Touch Newsletter #122

Welcome to the 122nd Touch Newsletter. This newsletter is entirely dedicated to a new resource, TOUCHLINE.

TOUCHLINE is a new online audio-visual resource for “emerging” artists.
You can read more on the website here.

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Touch and Ash International now have their own YouTube channels, where you can stream audio (and the occasional video) of many selections from the Touch catalogue, including some previously unavailable in any digital format. Please subscribe to Touch here and to Ash International here.


1. Budhaditya Chattopadhyay - Decomposing Landscape

Track listing:
1. Decomposing Landscape, audio only edition
You can listen to an extract here

Multi-channel sound composition
(Complete work with video and surround sound is forthcoming)

Digital Download - one track (Binaural + Ambisonics B-format) - 35:00
13pp pdf booklet of photographs

Composed, mixed and produced by Budhaditya Chattopadhyay at ICST, Zurich University of the Arts, during an Artists’ Residency in 2014, under the technical guidance of Johannes Schütt

This award winning work facilitates in-depth observation of transfiguring landscapes that are experiencing decay and destruction. Diffusing the sonic elements in the spatial practice of Ambisonics format the final outcome of the project includes a multi-channel sound composition as well as a surround sound/video installation. The works have been developed through a meticulous collection of materials from various locations at India in extensive fieldworks. The collection of audiovisual documents has been forming a digital archive that has been expended for realizing the work(s).

Methodology of composition consists of incorporating the extensive sonic elements collected from the sites to create an immersive and augmented narrative facilitating a meditative observation. The observation creates the space for in-depth reflections on the intricate processes of environmental decay and destruction that affect the general state of the locale, intertwined with the endangered memories and eroding cultural practices. Apart from shedding light on the transformation of landscape in the auditory perception, the composition also intends to delineate gradual transfiguration of India from the essentially pastoral past gearing fast toward the contemporary urban, rendered in the piece for the wider public.

Image © Joanna Kosowska

Download Budhaditya Chattopadhyay "Decomposing Landscape" [download only] from the TouchShop

2. Simon Scott - Below Sea Level

Track listing:
1. Below Sea Level
You can listen to an extract here

Digital Download - One track (wav) - 34:07
74pp PDF booklet of photographs, maps and text

fen |fen| n. a low and marshy or frequently flooded area of land: a flooded fen. (the Fens) flat, low-lying areas of eastern England, formerly marshland but largely drained for agriculture since the 17th century.

Robert Macfarlane: “It's an amazing sound world, into which you fall (subside)”.

Below Sea Level follows the creative process of tracing the contours of the landscape to discover the ephemeral acoustic environment. There is very little evidence of previously detailed musical, acoustical or aural studies of the Fens despite music composition and the natural sonic landscape being associated together since the eighteenth century (Vivaldi wrote his composition The Four Seasons in 1723). Books have been written, maps drawn and photographs taken, but never a sonic exploration of areas that reside below mean sea level.

To contextualise this project, the history of the Fens and previous writings on sound ecology will be discussed. In particular, the work of the Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995), R. Murray Schafer (b. 1933) and Bernie Krause (b. 1938) will be considered. 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 are also explored.

Download Simon Scott "Below Sea Level" [download only] from the TouchShop

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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.