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.
8 January 2018 | 9am – 8pm
CRiSAP – Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, Elephant & Castle, London, SE1 6SB
BOOK TICKETS: £10 standard ticket, £5 unwaged / Low waged / Students, Free for TECHNE members.
Keynotes & Performances
J.R. Carpenter – Artist, writer and researcher
Laura Cannell – Musician, Specially Commissioned Bass Recorder Performance for LOMA
Chris Watson – BAFTA award winning sound recordist
James Dooley – Digital artist, awarded the LOMA 18 Artist Commission for Have you talked about the weather today?
Have you talked about the weather today? is a video and sound installation that uses live feeds from the International Space Station to ask questions about the way we engage with the weather.
The work invites the audience to take a virtual trip on the ISS —the ultimate indoors experience—and experience a sonic Baudrillardian simulacrum of ground level weather and atmospheric conditions relative to the ISS’s position above the Earth. By tracking the ISS and using the Dark Sky weather API service, data detailing current weather and atmospheric conditions at the ground point perpendicular to the position of ISS are collected via ‘The Cloud’. Temperature, humidity, cloud cover and precipitation are sonified using noise-based synthesis techniques, with sound spatialisation controlled by wind speed and direction. Weather statistics and a live video stream looking out of the ISS are projected onto the wall of the installation space to further emphasise the removal of the audience from the direct experience of outdoors.
Have you talked about the weather today? questions our perception and experience of the weather in relation to our ‘indoor’ lives, the structures and systems we create to sustain our existence and protect us from the elements, the resources they consume and the reciprocal feedback this has on global weather patterns. Through technological mediation we can localise our global experience, but it comes at a global cost.
Speaker: Chris Watson
Faculty of Arts, University of Wolverhampton and Institute of Acoustics (IOA), Midlands Branch
Date: Thursday 25 January 2018, 6pm for a 6.30pm start
Venue: The Black Box Theatre, The Performance Hub, Walsall
Chris Watson will describe and illustrate with sounds and images the journey he made to Antarctica and the South Pole as sound recordist for the BBC television series ‘Frozen Planet’ several years ago. This is a place described a century earlier by the film maker Herbert Ponting as the ‘Great White Silence’ when he filmed the ill fated journey of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s polar expedition. Watson will describe his experiences in discovering a sound rich environment under the surface of the ‘silence’.
Background: Watson was a founding member of the influential Sheffield based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance composer and sound recordist Watson specialises in creating spatial sound installations which feature a strong sense and spirit of place. His television work includes many programmes in the David Attenborough ‘Life’ series including ‘The Life of Birds’ which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ in 1996, and as the location sound recordist on the BBC’s series ‘Frozen Planet’ which also won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ (2012). Watson has recorded and featured in many BBC Radio 4 productions including ‘The Wire’ which won him the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Broadcaster of The Year Award (2012). His music is regularly featured on the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘Late Junction’. In 2013 Watson received a Paul Hamlyn Composers Award. His installations have been commissioned by international galleries and festivals such as; Sheffield Millennium Gallery, Opera North in Leeds, The National Gallery, London, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Louvre, Paris and the Aichi Triennial in Japan. His albums are released by Touch.
Attendance is free and everyone is welcome, but booking is required. If you have any queries please contact A.Foteinou@wlv.ac.uk.
The event is supported by PMC-The Professional Monitor Company
RECORDINGS BY CHRIS WATSON VECTOR SYNTHESIS
8GB Library | Kontakt Player compatible
The idea that certain places take on the weight of past events is familiar to all of us. Renowned field recordist Chris Watson has spent years collecting audio recordings from such places in one of his most personal projects.
Ancient Temples, Ice Lagoons, Cold War Bases, Abandoned Silver Mines, Power Stations, Cathedrals, Canyons, Underwater Tunnels, Deserted Art Galleries and Maori Burial Caves all feature in this unique instrument.
Until 12th January 2018 you can get 30% off Haunted Spaces
ENTER CODE: OISSYBUDE
INTRO OFFER Until 12th January 2018 you can get 30% off Haunted Spaces ENTER CODE: OISSYBUDE
76pp full colour book + CD
33 tracks – 78:59
Limited edition of 1000
Release date: 11th December 2017
Into the Open
Mika Vainio – Behind the Radiators
AER – Just Before Dawn
Bethan Kellough – Twelve
Wire – A Year A Second [For BCG]
London in a Week
Carl Michael Von Hausswolff – Sine Missing One
Chris Watson – Deepcar
Jana Winderen – Bronx Tunnel
The Magical Land of the North
Claire M Singer – Storr
Hildur Gudnadottir – Death 200AD
Three 20 – Four Twelve
Philip Jeck – Deed of Gift
Walking on Water
Simon Scott – Storm of the Fens
Eleh – Overt One
The Love Train
Russell Haswell – Demons
Heitor Alvelos – Expectant
I’m a Schoolteacher on Holiday
Johann Johannsson – Mingyun
Mark Van Hoen – Prescient
Fennesz – Paint It Black (remastered)
Sohrab – JV Dream
It’s Enough to Make You Weep
Strafe FR – Virgin
Before The Sea @ Falasarna
Jim O’Rourke – Despite The Water Supply
Situation Stabilised / BJ Nilsen – Atom Mother
Peter Rehberg – Cinecom
Gateway to the Garden
Oren Ambarchi – Testify
The Sound of Eleven
In a 24/7 world there is no greater challenge than “to be in command of one’s own time”. Is it true that the ability to download anything, at any moment, constitutes freedom? Has the ‘value’ of music, art and design been stripped bare? “I Google, therefore I am”…
Touch MOVEMENTS has been compiled over the course of 3 years. It is a response to many requests for Touch to publish a fuller account of Jon Wozencroft’s photography for the cover art of the project. The book follows the music, which was compiled step-by-step, like a jigsaw – there was not an “open call” to the artists, rather a sequential development which gives the CD a special narrative quality. And since our last Touch 30 compilation in 2012, the accuracy of the music has grown and rises to the challenge of what sound can do to transform perceptions about the immediate emotion of musical work and its more difficult, longer term evolution.
Following Touch Folio 001 in 2015, this series is a dedication to finding new ways of audiovisual publishing, somewhere between the twin peaks of a jewel-cased CD and a lavish box-set. The two elements of sound and the visual work in parallel to create the idea of an “Ear-book”, whose interdependency reveals itself over time, and allows the richest of listening and viewing experiences. The music and the photography is fully annotated, alongside a rarely-seen manifesto by the Surrealist film-maker Jan Švankmajer which celebrates the spirit of the creative act.
9th September 2017 – 28th January 2018
Twilight was filmed by Collins over 2 years close to Baltimore in West Cork, with field recordings by world renowned sound artist Chris Watson. The film has twilight as its central subject and is an attempt to capture the colour and quality of light that is in flux, the fleeting and transient sensations, the sense of the world turning. At its heart is the notion of a film where the viewer is given time to contemplate the texture of the world and their own place in it.
“The sound near where we filmed has few intrusions from the modern world. We could hear the gulls in the distance – though they seemed too far away to be heard. After the sun goes down, here on the southern edge of Ireland, in mid summer, all sounds still and silent – not so much as if the world is holding its breath but as if it is breathing peacefully”.
SATURDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2017
THE 2017 WIRED OPEN DAY FESTIVAL & The ‘agri(culture)’ Project
WEDNESDAY 25th OCTOBER – SUNDAY 29th OCTOBER, 2017
WILD LAB : KOSCIUSZKO – ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND RECORDING MASTERCLASS WITH CHRIS WATSON (UK)
The Wired Lab is hugely proud to be presenting the first Australian Wilderness based workshop with Chris Watson (UK), a seminal field recordist and sound artist.
This four-day intensive field recording masterclass explores audio documentation in a range of natural habitats via various recording techniques and technologies, through to the application of these sounds in fields spanning the arts, film/screen, environmental sciences, gaming, VR, music and sound design.
Co-facilitating the workshop will be David Burraston. David is a recent Watson collaborator, 2017 Create NSW Fellow and founding member of The Wired Lab.
Joining Watson and Burraston will be zoologist and acoustic monitoring guru Chris Watson (AU) who was part of the team that recently re-discovered the Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis), a bird endemic to Australia that was thought to be extinct.
Sounds of the City – Seminar with Jana Winderen & Chris Watson | The Munch Museum | 22nd September 2017
Oslo has a diverse soundscape – what’s your favourite sound in the city? What can we learn about our cities by listening? Get to know Jana Winderen and Chris Watson’s artistic practices through the seminar Sounds of the City.
Chris Watson will be presenting the sound installation “Inside the Circle of Fire: A Sheffield Sound Map”, and Jana Winderen will be giving an introduction to her work with examples from her recordings of fish, seals, crustaceans and insects under water, and ultrasound recordings of bats and rats. The seminar will culminate in a conversation between Winderen and Watson, opening the discussion up to the audience.
The seminar will be held in English. It is free to attend, and everyone will receive a complimentary copy of the publication “Jana Winderen, Rats – Secret Soundscapes of the City”. Entry to the Munch Museum from kl. 13.30.
“Sounds of the City” is held in connection with Jana Winderen’s most recent project “Rats – Secret Soundscapes of the City”, a sound installation under the bridge in Trelastgata 1 in Bjørvika. Winderen’s project is part of a collaboration between the Munch Museum and nyMusikk.
The 2017 Longplayer Conversation, between Chris Watson and Sir David Attenborough, will take place from 7pm on Monday 27th November at the Knowledge Centre, British Library, London NW1.
AN ADVENTUROUS ARTS EVENT FOR EXPLORERS OF ALL AGES
The Tale unfolds across the stunning landscape of Torbay, South Devon this September.
A unique kind of arts trail, The Tale guides you on a journey of discovery around the coast of Torbay – from the streets of Torquay, through hidden coves & historic harbours of Brixham, to the quarry of Berry Head Nature Reserve.
Along the way you’ll encounter performances & installations from internationally acclaimed artists, created especially for Torbay.
‘Pull back the curtain on an art deco cinema, closed to the public for 25 years (Britt Hatzius). Immerse yourself in a 360-degree sound installation deep in a quarry, inspired by the sounds of the ocean (BBC sound artist Chris Watson). End your Tale at sunset, looking out upon a dance performance where the land meets the sea.’
Families welcome. Under 16s go free!
Recommended reading by Jacob Smith at NorthWestern University (Illinois) –
Jacob Smith also wrote “Eco-Sonic Media” (University of California Press, 2015):
The negative environmental effects of media culture are not often acknowledged: the fuel required to keep huge server farms in operation, landfills full of high tech junk, and the extraction of rare minerals for devices reliant on them are just some of the hidden costs of the contemporary mediascape. Eco-Sonic Media brings an ecological critique to the history of sound media technologies in order to amplify the environmental undertones in sound studies and turn up the audio in discussions of greening the media.
‘El Tren Fantasma’ [Touch # TO:42, 2011]
“Take the ghost train from Los Mochis to Veracruz and travel cross country, coast to coast, Pacific to Atlantic. Ride the rhythm of the rails on board the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (FNM) and the music of a journey that has now passed into history.”
El Tren Fantasma, (The Ghost Train), is Chris Watson’s 4th solo album for Touch, and his first since Weather Report in 2003, which was named as one of the albums you should hear before you die in The Guardian. A Radio programme was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday 30 Oct, 2010, produced by Sarah Blunt, and described as “a thrilling acoustic journey across the heart of Mexico from Pacific to Atlantic coast using archive recordings to recreate a rail passenger service which no longer exists. It’s now more than a decade since FNM operated its last continuous passenger service across country. Chris Watson spent a month on board the train with some of the last passengers to travel this route. As sound recordist he was part of the film crew working on a programme in the BBC TV series Great Railways Journeys. Now, in this album, the journey of the ‘ghost train’ is recreated, evoking memories of a recent past, capturing the atmosphere, rhythms and sounds of human life, wildlife and the journey itself along the tracks of one of Mexico’s greatest engineering projects.
‘Weather Report’ [Touch # TO:47, 2003]
The weather has created and shaped all our habitats. Clearly it also has a profound and dynamic effect upon our lives and that of other animals. The three locations featured here all have moods and characters which are made tangible by the elements, and these periodic events are represented within by a form of time compression.
This was Chris’s first foray into composition using his location recordings of wildlife and habitats – previously he has been concerned with describing and revealing the special atmosphere of a place by site specific, untreated location recordings. For the first time here he constructs collages of sounds, which evolve from a series of recordings made at the specific locations over varying periods of time.
Art | Science | Listening | Collaboration
29 June – 2 July 2017
University of Hull
Sound + Environment 2017 is a four day conference bringing together artists and scientists to explore the ways that sound can deepen our understanding of environments. For example, recent developments in the field of ecoacoustics are proving fruitful in assessing ecosystem change. Sound is also increasingly used to monitor built structures and to inform urban design. We can use sound for scientific and artistic exploration, to inform and expand our knowledge of environments and our relationships to the world around us.
What can we learn from each other? Sound can inform a range of innovative interventions and solutions to problems. Through exploring scientific and artistic approaches together, we hope to engage with sound in order to create complementary ways of investigating, understanding, and taking action.
Sound + Environment 2017 aims to nurture meaningful collaborations which can generate new insights. The programme will feature paper sessions and panels; workshops; public performances; installations, and interventions.
Keynote speakers will include Chris Watson and Leah Barclay
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.
In May 2018, Chris will run two sessions at CAMP, a new residential arts centre in the high Pyrenees. Almost a kilometre above sea level, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, glaciers, forests and waterfalls, CAMP is a new project by Fuse Art Space. The sessions are run from a renovated 19th century hotel in the mountain hamlet of Aulus les Bains, updated to house Pro Tools studios, editing suites, multi-channel listening environments, AV classrooms, cinema, arts library, rehearsal and performance spaces, gallery, dark room, fine art studios and accommodation.
The sessions will blend field work carried out day and night in the rich natural landscape with critical listening and discussion, spatial audio recording techniques such as spaced stereo microphones, surround sound arrays, ambisonic techniques using a Soundfield ST450 microphone, Schoeps double mid side arrays and Sennheiser middle and side systems, experimentation with contact microphones, hydrophones and parabolic reflectors, surround sound playback and multi-channel systems, and decoding techniques. Peak-season trips to spectacular high-altitude locations along the frontier chain between France and Spain will yield diverse opportunities for field recording and sonic exploration.
All sessions at CAMP are all-inclusive, with room and full board included. Places are extremely limited – see https://www.campfr.com/chriswatson for more details.
The Tale: A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY ACROSS TORBAY
A new type of arts event is coming to South Devon this September.
Chris will be presenting a brand new piece of work in Torbay, South Devon as part of The Tale. There will also be an opportunity to attend an artist’s talk and a sound artist masterclass with him.
The Tale will guide you on a journey of discovery around the coastal area of Torbay – from the streets of Torquay, through hidden coves and historic harbours, to the quarry of Berry Head Nature Reserve.
Along the way, you’ll encounter artworks and performances by artists of international acclaim, made especially for Torbay. Inspired by the ideas of writer Philip Hoare, whose boyhood experiences of Torbay shaped his future, The Tale offers the chance to experience the hidden stories, sounds and dreams of the bay like never before.
An adventurous arts event for explorers of all ages.
The Tale will take place over three long weekends in September: 8-10 Sept, 15-17 Sept, 22-24 Sept 2017.
Tickets: £15.00 – £22.50
Under 16s go free!
Booking and info: www.the-tale.co.uk
Image credit: Warren Orchard
The Tale is produced by Situations in association with organisations and groups across Torbay and is funded by Arts Council England through an Ambition for Excellence Award. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of the
Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Unlimited Impact, The Space, Ernest Cook Trust, Australia Council and Norwegian Arts Council.
BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 6 June at 11.02am, repeated Monday 12 June at 9pm
The first of a new series of Natural Histories includes an interview and recordings by Chris Watson. A murmuration of starlings is one of our great British wildlife spectacles and never ceases to inspire and amaze as Brett Westwood and Tony Whitehead discover in a reed bed on the Somerset Levels. The programme also includes sound recordings by Tony Whitehead. Producer Sarah Blunt
Sarah Walker with Chris Watson
Sarah’s guest this week is one of the world’s leading sound-recordists, Chris Watson. Chris started out as a musician, he was a founding member of the influential Sheffield-based experimental music group, Cabaret Voltaire, but he soon put the microphone to other uses enjoying a career recording sound for film, tv and radio. He has specialised in recording wildlife and natural phenomena, striving, in his words, to put the microphone where you can’t put your ears. He has contributed to a number of David Attenborough documentaries in the Life and Frozen Planet series and has released albums of his field recordings. As well as discussing his work and life, Chris will be sharing some of his favourite classical music by composers including Britten, Messiaen and Felix Mendelssohn.
This course will focus on all factors of working with environmental sound – recording, production, decoding and critical analysis. Taking place in the forests, mountains and high-altitude plains of the Haute Couserans, with field trips to some of the regions most spectacular locations, the course will cover:
Fieldcraft and microphone techniques
Spatial audio recording techniques such as spaced stereo microphones, surround sound arrays, Ambisonic techniques using a Soundfield microphone ST450, Schoeps double mid side arrays and Sennheiser middle and side systems
Experimentation with contact microphones, hydrophones and parabolic reflectors
Surround sound playback and multi-channel systems
Listening sessions and discussion of critical analysis
Technical operation and specifics of location recording equipment
The sessions will be accompanied by optional outdoors activities led by CAMP crew, including guided mountaineering, visits to local beauty points, and downtime to hang out, relax, enjoy the local food and wine, and learn informally from Chris, the CAMP crew, and your fellow students. Following the course, we will invite students to submit work for release on Language, our in-house field recording label.