Touch: Isolation

28 new and exclusive tracks recorded by Touch artists, with the final track delivered on 25th May 2020. A photographic counterpoint, the view from Hampstead Heath during the London lockdown. Touch: Isolation is a subscription project that evolved over April and May 2020. Click here to subscribe.

A time to support independent music while it still exists!

For the last two months we have published new pieces twice weekly each Monday and Thursday… We trust you will see this as a whole work; it’s never too late to catch up. We view it as a narrative hoping that ecology and the future of this earth is going to win through against the dreadful political and mediated mendacity that can only worsen the situation.

The subscription will remain open for the foreseeable future, so there is still time to support independent music, its artists and its fragile support systems. Thank you to everyone who has taken the plunge.

“Please keep your distance, the trail leads from here…”

The cancellation of gigs and festivals has already severely impacted our artists creatively and financially. In addition it has denied you, our audience, the opportunity to see them play and support them. The notion of ‘independent music’ might, in effect, be pushed deeper into the self-isolation mode it is already struggling to break free from. We don’t need studios to the same extent, but we do need a stage, a physical reference and if not, a mental space with which to question the drive to online existence.

We set out to respond to these challenging times in a creative and helpful way. The idea is to present Touch: Isolation whereby a new exclusive track from one of our artists, each with a bespoke photograph/cover image, is presented on a regular basis over the coming weeks. All the income received is collected from your subscriptions and put in a kitty, the proceeds of which are then divided up between the contributing artists.

These new and exclusive interventions include works by Heitor Alvelos, Oren Ambarchi, Charlie Campagna, Richard Chartier, ELEH, farmersmanual, Fennesz, fennesz sakamoto, Bana Haffar, Howlround, Philip Jeck, Bethan Kellough, Daniel Menche, Anthony Moore, Yann Novak, OZMOTIC, Rosy Parlane, Zachary Paul, Simon Scott, Claire M Singer, Geneva Skeen, Sohrab, Strafe F.R., UnicaZürn, Mark Van Hoen, CM von Hausswolff, Chris Watson and Jana Winderen – all expertly mastered by Denis Blackham.

We invite you to take this unique opportunity to support the artists, without whom there would be no alternative to corporate art… support the industries which realise the artists’ creation – the uncredited producers, designers, software developers, distributors, vinyl cutters, mastering engineers, friends and family etc., who all symbiotically depend on the other to bring their works to fruition…

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The subscription costs £20 for 20 (or more) tracks – please support the artists by investing in the Touch: Isolation project, and expect surprises – good ones for a change.

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Social distancing. Actual space. If you can get out, you have to get out. Escape velocity – from Brexit, then somehow prevent institutional meltdown? The UK shows the way, in a method that beggars belief.

The photographs were taken on Hampstead Heath during the UK/London lockdown between March and May 2020, primarily in West Heath and the area around Golders Hill whose open space minimises the problems of social distancing. The weather, being superb after weeks of high winds and heavy rain, seemed a metaphor for regeneration and recovery, with the trees coming into bloom – in defiance of the scene we witnessed 33 years earlier after the Great Storm of October 1987 when, in the days that followed, the Heath looked like an arboreal graveyard.

The objective is to find a sense of quiet celebration, to look at the balance between the detail and the scaling force of open spaces. Let’s hope they can remain open.

To make 20 (or more) record covers in a short period for sound and music we had yet to hear, and to then match the photography to each artist’s contribution… If this seems somewhat in the style of the children’s game, ‘Pin the tail on the donkey’, then perhaps that’s more apt than pretending we know how everything fits together at this juncture.

This might also be seen an opportunity to give an early documentation to the mental state of 2020, remembering the year 2000 and the threat of the ‘millennium bug’, this may well become known as the year when x melted into y, to avoid z.

Roughly a dozen years ago, life went broadband. Today we see our reliance on digital systems like never before.

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‘As a dwindling member of the generation that lived through and served in the Second World War I think in some ways this is much worse. It was possible to live in a country area and apart from rationing see little of the war. Bombing was spasmodic and haphazard, and our defences were really good. After a year, there was very little chance of an invasion and much of life – sport, theatres and radio, continued as before. Restaurants and hotels remained largely open, rationed according to turnover.’ David John Harding, b. 1925.

Further reading:

furtherdot blog
igloo magazine
ambient blog
Broadcasting House, BBC Radio 4
Xenographica
The New Lofi
The Times Literary Supplement
Map Magazine
a closer listen