Claire M Singer – One to Watch at Spitfire Audio

“Unearthing more future greats, this time we meet organ revivalist, Claire M Singer.

Claire M Singer is a composer, producer and performer of acoustic and electronic music, film and installations. She also looks after one of the most prestigious organs in the world, the legendary 1877 Henry Willis organ at Union Chapel, London.”

www.spitfireaudio.com/ones-to-watch/claire-m-singer/

‘Solas’ is still available on compact disc and digital download

Robert Crouch – ‘Sublunar’ [Tone 56, 2017] | Digital Release Now Available

Robert Crouch’s ‘Sublunar’ [Tone 56] now up digitally in all good stores.

You can listen and purchase from Bandcamp here

Brainwashed wrote:

“…Crouch works the various layers of sound together, coming together at times lush and rich, and at others thin and harsher in nature. This constant unending flow makes for a complex, captivating piece of sound… Separated from the source material, Sublunar may not have the same conceptual nature of his previous work, but his knack for mixing familiar sounds with unfamiliar ones is still strongly present. Here he manages to create a space that is both comfortable and alien, where the ambiguity simply adds to the quality of the sound. Given this is a live performance; it just makes this record all the more impressive.” [Creaig Dunton]

Bad Press:

“…it’s a quiet intensity. The most striking thing about the album is its ability to go in multiple directions and at the same time maintain an even keel. It surprises without jarring. It is intricate and at the same time expertly polished.”

Chris Watson Albums Back in Stock | ‘El Tren Fantasma’ & ‘Weather Report’

We are pleased to announce that two major recorded albums, ‘El Tren Fantasma‘ & ‘Weather Report‘ by Chris Watson have been republished;

‘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.

This compact disc is now available to order from TouchShop

‘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.

This compact disc is now available to order from TouchShop

Touch Radio 131 | Bill Thompson

28.06.17 – Bill Thompson – Live at the Brunswick Club, Bristol, June 19th 2017 – 31:37 – 320 kbps

This is a two channel recording of a live solo performance using the Moog guitar plus stuff. The set was improvised and only the second time I’d performed solo with the Moog (the first being the night before in Swansea). The gig was at the Brunswick Club in Bristol which houses several arts groups including BEEF (Bristol Experimental Expanded Film) who, via sound and video artist Kathy Hinde, had invited me to perform. When I arrived in Bristol and gave the taxi driver the address, he told me that the Brunswick Club was closed down, and even if it wasn’t, he doubted I’d be performing there. Apparently it used to be a Working Man’s Club frequented by taxi drivers. Not any more.

Equipment: Moog Guitar, ebow, shortwave radio, tone generator, guitar pedals (reverb, delay, distortion and fuzz factory), plasma and bicycle lights, a child’s light wand, two vibrators, portable CD player (unplugged), modified fans, mixer, and miscelaneous debris.

Recorded by Kathy Hinde.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store

Play “Live at the Brunswick Club, Bristol, June 19th 2017”

billthompson.org
touchradio.org.uk

The Handmaid’s Tale [HULU/C4]

A significant factor in responding to the decline of the compact disc format is to find new forms of exposure for challenging music. Hildur Gudnadottir‘s work for Touch, in particular “Saman”, takes a central role in forming the emotional narrative of this acclaimed series, starring Elizabeth Moss, made by Hulu (USA) and now showing on Channel 4 (UK).

Hildur’s four CD’s for Touch will re-released in 2 Double-CD editions in
the autumn. In the meantime, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is free to view on
Channel 4 OD. We recommend it.

Tone 51 | Thomas Köner & Jana Winderen – “Cloître”

Released: 16th June 2017
CD – 1 track – 44:24

Remastered by Thomas Köner
Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

1. Cloître

Recorded live from the cloisters at Evreux Cathedral, Normandy, France by Franck Dubois, 14th June 2014, as part of L’Ateliers. With thanks to Denis Boyer.

Pre-order Thomas Koner & Jana Winderen “Cloitre” [CD + Download] on Bandcamp
www.thomaskoner.com
www.janawinderen.com

Touch Radio 130 | Félix Blume

20.05.17 – Félix Blume – A La Orilla (On the edge) – 45:01 – 320 kbps

On the edge of the jungle, where the Amazon Rainforest begins in southern Venezuela, where the Gran Sabana ends, humans are still trying to enter a world dominated by nature. Trees, rivers, animals and insects extend to the horizon, and the sounds reach our ears to remind us of their empire.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store

Play “A La Orilla”

felixblume.com
touchradio.org.uk

Tone 56 | Robert Crouch – “Sublunar”

CD and download – 4 tracks

Release date: 19th May 2017

Written, recorded and performed by Robert Crouch
Mastered by Lawrence English @ 158
Artwork & Photography: Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

1. Descension
2. Brick by Brick
3. Listen to the sound of the earth turning
4. Coda (Sailing Stones)

Presented live in Los Angeles. Source material originally developed as part of mas gestos y mas caras, a collaborative performance with Rafa Esparza and Yann Novak, presented at the Hammer Museum on July 8, 2016

Pre-order Robert Crouch – “Sublunar” [CD + Download] in the TouchShop
www.robertcrouch.com

Jon Wozencroft on nts radio

Knee Deep

NTS Radio, 22nd April 2017, 6pm-8pm
Location: Dalston, London E8
Presented by Mattis

A Handmaid’s Tale (HULU, 2017)

This new series starting April 26th 2017 on HULU starring Elizabeth Moss uses some of Hildur Gudnadottir’s music… episodes 2, 3 and 9 contain tracks you can hear on her bandcamp site, where you can stream and download her albums.

Touch Radio 129 | Jana Winderen – Daybreak; Kochi (Kerala), India

11.04.17 – Jana Winderen – Daybreak; Kochi (Kerala), India – 38:03 – 320 kbps

This crepuscular recording was made from 4:45am on the 14th December 2016 in the south Indian city of Kochi. I was there to play “Drifting”, a performance at Vasco da Gama Square, for Convening #2 hosted by the TBA21 Academy on the following day.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store

Play “Daybreak; Kochi, Kerala, India”

janawinderen.com
touchradio.org.uk

Touch Radio 128 | Geneva Skeen & Sarah Rara

23.03.17 – Geneva Skeen & Sarah Rara – Live in Los Angeles – 37:03 – 320 kbps

Live at Human Resources, Los Angeles, February 18, 2017

1. Geneva Skeen – Pop Song 16:48
2. Sarah Rara – Separating the Air 20:12 – Projected Text

For the closing of Yann Novak’s exhibition Repose, Novak invited Geneva Skeen and Sarah Rara to perform inside/alongside his installation. Each artist’s performance was accompanied by the sound of Novak’s installation demonstrated here via a room-recording from the event.

Skeen’s Pop Song is a temporal response to Novak’s drone work, and a cultural response to our times. In harmonizing with Novak’s loop – divided into 3-4 minute segments (the average acceptable length of a pop song) – Skeen’s Pop Song acknowledges that populist times call for populist measures, but refuses populist comfort, acceptance, and pale standards of beauty as means of resistance.

Rara’s Separating the Air: games of listening and learning between voice and computer at the boundary between music and speech. Each part is a device to punctuate silence, divide time, move the air.

Photo: Christopher Wormald

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store

Play “Live in Los Angeles”

soundcloud.com/geneeeeves
www.sarahrara.com
www.touchradio.org.uk

Touch is 35 Today

Today, 11th March, is the official 35th anniversary of the founding of Touch in 1982…

First contact with New Order after their concert at the Newcastle Mayfair on 11th March 1982…

You can follow our progress year by year here…

Robert Crouch and Yann Novak Live in Los Angeles | Saturday 4th March 2017

March 4, 2017, 7-9pm
Performances begins at 7:30pm

The Fellows of Contemporary Art
970 N. Broadway, Suite 208
Los Angeles, CA 90012
FREE

The Future Eve, curated by VOLUME member Jared Baxter, explores the relationship between technology and the body and features video, sculpture, drawing, installation and sound by 5 California-based artists:

Robert Crouch – forthcoming album ‘Sublunar’ will be featured
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein
Karen Lofgren
Yann Novak
Dean Smith

The Future Eve is the title of a science fiction novel from 1886 by Villiers de l’Isle-Adam. Credited with popularizing the term “android,” its protagonist is a fictionalized Thomas Alva Edison, hailed in a short foreword as the discoverer of “among others, the Telephone, the Phonograph, the Microphone, and those admirable electric light bulbs which have now spread across the earth’s surface.”

The exhibition engages this dual legacy of Villiers’ novel, at once ahead of its time and deeply regressive. On the one hand, The Future Eve’s idealistic, if ideologically tainted, portrayal of the integration of man and machine is contrasted to the present climate, in which authors like economist Robert Gordon have argued that we have entered an era of permanently reduced technological advancement compared to the hundred-year period beginning in 1870. On the other, the sexism latent in the android narrative, highlighted by the example of Villiers’ Edison, is examined in terms of what it can reveal about broader cultural narratives surrounding technology and its relationship to nature, in particular through the latter’s omnipresent synecdoche, the body.

Tone 57 | UnicaZürn – “Transpandorem”

Vinyl LP and download – 2 tracks

Release date: 27th January 2017

Transpandorem

Written, recorded and produced by David Knight & Stephen Thrower
Additional production assistance: Ivan Pavlov
Cut by Jason @ Transition
Artwork & Photography: Jon Wozencroft

The International Times Review can be read here

Track listing:

1. Breathe the Snake
2. Pale Salt Seam

UnicaZürn (David Knight and Stephen Thrower).

UnicaZürn build their long, ceaselessly evolving musical compositions through a process of improvisation followed by careful editing and processing. Their music, drawn from subconscious associations while recording, is frequently aquatic or oceanic in overall mood and texture. Knight has spent most of his life living on the banks of the Thames while Thrower resides on the East Sussex coast, and their musical flights of imagination tend toward rolling river dynamics and the open seas of synthesised sound.

For UnicaZürn, tidal imagery, oceanic forms and the slow rhythms of coastal water are a recurring structural presence, with strong associations of rootlessness, of being far away from home, a stranger in a strange land. The inability of human lungs to breathe water endows rivers and seas with a special poetics: a boundary between two different but inter-related states. On the one hand, solidity, clarity, definition; on the other, fluidity, uncertainty, dissolution. The sense of a threshold between opposites gives rise to an elusive otherness, suggesting a portal through which the everyday world can be escaped. Death under the water, the survivors of a lost kingdom clinging to the rocks of an unfamiliar island, a coastal boat ride into deepest abstraction, a deserted beach expressing a world outside reality.

A sexual frisson too: a hovering at the brink, poised at the turbulent edge of pleasure, swept away into oblivion. Do we head toward the sea when we want to escape? And at the coastline, do we walk to the edge because we want to jump, or be swept away by an unexpected wave? There’s a darkness in the sea, even if illuminated by the most dazzling sunshine. Open horizons shows the clutter of our lives to be transient, and as we look to the sea we feel a dizzying sense of the eternal. Aquatic sensibility, oceanic timescales: the action of the salt sea beating on the shore. Each grain of sand a rock smashed to dust. Beaches are cosmic, elemental. They are images of time.

UnicaZürn’s core instrumentation blends analogue synthesiser, mellotron and electric piano with electric guitar and clarinet. Both Thrower and Knight draw upon their love and wide experience of of electronic music, from the outer shores of Stockhausen to the outer spaceways of Tangerine Dream. In addition, Knight is reknowned for his pioneering multi-textured fretwork with Danielle Dax and his ambient guitar settings for Lydia Lunch, while Thrower’s reed playing provided a distinctive melancholy in Coil and emerged as electro-acoustic texture in Cyclobe.

The title “Pale Salt Seam” is drawn from the poem “Night-Song of the Andalusian Sailors” by Federico García Lorca. Parts of “Pale Salt Seam” were recorded live at the Ironmongers Row Baths on 2nd March 2013.

Pre-order Unica Zürn – “Transpandorem” [Vinyl LP] in the TouchShop
www.unicazurn.com

You can read a review in The Wire here

UnicaZürn Live at Cafe Oto | 5th January 2017

Stephen Thrower and David Knight performed at Café Oto as UnicaZürn on Wednesday 25th January 2017. Their debut album for Touch, Transpandorem (Touch # Tone 57), was released the same week…

You can read a review here in The International Times

Touch presents…
Live at Café Oto

UnicaZürn’s performance at Café OTO saw the core duo of DAVID KNIGHT & STEPHEN THROWER joined by DANIELLE DAX (vocals) and DAVID J. SMITH (percussion).

DANIELLE DAX – singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and mixed-media artist – sang ‘Jack Sorrow’ on the first UnicaZürn LP, ‘Temporal Bends’. Her artworks are featured on the covers of the first UnicaZürn CD, ‘Temporal Bends’ and their recent cassette-only release for the Tapeworm label, ‘Omegapavilion’. This performance will mark her return to live vocals after a decade’s absence.

DAVID J. SMITH is a founder member of the progressive art-rock groups GUAPO and STARGARZER’S ASSISTANT (the latter also featuring David Knight), and percussionist with Stephen Thrower’s group CYCLOBE.

UnicaZürn
with Charles Bullen

“…like Jacques Cousteau meets HP Lovecraft twenty thousand leagues under the sea.” – FREQ Magazine

and a review here

UnicaZürn emerged in 2009 from the belly of a live-improv’ beast called The Amal Gamal Ensemble. David Knight and Stephen Thrower have worked with the Ensemble since its inception in 2001. UnicaZürn music also has its roots in free improvisation, but the results are then burnished and restructured with intensive studio sculpting.

“Knight and Thrower bring a deep intuition to the performances, allowing treated guitar, saxophone and clarinet to blend with analogue synthesizers, mellotron and organ… Only occasionally does a locked snippet of sound repeat itself enough to suggest anything like an insistent beat” – Ken Hollings, The Wire

Charles Bullen was a member of timeless pre/post-everything trio This Heat. He grew up in Liverpool and after moving to London in the early 70’s he formed the improvising duo Dolphin Logic with Charles Hayward, which later, with the addition of “non-musician” Gareth Williams, became This Heat. After releasing two seminal albums the band split in 1982 and Bullen made an album the following year under the name Lifetones focusing on repetition and a more syncopated dub influenced sound. Earlier this year, after a series of re-issues on Light In The Attic Records, Bullen and Hayward formed This Is Not This Heat, a group assembled to realise and re-imagine the music of This Heat with several musical luminaries from the London experimental music world including Daniel O’Sullivan, Alex Ward, James Sedwards, Alexis Taylor, Frank Byng, John Edwards and Oren Marshall.

Transpandorem

Transpandorem

Vinyl LP and download – 2 tracks
Release date: 27th January 2017

Written, recorded and produced by David Knight & Stephen Thrower
Additional production assistance: Ivan Pavlov
Cut by Jason @ Transition
Artwork & Photography: Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

1. Breathe the Snake
2. Pale Salt Seam

Touch Quadraphonic @ The Ace Hotel | 14th January 2017

Desert X and VOLUME present an evening of collaborative soundscapes at Ace Hotel
& Swim Club.

STARTS AT 6:00pm

The event will present a quadrophonic sound installation of work by Jana Windren, Chris Watson, Philip Jeck, BJNilsen, Mark Van Hoen, Yann Novak, Achim Mohné and Claire M Singer. The event will will also feature performances by Geneva Skeen and Bethan Kellough that will begin at 7:30pm.

FREE

Ace Hotel & Swim Club
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs, CA 92264

www.acehotel.com

Lend Me Your Ears | 2016 Roundup

This year’s list has been unusually challenging since a number of key labels were in overdrive. Grand projects have multiplied too. So our self-constraining methodology became even more masochistic.

How, to take an especially painful example, to choose between Bethan Kellough’s Aven & Claire M. Singer’s Solas? Two exceptional releases that each expanded notions of sound palettes & what could be done with them, but both on Touch (about whom more shortly…).

& that’s to exclude Yann Novak’s Ornamentation, Simon Scott’s Floodlines, Anna von Hauswolff’s Kallan (Prototype) & Fennesz’s Mahler Remix, despite all four clearly demanding recognitition as part of the year’s ‘best’.

earslend.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/capelli-camicia.html

TOUCHLINE 9 | Ipek Gorgun – “Aphelion”

touchline9

Digital Download – 8 audio tracks – 48′ 23″ + mpg + pdf (1.2Gb)
The link to the .zip can be found in your email receipt [also in your account history]

1. Kairos 5:28
2. Fata Morgana 4:42
3. Bloodbenchers 8:54
4. Lethe 2:54
5. Martyrs 8:22
6. Dendrite 4:20
7. Nightingale 9:20
8. Troubling Speech 3:50 [bonus track]

Kairos video: Noetic Works
PDF photo book: Ipek Gorgun
Recording and Mixing: Ipek Gorgun
Mastering: Barkin Engin

“The dictionary describes aphelion as “the point in the path of a celestial body (as a planet) that is farthest from the sun”, which i reckon is a suitable title since it reminded me of the night time, when I recorded and edited the majority of this work.

The night makes me think about openness and gathering. To me, it is a state of togetherness in which things are allowed to keep their own identity, yet they are covered under the veil of darkness. From time to time we may recognise such things as they are, but the night also evokes the so- called luxury of intuition, helping us become aware of their existence without using our sense of sight.

One might feel that the night has a disturbing, chaotic and uncontrollable character. I can relate to that since it becomes harder to see; our ocularcentric modern ways of living are being challenged. Contrary to the sunlight that helps us divide, analyze and govern, the night tends to reveal our most primitive selves, as well as uncovering our deepest thoughts, untold dreams and memories. In addition, in such state of openness, the lack of light provides more space for the activation of other senses.

This is when hearing becomes so acute – as well as touching and smelling. I still think about smell, but hearing can also be associated with touch, since we are literally touched by sound in the form of waves through space, and they become audible in the range between 20Hz. and 20kHz. The night makes this contact even more obvious.

Such communication is the most intimate that two complete strangers (who will probably not meet again) can be. And I’m once again grateful for my own personal aphelion (2:44 AM, GMT+2) at the moment for helping me write this to you, beloved listener.”

Buy & download Ipek Gorgun – “Aphelion” [.wav + pdf] in the TouchShop – The link to the .zip can be found in your email receipt [also in your account history]
You can read more about TOUCHLINE here

Continue reading

TOUCHLINE 8 | Gravitas – “a frequency crescendo in 11 movements”

Download only – 1 track – 27′ 34″

Photography by Heitor Alvelos, design by Jon Wozencroft
Release date: 21st October 2016

touchline8

Track listing and notes:

1. a frequency crescendo in 11 movements 27′ 34″

Heitor Alvelos, digital frequencies
Anselmo Canha, bass, field recordings
Anabela Duarte, treated voice
José Maria Lopes, guitar
Jaime Munárriz, guitar, trumpet, electronics
Jono Podmore, theremin
André Rocha, arduino-activated lemon tree (concert)

“Gravitas” is a studio re-construction and re-consideration of a sound performance that took place at the futureplaces medialab on October 24, 2015, in Porto, Portugal.

Woven and edited by Heitor Alvelos, Oporto, August – September 2016
Mastered by Jono Podmore, Köln, September 2016

The words that bookend the piece belong to Bernadette Martou (1962-2015)

The original plan was to release the gig itself, but a series of technical and aesthetic drawbacks, affecting both the performance and the recording, rendered this undesirable. The state of exhaustion of some of the participants, after a four-day marathon running multiple fronts of the medialab, certainly did not help: yet all reasons boil down to a simple evidence – every performer has at some point found him/herself in a situation where all the ideal ingredients seem to be there, and yet the momentum just does not follow. This was one such evening. It happens.

However, the ingredients remained very much present, and so did the commitment of all involved. A decision was thus made to pay justice to what had not been.

The process towards “Gravitas” rebuilt, the present piece, began with each contributor revisiting their own sounds through their own means, while being allowed to change them further, if desired. One rule applied onstage, and that one rule remained: each individual contribution should be a crescendo from infra-sound to ultra-sound (voice mercifully exempted from this rule). During this second process, individual tracks were not shared with others until finished by each contributor.

The source material was abundant and opened up a wealth of possibilities, as it would; so in good paradoxical fashion, the choice was made to be sparse and surgical in its use, and open up as much of a reflective and introspective mood as possible. The concert recording is also in there, minimally, whenever it made sense for it to be. Other variations of “Gravitas” may surface, as there is substance in much of what was left out; for the time being, however, this is the gig that could have been.

Why “Gravitas”?

Every year since 2008, futureplaces gathers media creatives, thinkers and researchers in an attempt to see and act further beyond the immediate digital allure: firstly by acknowledging that so much of today’s technology has yet to deliver on its promise of personal, social and cultural emancipation, and then by picking up from this evidence in various hands-on fronts. Futureplaces has been a purposefully chaotic meeting point where media research meets citizenship, in contextual, tangible projects that rehearse unorthodox uses for new media. Viral epiphanies, one could say.

This mission, at the core of futureplaces since its inception, observes and interprets current trends and developments. Every year a motto is proposed, an answer to the zeitgeist. Gravitas is, we believe, an antidote to the hallucinatory abandonment and volatility of the present times; a call for wisdom, for grounding and sobriety. And as with a wider set of choice words that seem to have vanished from our vocabulary, it is a largely absent term whose meaning – whose role in our consciousness – has paradoxically never seemed so decisive.

Through gravitas we emerge and soar: thus the journey from infra-sound to ultra-sound. From rootedness to elevation.

Buy & download Gravitas – “a frequency crescendo in 11 movements” [.wav + pdf] in the TouchShop – The link to the .zip can be found in your email receipt [also in your account history]
You can read more about TOUCHLINE here