Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar, Iklectik | Thursday 13th October 2022

Touch.40 Live at Café Oto, London | Saturday October 1st 2022

To survive for 40 years as an independent music project is the ability to bear witness to the massive changes in cultural production – and to hold a candle for artistic freedom and sonic invention. Touch.40 Café Oto is a home-based lighthouse in Dalston, London, and likewise AB in Brussels (in September), where longstanding friends and supporters have asked us back. We invite you to these celebrations of past, present and future. As everything gets more atomised in terms of inner and outer worlds, we intend this as a beacon of our collective commitment to joy, pleasure, life, the challenge of being human in these uncertain times.

[We are sorry to inform you that owing to unforeseen circumstances, Jana Winderen & Budhaditya Chattopadhyay will not be able to perform. But we are delighted that Jacaszek can headline at such short notice]

Saturday October 1st 2022
Café Oto, 18–22 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL [map]
Tickets and info

Jacaszek
Simon Scott
Howlround
Claire M Singer

+ A Short Film by People Like Us

www.cafeoto.co.uk
www.touch40.net

TO:119 | CLEARED “Of Endless Light”

Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft

CD – 6 tracks – 72:21

Release date: Friday 23rd September 2022

Track listing:

1. First Sleep
2. Of Endless Light
3. Dawn
4. Pulse
5. Blue Drift
6. Walking Field

Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham
Recorded by Jeremy Lemos

CLEARED is the longstanding project of Steven Hess and Michael Vallera, based in Chicago, Illinois. Of Endless Light was recorded by Jeremy Lemos at Electrical Audio in Chicago and mastered by Denis Blackham. The six tracks complete the longest release to date by the duo, who were resolute in utilizing the maximum time available on the compact disc format. CLEARED has produced a series of critically recognized recordings since its self-titled debut in 2011. Working with the Touch label on The Key (recorded in spring 2019, released in October 2020) was a leap forward, prompting remixed tracks by Philp Jeck, Fennesz, Bethan Kellough, and Olivia Block.

Of Endless Light is noctambulant, a walk through formal sonic spaces and colors beginning with the cascading, bell-like tones of the opening track, “First Sleep.” The husks of a city’s industrial past are summoned: warehouses hollowed out for condominiums, dust-covered factory floors, a distant grind of machining, clouds of metallic particles, and the persistent background hum of traffic. These remnants contrast with hints of the sterile present of a city no less cruel than its industrial past. “Dawn” opens with a grey drone and scattered electronic rhythms as wiring, and extended guitar lines suggest the opening of another cycle of the day into evening. “Pulse” offers a hypnotic pattern that suggests the movement of people through the city’s core, slowly overlain with cymbals evoking the shimmer of sunlight cleaving off the windows of distant buildings. The album appropriately concludes with “Walking Field,” methodically moving forward via a cloud of meditative clicks and looping melodies.

Of Endless Light is a patient listen, distilled into a sonic environment specific to Hess and Vallera’s lens. Cleared created its crepuscular moods using the core methodology of their previous records while expanding their music’s range, artistry, and subtlety. Deploying careful instrumentation, sampling, and mixing to experiment with tone and atmosphere, Of Endless Light breathes and drifts through layers of sound that veil, reveal, and intrigue. The result gives a listener much to discover, examine, experience, and consider – as well as the incentive to return again and again. [Bruce Adams, 2022]

Touch.40 Live at AB, Brussels | Saturday 24th September 2022

Fennesz
Simon Scott
Razen
Valery Vermeulen

Tickets & info: www.abconcerts.be/en/agenda/touch40

Photo: Jon Wozencroft

Youmna Saba solo albums now streaming

Now available on all streaming platforms for the first time… Youmna Saba‘s first two albums, Njoum & Arb’een (40)

Youmna Saba (Beirut, 1984) is a musician and musicologist whose current research focuses on the musical dimension(s) of the Arabic language, as a tool to generate new methods of working with electronics.

She released 4 albums to this day and collaborated with musicians of different backgrounds, like Kamilya Jubran (PL), Mike Cooper (GB), Jean Marc Montera (FR), Floy Krouchi (FR), Kyungso Park (SK), among others.

She took part in international programs and residencies (Hwaeom Residency, South Korea 2017, Sound Development City, 2016, Gyeonggi Creation Center, South Korea 2013…) and is a 3-time laureate of the music residency program at La Cité Internationale des Arts, in Paris (2020-2021).

Youmna holds a master’s degree in Musicology, focusing mainly on the parallels between classical Arabic music and Arabic visual art.

Touch.40 Live at Iklectik, London | 24th – 25th June 2022

To survive for 40 years as an independent music project is the ability to bear witness to the massive changes in cultural production – and to hold a candle for artistic freedom and sonic invention. 

Touch.40 Iklectik is a home-based lighthouse in the centre of London and we invite you to this celebration of past present and future.

As everything gets more atomised in terms of inner and outer worlds, we intend this as a beacon of our collective commitment to joy, pleasure, life, the challenge of being human in these uncertain times.

Full programme

Tickets: £18.50 day / £30.50 whole event

Friday doors open 6.30pm

Gavin Bryars – a tribute to Philip Jeck
katt newlon & Franz Kirmann
Anthony Moore
Jay Glass Dubs
Fennesz

Saturday doors open 5pm

Simon Fisher Turner
Fennesz
Clara
Bethan Kellough
Bruce Gilbert
Claire M Singer
Carl Michael von Hausswolff

On Saturday there is due to be a train strike. Iklectik isn’t far from Waterloo (also Lambeth North is half a kilometre away), on the underground and can be easily reached by bus. It’s then a 10-15 minute walk to the venue… we suggest you allow extra time for travelling. There’s a good app called Transit which has live local transport times and options.

Photo: Jon Wozencroft

After the Wheel: Sound Seminar by Jon Wozencroft | Iklectic 19th May 2022

buytickets.at/iklectik/693011
iklectikartlab.com/jon-wozencroft-sound-seminar-after-the-wheel/
facebook.com/events/697650168146348/

After the Wheel

“You can’t reinvent the wheel” – So goes the saying to describe a futile attempt to improve upon what has gone before. Nevertheless, the last ten years has seen a relentless abstraction of this – in the UK, a deceitful attempt to return to “past glories” alongside a series of fiscal measures that punish the poor for the crime of being poor.

From its genesis during the times of the horse and cart to today’s driverless cars, the wheel keeps on turning, creating massive fortunes for the fortunate few, but the energy needed to drive it is another matter entirely.

Nikola Tesla proposed the principal of free energy a hundred years ago. It could come from wireless networks for nothing, but that was not allowed to happen. Tesla died in his New York hotel in 1943 in relative poverty and apparently with a mere $100 to his name. This may be exaggerated, but clearly Tesla never achieved great wealth despite his numerous inventions, most of all the feat in having developed the means of electrical current distribution.

Elon Musk, meanwhile, is currently the richest man in the world. Notably, his key company appropriated the name Tesla – whose electric cars provide a platform to numerous means of wealth accumulation. Musk made $171bn during the first year of the Covid pandemic and increased Tesla’s market capitalisation 13-fold since the end of 2019*. Next up – Twitter. Musk has bid $44bn to acquire the company. The sum is roughly equivalent to the total budget President Biden’s administration has dedicated to combatting climate change.

Musk has plans for brain implants that connect to the internet, AI initiatives in addition, and if it all goes haywire, there’s always Life on Mars.

Might he be aware of one of Nikola Tesla’s unresolved inventions, “The Thought Machine”, that intended to be able to project an individual’s retinal images onto a screen? Does he take Twitter to be an improvement on this?

After the wheel, the spiked wheel of fortune. After the car, 20th Century symbol of forward freedom , the automated vehicle – 21st Century symbol of living in reverse, bonded behind a screen of algorithmic passivity.

If we can’t reinvent the wheel, we had better reinvent the superhighway, and drive in a different direction.

*Source: “Elon Musk, Twitter and the internet economy”, Will Dunn, The New Statesman,
29 April 2022

Tickets for Touch.40 live in Chicago | May 21st 2022

Empty Bottle Presents
40 Years of Touch

Saturday May 21, 2022
6:30 PM Doors

The Hall of Mortals, International Museum of Surgical Sciences

Cleared with Olivia Block (Collaborative Performance)
Jonathan Thomas Miller
Touch

Tickets

The Chicago Reader

Tickets for Touch.40 live in The Bay Area | 29th – 1st May 2022

Indexical at the Tannery Arts Center, Santa Cruz
1050 River St., #119 Santa Cruz, CA 95062

29-30 April Installation: Chris Watson “Namib”
further info and tickets: indexical.org
You can read an interview with Chris about this piece here

30 April Performances: Bana Haffar, Patrick Shiroishi
further info and tickets: indexical.org

1 May Touch Conference
Panel discussion with Mike Harding, Bana Haffar & Patrick Shiroishi
Free – further info: indexical.org

29 April 2022
The Lab, San Francisco
2948 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Performances: Bana Haffar, Patrick Shiroishi
further info and tickets: thelab.org

Philip Jeck (1952-2022)

Jon and Mike are deeply saddened to tell you that Philip Jeck died peacefully on Friday after a short illness. A remarkable man and a wonderful artist, he has been one of the kingpins of our work for 30 years. But with Philip it was never just the work, more the love, the spirit and the dedication. He touched so many with his wit, his zest for life and his wisdom. We will miss him terribly and our love goes out to Mary and Louis.

The Attention Economy: Sound Seminar by Jon Wozencroft | Iklectic 16th March 2022

To give your full attention to someone or something is an act of generosity and love that is at the heart of dynamic communication. The attention economy, however, is an engine of distraction.
Can it be resisted?

iklectikartlab.com/jon-wozencroft-sound-seminar-the-attention-economy/

buytickets.at/iklectik/653627

Touch is 40 Today

Today, 11th March, is the official 40th 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…

Tickets for Touch.40 live in Los Angeles | 11-13th March 2022

Weekend Pass
https://link.dice.fm/yd4dc65ad5af
https://www.facebook.com/events/589731958974238

Friday 11th March
CM von Hausswolff, IHVH, SPS, Dr. Katja Seltmann (Irene Moon) & Touch

https://link.dice.fm/K0c09aa4b650
https://www.facebook.com/events/1529596814106537

Saturday 12th March
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Travelogue, Rotary ECT, Robert Crouch, Jim Haynes, Geneva Skeen, Jasmin Blasco, Yann Novak, Pauline Lay, Gabie Strong + Peter Kolovos

Cage+Cunningham performance – “Instances of Silence/Trails” featuring dancers Jmy James Kidd + Jillian Stein
Sound Installation: Charlie Campagna & Ian Wellman
+ Special world premiere of Philip Jeck’s film “Waiting Rooms”

https://link.dice.fm/P19674b6baad
https://www.facebook.com/events/425950525991280

Sunday 13th March
Faith Coloccia, Byron Westbrook, Bana Haffar, Ian Wellman, Mark Van Hoen, Bethan Kellough, Zachary Paul, Dr. Yewande Pearse, Chandra Shukla and Richard Chartier

Music for Film panel conversation with Allison Anders, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Jonathan Thomas Miller, + Brooke Wentz
Sound Installation: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
+ Special film screenings

https://link.dice.fm/p25214d41009
https://www.facebook.com/events/680863459938462

More info – https://linktr.ee/touchactivities

Festival timetable

Touch.40 Live at 2220arts + archives, Los Angeles | 11th-13th March 2022

Artists:

Jasmin Blasco, Charlie Campagna + Ian Wellman, Richard Chartier, Faith Coloccia, Robert Takahashi Crouch, Robert R. Gaines, Bana Haffar, Jim Haynes, Bethan Kellough, Jmy James Kidd + Jillian Stein, Pauline Lay, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Yann Novak, Zachary Paul, Dr. Yewande Pearse, Rotary ECT, SPS, Dr. Katja Seltmann/Irene Moon, Chandra Shukla, Geneva Skeen, Gabie Strong + Peter Kolovos, Travelogue, Mark Van Hoen, CM von Hausswolff, Byron Westbrook + demos, presentations, keynotes, panel, talks…

Day Tickets, Festival Passes now posted

Touch.40 website

linktr.ee/touchactivities

Touch.40 Live at CTM, Berlin | 31st January 2022

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay

Ipek Gorgun

Oren Ambarchi & crys Cole

Youmna Saba

More photos courtesy of CTM

Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar | Iklectik 13th January 2022

The Uncertainty Principle

Uncertainty has become a dominant emotion in these Covid–Brexit times, to an extent that it can be paralysing – nothing seems to change, everybody (well, everybody with an instinct to take care of themselves and their surroundings) is on their guard, and there is a thin line between uncertainty and basic fear. And fear, as venal politicians exploit on a daily basis, is a tried and tested recipe for suffocating change.

However, seen through the prism of sound and music, uncertainty is an essential element for growth and development, the catalyst of the unexpected. Obviously, improvised music could not exist without such a precondition, but in more general terms the life of every artist and musician who seeks to create something new, has to walk the line between the familiar and the unforeseen.

Werner Heisenberg established ‘The Uncertainty Principle’ in Copenhagen in the 1920s, in essence, proving that it is impossible to determine accurately both the position and the speed of a particle at the same instant. The discovery was significant because it proved that uncertainty was a fundamental property of quantum mechanics, thereby superseding the so-called ‘observer effect’ which had previously explained why measurements could not be made without affecting and changing the system that was under scientific observation.

“There are some things in nature that we can’t know”

The distance between a composition, its recording and its distribution… The perils of the manufacturing process… How will the audience react? Will the music hold up over time? Such things can never be known for sure and it can work both ways. Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook both hated Joy Division’s debut LP “Unknown Pleasures” when they first heard it, but four decades later it’s a different story.

So the first sound seminar of 2022 is not about science, but the ways and means by which this scientific paradigm, developed 100 years ago by Heisenberg, has come to characterise everyday communications and perception, and how we can embrace it as a vital element of a brighter future, by learning better how to take risks.

Tickets

Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar | Iklectik 11th November 2021

The photograph shows Eve, one of the two Longstones at Beckhampton, near the Avebury complex in Wiltshire. Dated to 2500-2700 B.C. the Avebury stones predate Stonehenge. Adam sits in the same field, out of the picture, a taller, thinner stone. Adam in fact fell in 1911 and had to be levered back into an upright position.

‘Society and its Sculpture’ is an inquiry into the concept and ecology of permanence. Monuments, statues, icons are said to be “set in stone”. However, recent events and protests have shown that nothing is immutable. Authoritarian power and past injustices need to be challenged – the removal of the sculptures that celebrate such hegemony is part of this process.

At the Thaddaeus Ropac gallery in London, Ron Mueck is currently showing ‘25 Years of Sculpture’ which includes a recent work (2013/2015) “Couple Under an Umbrella”. At twice life-size, it shows an elderly couple in repose under a beach umbrella, their expressions quite ambiguous, the message of the piece oblique. The sculpture, described by the artist as ‘mixed media’, is close to photography and has been described as “hyperreal”.

The act of sculpting is not restricted to the use of materials like marble and stone. Many forms of composition and their documentation can be seen in this light, notably the act of recording music. Sculpture is a slow process. Not only does it take time, it needs time, making it an uncertain undertaking in the fast moving digital world we inhabit.

This sound seminar will explore how the act of sculpture relates to the sculpting of sound, in shaping the space around us – what it shows, what it leaves out, and the gap between reality and unknowable futures.

Iklectik, 11th November 2021 730PM
Tickets

Upcoming Live Shows | September 2021

28th September
IRL, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Zachary Paul & Tristan Kasten Krause – Journeys into the Bright World

Explorations of inner space and outer resonance. Zachary Paul (violin) and Tristan Kasten Krause (double bass) will engage in instrumental dialogue & improvisation, probing the geography of the mind, and the potentialities of the cybernetic stringed instrument. Eye masks will be provided.

7PM – Doors
7:30PM – Zachary Paul (solo)
8PM – Tristan Kasten-Krause (solo)
8:30PM – Paul / Kasten-Krause duo

Tickets

30th September
Iklectik, London

Unfortunately this show has been postponed

Philip Jeck
+ Avsluta

8PM Doors
8:30PM Showtime

Tickets

Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar | Iklectik 16th September 2021

IKLECTIK presents,

Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar: Pause Button

Thursday 16 September 2021 | 7:30pm (7 doors)

Tickets: £6 General Admission

Notes:

The pause button first appeared on reel-to-reel tape recorders in the early 1960s, on Ampex machines. Thanks to financial help from Bing Crosby, Ampex had developed reel-to-reel magnetic tape and tape recorders in the late 1940s, so Bing could play golf and not have to do live radio broadcasts on a Saturday. Reel-to-reel tape technology had been invented by BASF in Germany during WW2, eventually discovered by U.S. Army Signal Corps in a studio at Radio Frankfurt at the end of the war.

Compact cassette recorders were developed by the Dutch company Philips not in the Netherlands but in Hasselt, Belgium, by Lou Ottens and his team in 1963, but the format took a few years to hit the home recording market. Seven-inch singles, jukeboxes and portable radios ruled at the time.

VCRs had developed in parallel but VHS did not become a big thing until the 1970s. One could argue that pause buttons had been there years earlier, in the form of stop frame film cameras like the Bolex (1935) or even the on/off switch of a wireless.

No-one thought to pause a vinyl record until turntables and slip-mats let DJ’s reinvent their functionality. In digital/electronic contexts, the pause button is an essential feature, from soundcloud sites to washing machines. Pause for thought, or a vital tool to offset frequent interruptions?

The button itself – “In musical notation, caesura is the term used for a pause of decent size. The same word is used for the part of a poem when you take a breath.” A caesura is indicated in poetry by the symbol || and in music by the symbol //.”

The root meaning of the word is specific, it comes from the Greek ‘pausis’, to halt, or to stop. Could a pause be an opportunity to take stock, to think twice and maybe change your mind – or simply a delaying tactic, a respite from the endless now?

Tone 32V | Fennesz Sakamoto “Cendre”

Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft

11 tracks – 51:56
Now available on vinyl for the first time, to be released 15th October 2021
Pre-order from Kudos Records (UK) or Forced Exposure (North America) – link to follow, or check in here. The digital edition is still available here.

This release features a duet between Christian Fennesz [guitar/lapop] and Ryuichi Sakamoto [piano/laptop] – a continuing collaboration between two highly regarded composers. Their first, ‘Sala Santa Cecilia’, was a 19 minute overture from their live performance in Rome in November 2004 [Touch # Tone 22, 2005]. Bill Meyer in Magnet (US) wrote: “Cross-generational encounters are never a sure thing, but this one strikes sparks” and Max Scaefer in Cyclic Defrost (USA): ” a moment of much beauty, not to mention anticipation for the promised full-length effort to come.” Tom Sekowski adds in Gaz-eta (USA): “We can only hope this astonishing collaboration will turn into something more tangible, more permanent.”

So then followed we have ‘Cendre’… Cendre was recorded between 2004 and 2006 in New York City by Ryuichi Sakamoto and in Vienna by Christian Fennesz. They came together for the mix in New York City in February of that year. Fennesz would send Sakamoto a guitar or electronic track and Sakamoto would compose his piano piece. This process was also reversed – Sakamoto initiating the track with a piano composition and Fennesz responding. Meanwhile they met for live shows, or communicated via digital means to compare notes, swop ideas and develop themes… And the cyclical process continued right up until the final mix.

Ryuichi Sakamoto and Christian Fennesz blend the unstructured and imaginative qualities of improvisation with the satisfying sculpture of composition. Sakamoto’s piano, his style reminiscent of Debussy and Satie, perfectly complements Fennesz with his powerful blend of shimmering guitar and passionate electronics.

Together they have combined to create 11 tracks of satisfying and challenging possibilities…

Track list:

1. oto
2. aware
3. haru
4. trace
5. kuni
6. mono
7. kokoro
8. cendre
9. amorph
10. glow
11. abyss