in The Australian national newspaper

Calls of the Wild: Chris Watson and Sir David Attenborough in Conversation

From 29 May to 5 September 2010, co-producers Sound and Music and Forma presented Chris Watson’s sound installation Whispering in the Leaves in the Palm House at Kew Gardens, part of Kew’s Summer Festival.

Chris Watson is a renowned sound recordist and BAFTA winner for his work on the BBC documentary The Life of Birds. In this video he talks to long-time colleague Sir David Attenborough about their experiences sound recording in the wild. The talk was held on 10 August at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and was kindly chaired by Richard Ranft, Head of the British Sound Archive.

Please note this is an excerpt of a 1.5 hour talk.

www.whisperingintheleaves.com
www.davidattenborough.co.uk

The Bee Symphony | York 17th December 2010

Tickets are now available for this live performance of The Bee Symphony from York Concerts at The Rymer Auditorium

The Bee Symphony

Celebrating the bee in science and art

Friday 17 December 2010 at 7.30pm
Rymer Auditorium

The Bee Symphony, consisting of recordings of bees by Chris Watson (‘The Life of Birds’, ‘The Life of Mammals’, ‘Life in the Undergrowth’ and ‘Life in Cold Blood’), Mike Harding (Touch) and a vocal score by Marcus Davidson (Spire) will be performed live by Chris Watson and five singers from the University of York, conducted by Marcus Davidson. The Symphony was originally commissioned as part of Pestival and performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

“The theme of the evening is really for people to become immersed in the sounds and rhythms of the insects.” Chris Watson

In addition to The Bee Symphony the programme will feature other sound performances and talks by scientists on current research on bees and the current perils that they face.

Updated details of the full programme

Chromatologies Festival | May – June 2010

For the final event of the Chromatologies Festival 2010, renowned wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson has kindly agreed to hold an additional session open to the general public. He will present his sound recordings of wildlife and natural environments entitled ‘The Songs of Summer’:

“Throughout May and June the British Isles resonate to some of the strangest and most beautiful sounds on earth; the voices, rhythms and music of our wildlife. In an acoustic journey from the vast seabird cliffs in the far north via a suburban garden pond to nocturnal soloists hidden in deep cover somewhere within Home Counties woodlands. Chris Watson celebrates the sonic biodiversity found across our unique landscapes.”
The event is very family friendly and we hope all age groups will attend and enjoy Chris’ beautiful work.

The session will take place on Friday 1st October at Rotherham Central Library and Arts Centre, Walker Place, Rotherham S65 1JH.

Doors open at 6:45 and the session will start at 7pm, so arrive promptly.

Entrance is free but please email info@chromatologies.com to let us know if you plan to come so we know roughly how many people to expect.

About Chris Watson:

Chris Watson is a world leading, and BAFTA award winning, sound recordist with a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance recordist for film, television & radio, Chris Watson specialises in natural history and documentary and is well known for his work with Sir David Attenborough. His recorded works, noted for their exceptional detail and beauty, were listed in the Guardians ‘1000 albums to hear before you die’.
“Calling Chris a sound recordist is a bit like saying George Best could kick a ball about, or Michelangelo was handy with a paintbrush.” Daily Telegraph 24th August 2010.

for further information see:
www.chromatologies.com

Chris Watson in Conversation with Sir David Attenborough | 10th August 2010

On the 10th August 2010, as part of Chris Watson’s Whispering in the Leaves project, Watson and Sir David Attenborough will be appearing together, in conversation, at The Royal Institution, London at an event entitled “Calls of the Wild”.

Chris Watson’s wildlife sound recordings are perhaps best known through his work with Sir David Attenborough on BBC television series including The Life of Birds, The Life of Mammals, Life in the Undergrowth and Life in Cold Blood.

In this discussion, illustrated with tropical rainforest recordings used in Watson’s Whispering in the Leaves installation at Kew Gardens, Chris Watson and Sir David Attenborough talk about the animals heard in the piece, their experiences of filming and recording them, and the changing environment of the rainforest through the day.

For further information and ticket sales click here
www.davidattenborough.co.uk

Chris Watson also held a two-day workshop at Kew Gardens, which you can read about here.

You can read more about this here

Skibbereen Arts Festival At The Ends of The Earth – in Conversation

Wednesday 28th July 2010 – 8:30pm – 10€ – Abbeystrewry Church

Skibbereen Arts Festival is delighted to see the return of sound recordist and artist Chris Watson to present a selection of audio recordings in the atmospheric Abbeystrewry Church.

As David Attenborough’s sound man, Chris Watson is frequently to be found in inhospitable parts of the globe, capturing the sound of monsoon downpours in tropical rainforests, or recording the sounds of activity inside termite mounds in the stifl ing deserts of Namibia. This year Watson has been in the North Pole and the Antarctic to record sounds for the television series ‘The Frozen Planet’.

For this special live event Chris will be in conversation with Presenter Luke Clancy and Producer Kevin Brew from RTÉ Radio 1’s Sound Stories programme, to discuss the sounds, silences and unique atmosphere that is to be found at both ends of the world.
“I was out in the midnight sun, standing on just two metres of frozen sea ice, 12 kilometres from land, with 750m of ocean beneath my feet, recording pods of killer whales surfacing to breathe in a narrow crack in the sea ice, just three metres away”. (Chris Watson)

More info can be read here

Whispering in the Leaves | Kew Gardens May to September 2010

Chris Watson’s Whispering in the Leaves is an extraordinary sound installation, using recordings and natural history broadcast to transport us to the far-flung, dense rainforests of South and Central America. Throughout the summer festival, Kew Garden’s Palm House will be diffused with the dawn and dusk choruses of the myriad of creatures native to these lush tropical landscapes. A highly sensory experience, Whispering in the Leaves is a remarkable demonstration of the power of sound to evoke inaccessible and captivating locations.

Whispering in the Leaves is a powerful sound work derived from Watson’s extensive archive of wildlife and on location recordings in Central and South America – habitats that host over half of the planet’s wildlife. Diffused through the tropical foliage of Kew Gardens’ iconic building the Palm House, the surround soundtrack of wildlife dawn and dusk choruses will be transmitted at hourly intervals throughout the day for 15-20 minute durations – the approximate time taken in the rainforest for the transitions from darkness into light, and from daylight to dark. The sound pieces feature the calls and voices of thousands of species, including the howls and shrieks of black howler and spider monkeys, the musicality of diverse birdsong and the shimmering and hissing of tree frogs and cicadas.

A highly sensory and captivating experience, Whispering in the Leaves is a remarkable demonstration of the power of sound recordings and natural history broadcast to transport us to far flung, inaccessible and often extraordinary locations.

Chris Watson will perform a live sound mix in which audio recording of a three or four-hour period across late afternoon, sunset and into the night will be compressed into around twenty minutes. Featuring recordings of a tropical thunderstorm and ending with the deep, lush sounds of the nocturnal insect chorus, the performance will create an intense auditory narrative for the audience.

Whispering in the Leaves is co-produced by Sound and Music & Forma. Originally commissioned by AV Festival 08.

www.whisperingintheleaves.org
www.soundandmusic.org
www.forma.org.uk
www.kew.org

and you can read reviews in

Gramophone
The Daily Telegraph
Culture24

and The Guardian audio piece by Pascal Wyse here
and a review in Frieze by Daniela Cascella here
and in The New Scientist here

Chris Watson, Constable & The National Gallery | 14th May 2010

constable

[pic: Fabio Lugaro]

Friday 14th May 2010 7-7:30pm
Room 34
Admission free

“Musician and leading wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson will discuss the sounds of wildlife and weather in The Cornfield and the changes in sound pollution since Constable’s time. He will end with a performance of the piece he has written in response to this painting for the new Sounds of the Gallery Tour.”

Chris writes: “Gazing through the woodland and out into the cornfield creates for me a wonderful and seductive sense of perspective. The mature trees frame a pastoral scene which is in turn bridged by clouds.

I can hear birdsong billowing from the leaf cover and a great spotted woodpecker drumming on the trunk of a skeletal tree which temporarily distracts the Border collie from it’s herding duties. Unseen and almost unheard a freshwater spring bubbles into the drinking pool, a resource that is shared by animals and people alike on days such as this. From behind, a gushing breeze ripples through the tree canopy and out across open fields where ripe corn heads swish and sigh on dry stems, their slow rhythm accompanying a skylark singing from high above, a pin point of silver sound lost to all sight, in a pewter sky.

In the early 19th Century Constable could not only see into the distance but also hear it. From his memory no doubt the warm song of a yellowhammer and drifting tones and the church clock would carry far in the humid air. Noise pollution was yet to reach rural Suffolk revealing a quality of sound that has, like the landscape, passed into history.”

Caught by the River | Durham 1st November 2009

durham

Chris Watson, Constable & The National Gallery | 30th October 2009

Constable_-_The_Cornfield

Friday 30th October 2009 7-7:30pm
Room 34
Admission free

“Musician and leading wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson will discuss the sounds of wildlife and weather in The Cornfield and the changes in sound pollution since Constable’s time. He will end with a performance of the piece he has written in response to this painting for the new Sounds of the Gallery Tour.”

Chris writes: “Gazing through the woodland and out into the cornfield creates for me a wonderful and seductive sense of perspective. The mature trees frame a pastoral scene which is in turn bridged by clouds.

I can hear birdsong billowing from the leaf cover and a great spotted woodpecker drumming on the trunk of a skeletal tree which temporarily distracts the Border collie from it’s herding duties. Unseen and almost unheard a freshwater spring bubbles into the drinking pool, a resource that is shared by animals and people alike on days such as this. From behind, a gushing breeze ripples through the tree canopy and out across open fields where ripe corn heads swish and sigh on dry stems, their slow rhythm accompanying a skylark singing from high above, a pin point of silver sound lost to all sight, in a pewter sky.

In the early 19th Century Constable could not only see into the distance but also hear it. From his memory no doubt the warm song of a yellowhammer and drifting tones and the church clock would carry far in the humid air. Noise pollution was yet to reach rural Suffolk revealing a quality of sound that has, like the landscape, passed into history.”

Japan & Australia | Autumn 2009

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

Australia:
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.

openframe

Pestival at The Southbank Centre | London 4-6th September 2009

Pestival
7:30 pm 6th September 2009
Chris Watson curates… Cross Pollination – An Evening of Experimental Insect Music

with performances by:

Philip Jeck
Marcus Davidson & The Bee Choir – The Bee Symphony

As part of this piece Chris Watson multi-channel diffusion his own recordings of bees and also those made by Mike Harding in Kent in May 2009. A story of this recording trip can be found on the Touch Radio website

Maria Jardardottir introduced by Atau Tanaka

There is a feature in The Guardian (4th September 2009) which can be read here and you can hear Chris talking on the BBC World Service here and a blog here. You can hear an interview with Chris Watson on The Strand here.

The Skibereen Festival | Ireland 30th July 2009

Thursday 30th July

9pm – Sound Stories with Luke Clancy and Kevin Brew from RTE

Midnight – Midnight at the Oasis

 

Port Eliot Festival | Cornwall 24-26th July 2009

A Nature Disco by Chris Watson at Port Eliot Festival, Saltash, Cornwall

More info can be found here

The Purcell Rooms | London 11th July 2009

Caught by the River

“It’s happening on Saturday July 11 and it’s a cracking line up. Featuring Laura Barton and Gavin Pretor-Pinney reading their pieces from ‘Words On Water’ with live sound accompaniment from the great Chris Watson – a really exciting prospect. We are also showing a short film of the late Roger Deakin in his house and garden. This was made by Mike Dibb as a pitch for a BBC documentary slot. With real short sightedness that slot was never commissioned and this wonderful fifteen minutes of history has sat on Mike’s shelf until its existence came to our attention and we tracked Mike down. We are also honoured to be joined by the authors of two of our current favourite books: Michael McCarthy reads from ‘Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo’ and Andrew Brown reads from ‘Fishing in Utopia’ which has just come out in paperback. We’ve also got Will Hodgkinson reading from his forthcoming book ‘The Ballad of Britain’ and live music, in the foyer of the QEH, from The Memory Band and friends, who will be performing the soundtrack to The Wicker Man.”

Caught by the River – see entry below for further details

The Roundhouse | London 14-17th May 2009

As part of the Short Circuit festival, there will be an installation by Chris in the Mezzanine Bar area on all 4 days of the festival.

The track listing, compiled by Chris with Touch, is as follows:

Embleton Rookery
Lioness Threatens Male
Mozambique Nightjar
Unidentified Pair of Birds
River Mara at Night
Tarbet Gulley
Sunsets
Gahlitzerstrom

The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London

Whispering in the Leaves | Perth February – March 2009

18 February – 7 March 2009
Art:City
Perth International Arts Festival, AU
Planetarium Pyramid, The Esplanade
Perth, AU

FREE

Tropical rainforests hold a special place in our hearts and imaginations. They are also home to more than half the wildlife on earth. Twice each day, hundreds of primates, thousands of birds and millions of insects broadcast their presence in dawn and dusk choruses of myriad voices – mostly unseen, but heard far and wide through the dense dark greens of the tree canopy and rolling out across the dank leaves of the forest floor.
One of the world’s leading wildlife and location sound recordists, Chris Watson presents his extraordinary sound installation, Whispering in the Leaves, at the Perth International Arts Festival, inviting visitors to experience the extraordinary soundtrack of the South American rainforest diffused through the tropical foliage of this botanical environment of the Planetarium Pyramid.

Shifting between the musicality of primate calls and birdsong and backed with the shimmering wall of insect sounds, Watson’s sound mixes are derived from an extensive archive of wildlife and field recordings made on location in the tropical rainforests of South and Central America. An unseen soundscape of thousands of species including black howler and spider monkeys, tree frogs, cicadas, and diverse birdlife, communicates a myriad of information; as these calls, voices and other sounds are transmitted back and forth, as each creature broadcasts its presence to others.

These evocative soundscapes allow us to appreciate the beauty of our fragile world in a powerful way.

Chris Watson was a founding member of UK experimental music band Cabaret Voltaire; his more recent solo albums include Outside the Circle of Fire, Stepping into the Dark (which won an Award of Distinction at the 2000 Prix Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria) and the iconic Weather Report. He has won awards for his exceptional recording work for BBC natural history programmes by David Attenborough and others, and has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of West England for his outstanding contribution to sound recording.

For more information visit: www.perthfestival.com.au

Produced by Forma, commissioned by AV Festival 06
and supported by Arts Council England

Exhibition times:

Wed 18, Wed 25 Feb & Wed 4 March 7–9.30am
Thur 19, Thur 26 Feb & Thur 5 March 5.30–7.30pm
Fri 20, Fri 27 Feb & Fri 6 March 5.30–7.30pm
Sat 21, Sat 28 Feb & Sat 7 March 5.30–7.30pm
Sun 22 Feb 5.30–7.30pm

Cobra Mist – A New Film by Emily Richardson | London 9th December 2007

Tuesday 9th December 2008 7pm

Cobra Mist – Emily Richardson, Chris Watson, Benedict Drew

Café Oto, 18 – 22 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL. Tickets £5 from Café Oto

A special screening of Richardson’s new film Cobra Mist and expanded cinema event with live sound performances by Cobra Mist sound recordist and composer Chris Watson and Benedict Drew to launch the DVD release of Emily Richardson, 6 Films published by LUX. The DVD contains six recent film works by Emily Richardson with a new essay by William Fowler, Curator of Artists Moving Image at the BFI National Archive (and will be available at a special price of £15 at the event, usual price £20)

A LUX event supported by Animate Projects.
Cobra Mist is an Animate Projects commission.
6 Films DVD production funded by Arts Council East.

www.lux.org.uk
www.animateprojects.org

The Spectacular Suburb: A Concert from Another Place | Liverpool 13th September 2008

Matthew Herbert and Chris Watson

Saturday September 13th 2008 8pm

The Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BX

Tickets priced £7/£5 available now from the Bluecoat

The Hive Collective has commissioned two of the world’s most accomplished sonic pioneers, Matthew Herbert and Chris Watson, to collaborate on a unique composition constructed entirely out of recordings from Crosby Beach – the site of Antony Gormley’s Another Place installation.

A one-off event at a specially prepared performance space within the Bluecoat will see Watson explore Another Place through a series of source recordings, followed by Herbert’s presentation of a brand new musical composition based on those recordings.
By considering what these impassive iron men ‘hear’ as they gaze on the changing seascape and a changing Liverpool, the audience will, in turn, be encouraged to reimagine both the installation and the surrounding area, as well as reflect on how definitions of place vary, yet hold a truth, as they pass from person to person.
Challenging yet accessible, the event aims both to introduce new audiences to music composed from field recordings, as well as explore questions relating to what can constitute ‘music’ in a city dominated by more traditional definitions of authenticity

Plus Hive resident djs and visual artists.

Further information: www.thehivecollective.co.uk

Chris Watson at The Cabaret Voltaire | Zurich 9th April 2008

cabvol

Date: Wednesday 09.04.2008 19:00
Location: Cabaret Voltaire, Spiegelgasse 1, 8001 Zurich.

contact email fo reservations etc: info@cabaretvoltaire.ch / +41 43 268 57 20
website: www.cabaretvoltaire.ch (you can find an announcement in German here)

Programme

1900 Chris Watson presents…
1945 Mike Harding Presents Touch
2030 Chris Watson Live