Installations & Performances
Venture south and explore large-scale public art in Tasmania’s Huon Valley. Project X will present a series of major artworks in the Huon, with the aim of bringing visitors back to the south in the wake of the bushfires that recently ravaged the island.
Project X will open at Dark Mofo 2019 with Hrafn: Conversations with Odinby Chris Watson and The Wired Lab. More info about Project X artworks will be announced soon.
A DarkLab project, supported by the Australian government and the Tasmanian government through Tourism Tasmania, and Mona. DarkLab acknowledges the support of Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, and Events Tasmania.
The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish with Plants: A Festival on Plant Intelligence
11-17 Stoke Newington Road London N16 8BH
Sunday 19th May 1-11pm
Chris Watson, Salmo salar – The Three Realms, on location Croquet Head, commissioned by Serpentine Galleries and L-Acoustics on the occasion of The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish, 2019.
“Most people who bother to think about plants at all tend to regard them as the mute, immobile furniture of our world—useful enough, and generally attractive, but obviously second-class citizens in the republic of life on Earth.” (Stefano Mancuso)
The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish with Plants is a multidisciplinary festival that brings together artists, scientists, writers, anthropologists and musicians for talks, performances, screenings and listening sessions that raise and address some of the most urgent questions facing all of us.
After a devastating earthquake, Nga, an old elephant and probably the last of his kind, and Sanra, his mahout, embark on a journey to find the mythical elephant’s graveyard. A story of discovery and mourning in which the spectator becomes the protagonist, the film follows the duo as they are stalked closely by a group of poachers, who begin to die one after another under mysterious circumstances.
Carlos Casas’s Sanctuary offers a mesmerizing sonic and visual cinematic environment that immerses the audience in the sounds, textures, and hues of the jungle. Projected on the mega-screen in EMPAC’s Concert Hall, and featuring live Ambisonics, Wavefield Synthesis, and infrasound to induce a deep sense of physical closeness with the elephant, Sanctuary presents a unique sensorial experience that collapses the boundaries between art, nature documentary, and adventure film.
Chris Watson collaborated with the bioacoustician and elephant communication expert Joyce Poole to record the acoustic sphere of elephants. Tony Myatt developed the infrasound speaker and implemented the spatial audio. Both will perform live on the speaker systems installed throughout the hall. This is the US premiere of the project, which was previously presented at the Fondation Cartier, Paris; the Tate Modern, London; and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels.
Okeanos takes the audience on an auditory underwater journey around the globe. Years of recordings from pole to pole will be performed with three audio systems in the Concert Hall: a dome of 64 loudspeakers used to project sounds around the audience in an Ambisonic environment, a Wave Field Synthesis array, consisting of hundreds of small speakers placed above the audience, and a custom-built infrasound speaker used to create the lowest frequencies, which can be more felt than heard. The composition will include songs, signals, and vibrations from the smallest crustaceans to the loudest and largest animals ever to have existed.
Chris Watson and Tony Myatt will perform a version of the work specifically developed for EMPAC’s Concert Hall and its audio systems. This new version will also integrate sound materials recorded on the Northeastern coast of the US and humpback whale recordings from the Silver Banks (Dominican Republic).
A Weekend of music and performance to mark the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 Armistice which ended the 1st World War
SATURDAY 10 & SUNDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2018 BOILER SHOP, NEWCASTLE
Sat 10th November – British Sea Power + Bas Jan
AM – Sun 11th November – Chris Watson + breakfast + Luke Turner (The Quietus) in conversation with Chris Watson + Richard Dawson.
PM – Sun 11th November – Shirley Collins
To mark the centenary of Armistice Day, Boiler Shop presents ‘100 Years’, a weekend of unique events curated by the venue’s Richard Clouston andDaveid Phillips with author and editor of The Quietus, Luke Turner.
Much loved UK institution British Sea Power will play on Saturday 10th November with support from London based experimental post punk trio Bas Jan, built around the remarkable and distinctive voice and songs of multi-instrumentalist Serafina Steer.
In the very early hours of Sunday 11th November, world-renowned sound recordist Chris Watson will present ‘A Nightingale on The Western Front’, a multichannel sound composition recorded in the battle sites of Flanders. This event will run from 5:00am to 7:30am on the Mezzanine for a limited audience of 80 people, followed by breakfast and a Q and A session with Chris andLuke Turner. Then a very special live show from Newcastle’s own Richard Dawson.
The weekend will conclude with a live show from the legendary English folk singer
Shirley Collins, who released her first album in 30 years, 2016’s brilliant ‘Lodestar’.
We hope 100 Years will be a poignant reflection on sacrifice and a dignified celebration of peace.
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival presents the premiere of Enceindre, a new commission and first collaboration between artist filmmaker Luke Fowler and acclaimed sound recordist Chris Watson. Enceindre is a study in film and sound of two 16th century fortified cities: Berwick in the North-East of England and Pamplona in the Navarre region of the North of Spain.
If fortifications are considered ‘the body of the place’, what does it means to live in a body that is outside of time and without purpose? Could these fortress towns be considered hetrotopias? Or are they, as the writer WG Sebald vividly describes, alien structures denuded from human history? Enceindre adopts an infra-sensitive approach to place, drawing on unheard acoustic perspectives and lucid camerawork to propose a new framework in which to consider these anachronistic landscapes.
The film’s world premiere at BFMAF 2018 will be immediately followed by a ‘dark cinema’ version of the film with an alternative soundtrack diffused live by Chris Watson.
Commission supported by LUMA Foundation, Outset Scotland and Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council
Ephemera now presents Foris, an immersive installation created by acclaimed field recordist Chris Watson, Schoen and visual artist MFO – also involved in Ephemera from the start. Centered around the idea of preserving endangered ecosystems in the era of the anthropocene, a multichannel installation of field recordings of selected habitats from across the planet interconnects with the olfactory concept of a forest created by Geza Schoen. Like the initial phase of this unique project, Foris will connect to the next series of Ephemera perfume, to be launched in 2019.
17 carefully selected artists have been invited to perform on the new d&b Soundscape stage.
Shirley Collins, Richard Dawson, British Sea Power, Bas Jan and Chris Watson will all be appearing at an event in Newcastle this November to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. 100 Years takes place at the historic Boiler Shop venue on Armistice weekend.The centrepiece of the events will be a special work by Chris Watson called A Nightingale On The Western Front, a sound composition based on recordings made on the the WWI battlefields in Flanders. The piece will be presented from 5am to 7:30am on Armistice Day, and will be followed by a Q&A with Watson by The Quietus’ Luke Turner, co-curator of the event. This will be followed by a special early morning set from Richard Dawson. Shirley Collins will play on the evening of the 11th – her recent memoir All In The Downs deals poignantly with the impact that the war had on her immediate family, and the people of her rural Sussex childhood. The Armistice Day events follow a gig on the Saturday night by Bas Jan and British Sea Power. There are more events to be announced, but for now you can find tickets here. Newcastle’s Boiler Shop is a listed building where the Stephenson family built the first steam locomotives, and during WWI was used in the production of military aircraft.
The Pumphouse, 7pm
In mid June, world-renowned sound recordist Chris Watson will be at work in the reed beds of RSPB North Warren…. the result? A completely new multi-channel sound piece which reflects the songs and rhythms of the wildlife within this landscape over a 24-hour period.
Part of The Pumphouse
No Man’s Land; Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts | Brighton Tuesday 27th March – Friday 13th April
No Man’s Land is an audio installation celebrating the sounds, rhythms and music of the world’s seas and oceans.
Sound Mind: Graham Duff interviews Chris Watson, about his groundbreaking work with the experimental music groups Cabaret Voltaire and The Hafler Trio, his career as one of the world’s most celebrated wildlife recordists, his albums of field recordings released on the Touch label and his new site specific sound installation ‘No Man’s Land’. Contains extensive examples of both Watson’s music and field recordings. Headphone listening recommended throughout.
Sound installation by Ánde Somby. Technical Manager is Christopher Watson and Elin Már Øyen Vister.
The Surrey Moog Symposium 2018 will take place on 3rd Feb 2018 in PATS Studio 1 at the University of Surrey, Guildford. Surrey’s Department of Music and Media, in collaboration with the Moog Soundlab UK and Moog Music Inc. (USA) will present a day of performances and discussions celebrating the life and legacy of Dr Robert ‘Bob’ Moog and the lasting impact of his sound synthesisers.
The Symposium will feature live performances by Chris Watson, using modular sound processing systems and recordings of New York environments, Chris Carter will give his second live performance using his own new modular system, and one of the world’s leading authorities on electronic music, Thom Holmes will present the symposium’s keynote lecture “The Sound of Moog”.
Chris Watson’s performance will be supported by Finlay Shakespeare.
The symposium also marks the launch of the new Moog Recording Library record label, who release a series of new recordings on vinyl of work created with the Moog Soundlab UK over the past three years.
The Symposium will also feature a roundtable discussion Bob Moog and the “living machines”, and live demonstrations of the Moog Soundlab UK and new modular-synthesis developments by Finlay Shakespeare.
Only 200 tickets are available.
Details of all events and online tickets sales:
The world premiere of an original, multi-channel sound installation from internationally acclaimed and BAFTA award-winning sound artist Chris Watson. Chris has deep ties to the North of England and has travelled the world collecting sounds. One of the world’s leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena, Chris’ work puts “a microphone where you can’t put your ears”.
A collaboration between Hull 2017 and the University of Hull, this three dimensional sound sculpture follows the ebbing tide, from the confluence of the rivers Trent and Ouse. An enthralling journey along the Humber estuary and out into rich melodies of the North Sea, experienced at the Gulbenkian Centre using sound, space and light as evocation.
This is a durational installation piece. This installation is approx. 30 mins in length but runs as a continuous loop. Audiences can experience a single cycle or stay longer if they wish.
William Basinski & James Elaine
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Catherine Christer Hennix
Experience immersive live cinema in the Tanks
On the fifth night of the BMW Tate Live Exhibition Carlos Casas presents Sanctuary 2017, a site-specific infrasound environment open to the public during the day which will transition to an immersive live cinema experience. Inspired by the myth of an elephant graveyard in Sri Lanka, Sanctuary grows out of Casas’ wider research for Cemetery, an expansive film project initiated in 2007 which brings together footage he has been shooting in locations across the globe with field recordings by renowned sound artist and musician Chris Watson.
Featuring a film and light design by Carlos Casas, live sound by Chris Watson, and infrasound engineering by Tony Myatt, the live cinema performance Sanctuary segues from a projection to a spatial sound experience. Part nature documentary, part experimental fiction, the narrative follows the journey of an elephant, his mahout, and a group of poachers following their trace into the darkness of the night. By enabling visitors to tune their senses to infrasound communication throughout the day, the live completes a unique sensory testing ground for encounters with other species.
Inspired by our iconic Finback Whale, the Museum of Zoology ran a series of workshops collecting voices from Cambridge and beyond to create a soundtrack for this amazing skeleton in the newly built Whale Hall of the Museum of Zoology. With the help of choir leader Rowena Whitehead and Jo Shaw and Tizzy Faller from the Department of Music, we reached out to over 1000 people in schools, museums and other spaces. Chris Watson, award-winning wildlife sound recorder and sound artist, has combined these with his recordings of the world’s oceans into a magical, atmospheric journey around the world. Here is the finished piece, which you can hear in the Whale Hall from late 2017.