Touch Newsletter #143

Welcome to the Touch Newsletter #143. We have posted recordings on Bandcamp by Simon Scott and The Eternal Chord - Spire Live in Cambridge, 26th February 2016: “Spire Live” – John Beaumont, Marcus Davidson, Philip Jeck, Charles Matthews, Simon Scott, Claire M Singer and The Eternal Chord at The Unitarian Church, Cambridge, UK.

Jez riley French presents the new TouchLine release, “portable music”. Using unprocessed field recordings each of the three pieces on "portable music" represents a different aspect of his work in recent years, exploring focused and micro listening, intuitive composition, durational frames and interaction with environments and situations.

Touch Conference, USA April-May 2016. Involving Philip Jeck, Mark Van Hoen, Simon Scott, Daniel Menche and Bethan Parkes, see below for dates for your diary. Some venues are not offering advanced ticket sales, so check in with each venue for further information.

29.04 - 10.05.16 | Touch Conference, USA (west coast)

May 10th 12-2pmDublab, Los Angeles

Philip Jeck

May 7th 730pm Chapel Space, Seattle

Philip Jeck
Mark Van Hoen
Daniel Menche

May 4th 730pm Holocene, Portland (Supported by Soleilmoon Recordings)

Philip Jeck
Mark Van Hoen
Simon Scott
Daniel Menche

May 3rd 8pm Private location (by invitation only), San Francisco

Philip Jeck
Mark Van Hoen

May 2nd 730pm The Gray Area, San Francisco

Philip Jeck
Mark Van Hoen
Simon Scott

May 1st 5pm Aquarius Records, San Francisco

Philip Jeck
Mark Van Hoen
Simon Scott

April 30th 730pm VOLUME, Los Angeles

Philip Jeck
Mark Van Hoen
Bethan Parkes

April 29thAeterna Gallery,, Los Angeles

Philip Jeck

Presenting and demonstrating their work…

Touch (est. 1982) is one of the last surviving labels from the turbulent new wave period in London, which uniquely fused art, design and music. Hear artists from the label roster present and demonstrate their work to a discerning audience. Audio-visual.

Philip Jeck uses turntables and sampler to create a unique sonic improvisation, both emotionally captivating and technically involving. Audio only.

Mark Van Hoen, with modular synth and software pushed the analogue/digital envelope to create damaged melodies, drones and dense claustrophobia. Audio-visual.

Simon Scott - His work explores the creative process of actively listening, the implications of recording the natural world using technology and the manipulation of natural sounds used for musical composition. Audio-visual.

Daniel Menche - In a genre known for its randomness and chaotic structure, Daniel Menche has established himself as a musician with an uncharacteristic sense of focus and determination. Rather than creating "noise," he strives for order and cohesiveness. Aural intensity is not a representation of confusion or the chaotic, but a concerted effort to provoke and stimulate the listener’s imagination by generating intensely powerful sounds and music. Audio.

Bethan Parkes - Her work spans across field recording, sound design, ambisonic composition and multichannel sound installation practices, drawing a focus on sonic spatial experience. Her works are designed to open out spaces with sound, exploring spatial aesthetics and the interactions between sonic and visually articulated spaces. Audio.

Times subject to change... please check with venues for further information

TTW#82 | Nothing “The Wrong Answer Became Right”

Cassette only – limited edition of 100 copies
Illustration – SavX

Track List
A2: Sudterranean
A3: Going To Mela’s
A4: Raising Fire
A5: Tight Time… Wonder
A6: Summer Pow
A7: Summer Pow Coda

(there's nothing on the B-side…)

Zenlo: Soprano sax, harmonica, psalmody
Skylon: beats and electronicz
SavX: forgotten Fender

Recorded at The Garage, Highbury and Islington, London, UK,,2001.

Buy Nothing “The Wrong Answer Became Right” in the TouchShop
More information on

Chris Watson on Bandcamp

We have now made available selected editions of Chris's Touch catalogue on Bandcamp, complete with pdfs of the booklets and CD artwork:

Stepping into the Dark (1997)

Compact Disc edition no longer available

"In recent years I have noticed that some of the locations I visited as a sound recordist displayed remarkable and particular characteristics. These may be sparkling acoustics, a special timbre, sometimes rhythmic, percussive or transient animal sounds. Without a doubt, playing a recording made at one of these sites can recreate a detailed memory of the original event. Also, as others have described, there is an intangible sense of being in a special place — somewhere that has a spirit — a place that has an ‘atmosphere’. These recordings avoid background noise, human disturbance and editing. They are made using sensitive microphones camouflaged and fixed in position usually well in advance of any recording or animal behaviour. The mics. are then cabled back on very long leads to a hide or concealed recording point, the aim being to capture the actual sound within each particular location without external influence. Sites are discovered by researching local natural or social history, by interpreting features on a map or through anecdote and conversation with people about their feelings for or against particular places. The author and researcher Tom Lethbridge identified the sources of several spirits within the topography of the area. I suspect that this also includes flora and fauna, local time of day, the weather and the season. The following recordings are the atmospheres of special places." [Chris Watson]

Outside the Circle of Fire (1998)

Compact Disc edition no longer available

The purr of a leopard close up against a baobab tree, waiting. Whales surfacing, breathing in cold air. Coll starling imitate the noise of farm machinery from the hollow ring of a ruined bothy. The rattle of wood over a black stream... Chris Watson's second CD is a dramatic contrast to the spacious atmospheres of "Stepping into the Dark" (Touch TO:27, 1996). Featuring 22 close-up recordings of animals, birds and insect life, "Outside the Circle of Fire" enlarges our awareness of the sound universe, intimate with voices from the past. There is an intensity here that television pictures cannot conjure.

Weather Report (2003)

Compact Disc edition still available

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.

El Tren Fantasma (2011)

Compact Disc edition no longer available
Vinyl edition - "The Signalman's Mix" still available

"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.

Further information:

Ash 11.2 | Ánde Somby “Yoiking With The Winged Ones”

Vinyl LP + full album download of wav file + bonus track, “Čuoika”.
All downloads are 24 bit recordings by Chris Watson.

Design by Philip Marshall.
Photography by A K Dolven.

Track List
A1: Gufihttar (underworld fairie)
A2: Gadni (spirit of the mountain)
A3: Neahkkameahttun (from the other side)
B: Wolf

+ bonus track “Čuoika” [“Mosquito"] which comes with the digital download of the full album when you order [via wetransfer or ftp download]

Yoiking is the ancient chanting practise of the Sámi People - the indigenous peoples on the top of Europe. Yoiking originates from time immemorial - legend tells that it was the faires and elves of the arctic lands that gave yoiks to the Sámi People. Yoiking was an important element of the religious rituals in pre-christian times and has survived both christianity, imperialism and the fact that Sámi areas were confiscated by the states of the north; Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia.

The recordings are made by Chris Watson, the world famous sound artist and leading field recorder. The recordings took place in Kvalnes, Lofoten mid June in 2014 in a moment while the arctic winds had a little rest. Chris Watson has also done the post production. A K Dolven took the photos for the project and has been instrumental in developing the concept. Thanks also to Tony Myatt.

Buy Ánde Somby “Yoiking With The Winged Ones” in the TouchShop

Guerrilla Audio

Guerrilla Audio is a new series of audio raids by Simon Fisher Turner.

noun: guerilla
a member of a small independent group taking part in irregular fighting, typically against larger regular forces.

Each audio edit will be posted for 14 days and then removed from the site, although the information about each guerrilla activity will be archived, but without the audio. There will be two postings per month with the first (also featuring Klara Lewis & Rainier Lericolais) on 1st August 2015, so please check in regularly to listen to the latest offering.

Guerrilla Audio

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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.