Monthly Archives: April 2011

Tone 43 – Chris Watson & Marcus Davidson “Cross-Pollination”

CD in digipak – 2 tracks – 48:20
Art Direction: Jon Wozencroft
Cover image: Yusuke Murakami

Track listing:

1. Midnight at the Oasis 28:03
2. The Bee Symphony 20:00


Midnight at the Oasis: – The piece is a 28 minute time compression from sunset to sunrise in South Africa’s Kalahari desert and features the dense and harmonic mosaic of delicate animal rhythms recorded in this remote habitat. “Midnight at the Oasis” was first performed at the Marquee in Parliament Street, York, on 13th September 2007 as part of Sight Sonic.

“The Kalahari desert is a vast and open space where most of the wildlife is nocturnal. After sunset the dunes, grasses and thorn bushes are patrolled by an emerging alien empire – the insects.

Midnight at the Oasis’ presents an unseen soundscape from this beautiful and hostile environment.

The Bee Symphony: A project conceived by Chris Watson originally for “Pestival” in 2009 to explore the vocal harmonies between humans and honey bees in a unique choral collaboration around and within the hives of an English country garden. Recorded live at The Rymer Auditorium, Music Research Centre, University of York, England on December 17th 2010 by Tony Myatt, using a Soundfield SPS200 microphone recorded onto an Edirol R4 (surround version), and 2 x Neumann U87 microphones via Grace Microphone Preamplifiers, recorded onto an Edirol R44 (stereo version). Composed and arranged by Marcus Davidson using recordings made by Chris Watson & Mike Harding, and diffused through a 4.1 Genelec system by Chris Watson. The Bee Choir: Dylan de Buitlear, Lisa Coates, Steph Connor, Lewis Marlowe and Shendie McMath. With thanks to Peter Boardman (the event producer), Tom Emmett, Celia Frisby & Bridget Nicholls, who originally commissioned The Bee Symphony.

Marcus Davidson writes: “The first thing that struck me about the bees was how tuneful they were. During the day, their pitch was always based around A an octave below 440, the note we tune orchestras to. I found that the bees formed chords around the A, which varied depending on their mood. I spent time notating these bee chords, or note clusters, and as the bees sing easily in the human vocal range, I then scored the actual bee music for choir.

The sound of humans singing bees was strangely engaging. I thought it was reminiscent of Aboriginal music, perhaps showing how in tune with nature the native civilisations are. In fact, all the chords and ‘tunes’ in The Bee Symphony are taken from actual notes sung by the bees in the field recordings. The score was written so the choir sings exactly with different aspects of the bee song in real time, so hopefully we indeed have humans singing in harmony with bees!”

For further information, visit The Bee Symphony microsite

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Tone 45.1 – BJNilsen “Vinyl”

12″ White Label vinyl + download
The first in a new series of limited edition Touch white labels releases…

Track listing:

1. Side A 14:44
2. Side B 15:14

3. Side C 19:52

Recorded on location in Sweden, Iceland, Austria and England using various microphones, media and formats. Sources include wind, waves, tone generators, piano, guitar and other stuff. Mixed in Berlin 2010. Cut by Jason at Transition, 13th January 2011.
Recommended nocturnal listening…

Touch Radio at the British Library

It is a great pleasure to announce that Touch Radio is now a “named collection” within the British Library’s Archival Sound Recordings website.

The British Library is home to the UK’s national collection of radio recordings in its sound archive. They range from 1924 through to the present day and include programming of all kinds, both public service and commercial. The arrival of the internet, and internet radio, has freed creative programme makers from the need for transmission equipment, broadcast schedules and sponsorship, and ushered in an era in which almost every imaginable approach to programme making is now possible.

Although the artistic possibilities of radio were recognised almost as soon as the medium was introduced back in the early 1920s, the full possibilities of art radio and of radio art are even now only being explored by a small number of pioneering stations around the world, of which Touch Radio is one. The range of approaches adopted by these stations can be as diverse as the interests and personalities of the producers themselves. Freed from the concerns of advertisers, charters, sponsors, licenses, departmental policies or house styles, the programme contributors are allowed to be as straightforward or as creatively original as they like.

This collection represents the complete Touch Radio archive to date: around one new programme released monthly since January 2005, each varying in duration from a few minutes to over an hour. The collection will be updated from time to time as new recordings become available.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation. It includes: books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.

Touch Radio on the British Library’s Archival Sound Recordings website

Marjolein Kuijsten’s Leftovers Soup

[From dinner eaten on April 1st 2011…]

In a saucepan, bung together:

leftover rice
sajoer (mixed veg & spices and coconut milk)

add water and/or more coconut milk and part of a tablet of mushroom bouillon

heat well and devour

Sampled and enjoyed on April 3rd 2011