Jóhann Jóhannsson: Unique church concert and tribute to an acclaimed Icelandic composer


Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson is widely known for his film soundtracks, including the acclaimed ‘The Theory of Everything’, for which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for Oscar, BAFTA and Grammy awards.

His tried and tested combination of classical compositions with electronic music was to be heard on highly-praised albums; his debut ‘Englabörn’ (Touch, 2002), ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ (Touch, 2004), ‘IBM 1401, A User’s Manual’ (4AD, 2006), ‘Fordlândia’ (4AD, 2008) and more recently ‘Orphée’ (DM, 2016).

Jóhannsson passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, in his apartment in Berlin, at the age of 48.



Together with Adam Wiltzie (A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Stars of the Lid), a close friend, and under the approving eye of Jóhannsson’s management, great care has been taken in selecting a programme, line-up, location and date. Touch is honoured to have been invited to provide the soundtrack (live) either side of the main event.


On the programme: a complete performance of ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s second album, which was released in 2004 as the successor to his debut ‘Englabörn’. ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ means as much as ‘eminent presidents’ and also served at the time as soundtrack for an expo about … euh … presidents. ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ is a stately, minimalistic composition in four parts with a duration of about 60 minutes. The instrumentation consists of 11 brass players, percussion, organ and piano. Until now, the album has only been performed live twice (The first was at Ultima, Oslo and then in the famous Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik, the place where Jóhann’s funeral was held.)


For the location of the concert, it was a deliberate choice to opt for a church, and then specifically the Church of Saint John The Baptist at the Béguinage. No coincidence, as Adam Wiltzie fell for the acoustics there after a previous successful concert with his band Stars of the Lid.


Adam Wiltzie (electro/organ) – who is also to be heard on diverse soundtracks by Jóhannsson – put together the line-up with the greatest of care. Although it is still a work in progress, aside from Wiltzie, Skúli Sverrisson (bass/electro) and conductor Guðni Franzson will join the band. Both were to be heard on ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’. Belgian Brass was selected for the wind instruments, they had already been invited by Jóhannsson for the live performance of his album ‘The Miners’ Hymns’ (130701, 2011).

DATE: 19.09.2018

There’s no such thing as coincidence, as even the date has been chosen with care. On September 19 Jóhannsson would have turned 49

TO:106 | Ipek Gorgun – “ECCE HOMO”

CD + full album download – 11 tracks – 47:06

Release date: 7th September 2018

Ecce Homo explores the lighter and darker shades of the human psyche, behaviour and existence, and humanity’s ability to create beauty and destruction. What lies in the essence of such complexity has become a core idea for the album, while Gorgun seeks to figure out if there is a true meaning to being human, and human being.

Starting with “Neroli” as a human fascination with nature and finalising with “To Cross Great Rivers”; the album reflects the contemplations of a spectator being exposed to the human civilization, and witnessing human activity, including his/her own.

Trying to acquire a glimpse of the various layers of human flesh and bones, the sound of the album aims to present a diversity of the sonic spectrum, with tracks varying between ambient and noisy landscapes.

Track Titles:

1. Neroli – you can listen to this track here
2. Afterburner
3. Tserin Dopchut
4. Le Sacre l
5. Le Sacre ll
6. Bohemian Grove
7. Seneca
8. Knightscope K5
9. Reverance
10. Mileva
11. To Cross Great Rivers

All tracks recorded and mixed by Ipek Gorgun, Istanbul 2016 – 2018
Mastered by Denis Blackham @ Skye
Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft

Pitchfork: “The Turkish sound artist balances technical precision, emotional potency, and trenchant cultural critique on an album whose individual sounds are as compelling as their widescreen narratives.”

Beach Sloth: “A truly unusual and downright beautiful intersection of the experimental and emotional, Ipek Gorgun’s “Ecce Homo” is a true triumph.”

You can read all reviews here

Artist Biography

Ipek Gorgun is an electronic music composer currently enrolled in the doctoral program of Sonic Arts at Istanbul Technical University’s Center for Advanced Studies in Music. After graduating from Bilkent University with a degree in Political Science, she completed her Master’s studies in Philosophy at Galatasaray University.

As one of the participants of the Red Bull Music Academy in 2014, she performed in Tokyo as an opening artist for Ryoji Ikeda’s “Test Pattern No: 6” and joined Otomo Yoshidide for a collective improvisation project.

​As a bass player and vocalist for projects and bands such as Bedroomdrunk and Vector Hugo between 2001-2013, she also performed in an opening gig for Jennifer Finch from L7 and Simon Scott from Slowdive, as well as performing live with David Brown from Brazzaville. She has released two EPs with Bedroomdrunk, entitled “This is What Happened (2003)” and “Raw (2007)”.

​Besides group projects and solo performances, she also composed the soundtrack for the documentary ‘Yok Anasinin Soyadi (Mrs. His Name) directed by Hande Cayir in 2012, portraying Turkish women’s struggle for keeping their original surnames after marriage.

​Her debut album Aphelion was self-released in February, 2016 and is reissued by Touch in December, under the TOUCHLINE catalogue. In 2017 she released a collaborative album from Halocline Trance, with Canadian producer Ceramic TL (aka Egyptrixx) entitled “Perfect Lung”, and a mini-album with the Italian electroacoustic duo, Alberi.

Aside from many performances following these albums, she also performed in Sonar Istanbul (2017), BBC Radio 3’s “Open Ear” at LSO St. Luke’s (2018) and opened for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Oggimusica Acousmonium with an electronic rework of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” (2018).

Ipek Gorgun also practices performance, street and abstract photography. She won the IPA honorable mention award in 2013-14 with her work entitled “Bubblegun Daydreamer” and in 2013, she worked as the advertisement photographer for Contemporary Istanbul Art fair.

Available to preorder from Bandcamp now

Touch Movements | Torino August 2018

Philip Jeck transforms the space

Simon Scott, in the element

Today’s Festival, Turin, Italy | 24-26th August 2018

Friday 24th August
1900 Touch Movements
2300 Philip Jeck

Saturday 25th August
1900 Touch Movements
2300 Simon Scott

Location: PLARTWO


Tone 64D | Simon Scott – “Grace”

Tone 64D – 1 track EP – Download only – 18:39

Release date: 10th August 2018


1. Grace

Now available to order on Bandcamp

Grace begins with a 12 string acoustic guitar fed into a modular synthesiser that spits out beautiful grains of sound that rise and fall like the sun. Textures build up and then slip away leaving a pipe organ playing and the church room recordings sonically revealing passing cyclists, rainfall and Cambridge bus station. It shimmers like an oscillating river until the strings fade and the final third section slips in and a deep organ tone leads the tapestry of sound into field recordings, strings and processed instruments. The contact mics on the organ pipes are heard, floorboards and unidentified human sounds appear and the alarm call of a blackbird seeps into the piece.

Simon Scott’s forthcoming new album, “Soundings” will be out later this year on Touch.

Written recorded, mixed and mastered by Simon Scott at SPS
in Cambridge. Strings performed and recorded in Glendale, California
by Charlie Campagna (‘cello) and Zachary Paul (viola and violin).
Pipe organ recorded at The Unitarian Church, Cambridge, UK.

Thanks to Charlie Campagna, Zachary Paul, Andrew Brown and Jeannie Witty.

Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music UK Ltd
Photography by Jon Wozencroft

You can read a review here in Up to Speed

Touch presents… Live at Coaxial, Los Angeles | 4th August 2018

Mark Van Hoen
Geneva Skeen
Zachary Paul
rough music

Doors at 8pm


Sleepless, Music Center, Los Angeles | 27th July 2018

1130pm – 230am

In partnership with Fulcrum Arts, this special Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours celebrates the relationship of science and art, reimagining the role of artist as the scientist and transforming The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in powerful new ways.

Explore the intersection of science and art, as this distinct Sleepless connects the two disciplines in a dynamic evening featuring exhibitions, performance art, live music performances, DJ sets, installations and more. Stay up and discover the art of science.

1. Field Recording Exhibition
Dial in to hear field recordings from Chris Watson and Jana Winderen at the Sleepless Phone Booths.

2. Slow Sound
Plug into this headphone experience with live sets from Zachary Paul and Jasmin Blasco.

Curated by Fulcrum Arts


TO:107 | OZMOTIC – “Elusive Balance”

CD – 7 tracks – 41:44

Release date: 6th July 2018

OZMOTIC is a multidisciplinary artistic project, deeply fascinated by the dynamics of contemporary society, by architecture, cities and vast uncontaminated spaces.

OZMOTIC creates world sounds characterized by an intense tonal variety and a refined rhythmic research. The interaction between electronic music and digital visual art in

real time is an essential trait of OZMOTIC’s aesthetic.

Having previously collaborated with Fennesz, Murcof, Bretschnider and Senking, “Elusive Balance” is their third album, following “AirEffect” in 2015, and “Liquid Times” in 2016 (both for FolkWisdom). OZMOTIC now release their debut album for Touch.

Mastered by Denis Blackham
Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft

Watch their video for “Being” on Vimeo

Track listing:

1. Elusive Balance
2. Hum
3. Pulsing
4. Lymph
5. Being
6. Whisper
7. Insecting


“Elusive Balance” explores the relationship between humans and nature, as well as the search for balance between these two great entities.

The theme of equilibrium and its precariousness, and its natural tendency to achieve relative stability connects all living things. Equilibrium is also a junction point and evolutionary engine – unstable and elusive, ready to deteriorate and to start a new reaction mechanism bringing organisms to a new harmony.

“Beauty is a rare and fleeting thing; it oftencorresponds to those phases where we can grasp that unstable equilibrium which exists between us and the world at large.”


Musically the album seeks resolution of sound contrasts, in a continuous search for an emotional component that gives simultaneously a feeling of tension and stillness.

There is a duality between the ‘organic’components (represented by soprano sax and percussion) and their interaction with machinesand computers.

In “Elusive Balance”, OZMOTIC investigate the essence of their sound to expand its emotional and compositional potential. Each track contains a search for a synthesis between sound elements apparently distant from each other, but in reality create a new balance – as poetic as it is musical.

The album’s seven tracks draw a sonic flow in which the melodic aspects are countered by glitchesand angular sounds, and the ambient passages are subjected to heavy rains of rhythm, leaving space for dreamlike moments.

Available to order from Bandcamp now

Jon Wozencroft on resonancefm | 1730-1830 Monday 11th June 2018

Mark Aitken examines the relationship between photography and sound. This week in
the last edition of the series, Jon Wozencroft from Touch offers a synthesis between his photography and music from the label he founded. We delve into sounds and images from the recently published Touch Movements, including Chris Watson, Philip Jeck and Eleh.


Touch Presents… Live in Berlin | 20th June 2018

Touch Presents….
Doors: 21:00 Start: 21:00

Mark Van Hoen
Mark Van Hoen is a British electronic music artist. He has just released his new solo album, “Invisible Threads” on Touch. Pitchfork said, “Musically, Van Hoen belongs to a distinguished family tree. Originally influenced by the likes of Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream, and later presaging both Autechre’s glitch and Boards of Canada’s pastoral IDM.”

Sohrab was born in Tehran in 1984. He was seven when the Iran-Iraq war ended. His name, from an old poem called ‘Shahname’, means ‘rouge water’, which can also mean ‘blood’. He started a punk band with his brother and a friend, which lasted about two years before splitting… He was totally isolated in Iran, so he left (if only it was that easy) and now resides in Germany.

Jasmin Blasco 
Jasmin Blasco (b.1981) is a multi-disciplinary artist who approaches time-based media as the site where sound, image, and language conspire to generate fictions. Through a process of research and abstraction, his practice stages the individual in problematic narratives. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Marta De Pascalis
Marta De Pascalis (Rome, 1987) is an Italian composer living and working in Berlin. Her solo works employ analog synthesis and tape loops, incorporating free playing into steady, repetitive patterns. She has produced two albums of Berlin School minimal synth excursions: the self-released Quitratue (2014) and Anzar (The Tapeworm, 2016). Her new piece ‘Her Core’ will be published on spring 2018 by The Wormhole.

++DJ v93r
++++Secret special guest



TO:110 | Strafe F.R. – “The Bird Was Stolen”

CD – 14 tracks – 63 minutes

Release date: 25th May 2018

Track listing:

1. Jovian Tempest
2. Prepper’s Home
3. Aconite
4. Anophelis
5. Cap de Barbaria
6. Pianosmoke – you can listen to this track here
7. Flare
8. Medusa
9. Golden Stomach
10. Dictator
11. Himmelgeist
12. Megalitic
13. Violet Sun
14. Towton

Based in Düsseldorf, Germany, Strafe F.R. is a long-term collaboration between the artists Bernd Kastner and S. M. Syniuga, which started in 1979. After a long period of hibernation, The Bird Was Stolen marks their return to Touch following four previous releases in the 80s and early 90s.

From their early connection with the local punk and new wave scene, centered around the Ratinger Hof in Düsseldorf, Strafe went on to develop a unique and influential form of sound sculpture that pioneered the use of field recordings alongside home-made instruments and the use of the studio as a performance space.

A new track, ‘Virgin’, which appeared on the recent Touch Movements CD/book, gave an early indication that they are back at the peak of their powers. The Bird Was Stolen presents 14 new compositions that push the signature sound of Strafe F.R.

It all started with the eagle, Eaton, who was eating the liver of Prometheus. Prometheus was a Titan, not a god. He was teaching humans how to make fire and was punished by the gods for having done that.

Through this, the humans experienced the meaning of Strafe Für Rebellion
(in English, ‘Punishment for rebellion’). Ever since this happened, the members of SFR register peculiarities and specific incidents as an incitement to make music.

Some examples are as follows:
When searching for new sounds inside the bowels of a piano we occasionally found the sleeping Franz Liszt. Underneath the piano pedal, the MC5 were glued. Unfortunately the mites have eaten all of our socially and critically-engaged texts.

Recently, neozea, similar to indian parrots, fly above our streets. They are able to talk, and they scream: ‘No Guitars!’. Several foxes devoured the analog tapes from our old tape recorder; there are Chinese mitten crabs living inside the bass drum. A bullfrog has eaten up the marsh frog population that we once recorded at a nearby airport. Large blowflies are sitting on the guest chair in our studio lounge.

The helicopters belonging to the German army are in a desperate condition. However, the poor maintenance of the machines has unleashed a fantastic new sound. The same way that Prometheus’s liver is renewed and grows again each night, happens also to the Zeitgeist. Because of this, we must continue to work on the music. We cannot stop and will never finish.

There is vanilla fudge in the coconut trees.

Available to order in Bandcamp now

TO:104 | Mark Van Hoen – “Invisible Threads”

CD – 7 tracks – 39:51

Release date: 25th May 2018

Track listing:

1 Weathered
2 Dark Night Sky Paradox
3 Opposite Day
4 The Yes_No Game
5 Aethēr
6 Flight Of Fancy
7 Instable

All titles composed and recorded by Mark Van Hoen in Los Angeles 2016
Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham

In mid 2016 I did a brief tour of the west coast with Philip Jeck, Simon Scott, Daniel Mensche, Lee Bannon, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Pye Corner Audio and Marcus Fischer. The music of all these great artists and the experience of playing these shows with them all informed what would become ‘Invisible Threads’ which was primarily composed and recorded in the latter half of 2016. I had not played live at dates in such a dense cluster for many years, and the exposure to so much great music and the artists was inspiring. Other Touch artists were also an influence here – Claire M Singer, Jana Winderen and as ever Chris Watson (who has been an enduring influence from the moment I first heard Cabaret Voltaire in 1979)… along with my project ‘drøne’ with Mike Harding… the collaborative aspect of drøne brought up a few new paths in itself.

During the time I was recording the album I was editing audio and sound design for films – this too went some way to defining the structure and sound of ‘Invisible Threads’. At the time of recording several of the titles on the album, I had re-read ‘The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion’, a short story by Edgar Allen Poe… and in some ways this record is a soundtrack to that.

The title ‘Invisible Threads’ refers to the intangible connection between all of the musical and personal influences that brought this record into being.

Instrumentation/sound sources

Modular synthesizer notably using modules manufactured by Make Noise, The Harvestman & Mutable Audio
Software – Ableton Live, Pro Tools and many plugins – heavily used were Max, Soundhack and Native Instruments’ Reaktor & Kontakt
Sound libraries from Spitfire Audio.
Fender Rhodes piano, Fender Jaguar guitar. Farfisa Organ, Vox continental.
Notably no analogue synthesizers were used on this album – probably the first time I’ve made a record without them since ‘Aurobindo: Involution’ in 1994
A few field recordings made on my very modest Zoom H4n recorder (mainly domestic sounds) made it onto the record
Some ‘found’ sources also are present, mainly from vinyl records and YouTube.

Available to order in Bandcamp now

Jon Wozencroft; Radio Sound Seminar Resonance FM 104.4FM | 10th May 2018

“The Work and the Living”
Thursday 10th May 7.50–9.00PM
Gasworks, London

For the RCA, Curating Contemporary Art event “Who Cares? A radio tale”.
Presented by Jon Wozencroft, Visual Communication/Experimental Communication


Digital Only Releases by Fennesz & Philip Jeck | May 4th 2018

Fennesz – Station One
2 track digital only release
Order now on Bandcamp

Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft


1. Tom
2. Silk Road

“Tom” was previously released on the modeselektor vol.3 compilation in 2014. Please see here:

“Silk Road” (formerly “Silk Lane”) was part of an installation for The Red Bull Music Academy, New York City in 2016. it was only played once in a loop for a whole day and has never been released.

The tracks have been reworked, slightly remixed and remastered at kaiserstudios in Vienna in April 2018.

Fennesz is recording a new album for Touch to be released later in 2018.

Philip Jeck – Arcade
digital only release
Order now on Bandcamp

Recorded live at Iklectik, London on March 23rd 2018. Also playing that night were Yann Novak and Simon Scott
Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

1. Arcade 32.:56 – you can hear an extract here

Touch Live at Iklectik | 23rd March 2018

This show is now sold out

Philip Jeck
Yann Novak
Simon Scott


Spire 7 | The Eternal Chord – “Semper Liber”

CD – 4 tracks – 78:40 minutes

Release date: 4th May 2018 (North America) | 18th May 2018 (Rest of World)

Track listing:

1. Aeternus
2. Perpetuum
3. Immortalis
4. Semper Liber

‘Semper Liber’ consists of a series of duets featuring Marcus Davidson, Hildur Gudnadottir, Mike Harding, Charles Matthews, Clare M Singer, Maia Urstad and Anna von Hausswolff and are drawn from recordings made at Spire events since 2009. Mixed by its curator, Mike Harding, at the Völlhaus, and mastered by Mark Van Hoen, this powerful 4 track collection – to be played as one piece – explores the sonics of the mighty organ in all its thundering glory. 


Performed on the 1893 Schlag & Söhne organ at Johanneskirken, Bergen; the 1967 Karl Ludwig Schuke organ at Passionskirche, Berlin; the Peter Bares organ, inaugurated in 2004, at Kunststation St Peter, Cologne; the 1885 ‘Father’ Henry Willis organ at Lincoln Cathedral; the 1877 ‘Father’ Henry Willis organ at Union Chapel, London; the Rieger organ at St. Stephan’s Church, Mautern & the 1897 Johnson & Son organ at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, Riga between 2009 and 2016

The 4 colour plates by the art historian and author Sydney Russell show cave art from 4 to 6 thousand years ago. Taken in Brazil on one of several expeditions she made around the world, these highly emotional works reveal the sophistication and ageless quality of the imagination of the peoples who were expressing themselves at this time; they have been slow to reveal their beauty to us, having survived all weathers; their acoustic soundtrack unfolds slowly, submersive and involving.

Sydney Russell writes: “These photographs were taken in 1976 in Brazil. We eventually obtained minimum radio carbon datings for levels covering the paintings from approximately 3750-2500 BCE. They originate from the rock shelter sites of Sucupira, (Lagoa Santa) and Lapa do Cipo (Santana do Riacho), near Minas Gerais and Quadrillas (Montalvania), Bahia. Please refer to the website for more information.”

Mixed at the Völlhaus
Mastered by Mark Van Hoen
Photography by Sydney Russell
Artwork by Philip Marshall

Editor’s additional note: It really DOES matter what equipment you play this audio work on… I have tried several and there is a huge difference; best results are obtained with a high quality CD + speaker system with separate subwoofer.

Order The Eternal Chord – “Semper Liber” [CD + Download] in Bandcamp

Touch Is 36 Today

Today, 11th March, is the official 36th 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…

Yann Novak Tours USA & Northern Europe | Feb – March 2018

February 23rd @ Human Resources, Los Angeles, USA
Curated by Mike Harding & Yann Novak
Touch Presents…
Jasmin Blasco
Robert Crouch
Garek Druss
Jake Muir
Yann Novak
Zachary Paul
Geneva Skeen
Byron Westbrook

March 9th @ Fylkingen, Stockholm, Sweden
Touch Presents…
Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Leif Elggren
Yann Novak

March 14th @ AB Salon, Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
Touch Presents…
Philip Jeck
Yann Novak

March 15th @ De Ruimte, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Touch Presents…
Philip Jeck
Yann Novak

March 23rd @ Iklectik, London
Touch Presents…
Philip Jeck
Yann Novak
Simon Scott

Tone 60 | Touch Presents… – “Live at Human Resources”

Download only – 9 tracks – Available from the Touch Bandcamp page

Release date: 1st March 2018

February 23rd @ Human Resources, Los Angeles, USA
Curated by Mike Harding & Yann Novak

To launch the release of Yann Novak’s second album for Touch, a live event was held at Human Resources on 23rd February in Los Angeles.

The evening also included a tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson by the ensemble

“Inspired use of @Bandcamp by @touchmusic – presenting last Friday’s #gigoftheyear to a global audience less than a week after @yannnovak & co (@robertcrouch @JasminBlasco @garekjondruss @_jakemuir @geneeves @byronwestbrook)’s “absorbing & immersive salon”” (Lend Me Your Ears)

Touch Presents…

Jasmin Blasco
Robert Crouch
Garek Druss
Jake Muir
Yann Novak
Zachary Paul
Geneva Skeen
Byron Westbrook

You can read about the event here – artculturejazz.com/yann-novak-album-release-at-human-resources

Photo: Jon Wozencroft, Kew Gardens, London

Available from the Touch Bandcamp page

Jon Wozencroft is in Wild Air

Jon Wozencroft is a Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art responsible for sound, moving image and photography on the Visual Communication programme, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary structures. He holds monthly, cross-college, sound seminars that explore the invisible aspects of art and design practice.