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...





Tone 57 | UnicaZurn - “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

Born and raised in Ankara - Turkey, 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 with her dissertation in entitled “le Silence de l’Etre-avec et de l’Etre-Seul dans Etre et Temps de Heidegger” (The Silence of Being-Alone and Being-Together in Heidegger’s Being and Time).

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. In April 2015, she was invited to Cologne as artist-in-residence and performer by the New Music Foundation of Cologne (ON: Cologne) and Opekta Ateliers.

After a brief education in classical guitar, her journey as a performer began in 2001 as a fill-in drummer for Four Handle One Scandal, a punk-rock/ska band. After switching to bass guitar and singing, she took place in experimental music projects such as Bedroomdrunk, Coquelicot and Vector Hugo between the years 2001 – 2012 and opened for Jennifer Finch from L7 and Simon Scott from Slowdive, while playing live with David Brown from Brazzaville in Istanbul and Ankara. 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.

In addition to musical efforts, Ipek Gorgun 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. She has also contibuted to contemporary poetry journals such as Yumusakge and Tenedos between 2007 – 2009.

Reviews for the self-released version:

“Splintered bleeps phase in and out across funnelling drones make for a delicate introduction, but they’ve very soon obliterated, bulldozed buy a barelling blast of deep, droning, high-volume electronic noise and scraping feedback, fuzzed out at the edges with distortion. On Aphelion, Gorgun exploits the full dynamic range, moving between soft and sometimes ominous quieter passages to louder, harsher tones; sometimes gliding, long notes hover, while at others, sharp, sudden arrive unexpectedly to jolt the listener. In terms of frequencies, too, Gorgun explores the sonic spectrum to powerful and sometimes uncomfortable effect.” [Christopher Nosnibor, Aural Aggravation]

“‘Glacial’ is a term often used to describe experimental electronic music but that would be a criminally wasteful term of expression to describe the shifting, pulsing and often gnarled soundscapes of Ipek Gorgun. At times it does indeed have a pinpoint crystal iciness about it with what feels like washes of cold, pure Eno or Fennesz like sound invading the head space, and yet at other times the growling, bubbling analogue synths of someone like Aphex Twin spring to mind, or the odd ball, twitchy, cult composers like François Bayle or Eliane Radigue. Whichever way you look at it, this is a fine example of intricate electronic sound design.” [Vision Music Promotion, London]

“What makes Aphelion extra special is that even though that build is gradual and patient, it never feels like an exercise or a closed system. Each track progresses with an unencumbered air; Gorgun has figured out how to make careful, deliberate steps feel like spontaneous leaps, and vice versa. So when Aphelion is droning, it feels ready to burst into pointillist clusters; when it’s busy, it feels on the verge of calm. By the end it actually is calm, drifting into a beatific denouement that’s fully earned by the diverse activity that preceded it. But this is music too rich and complex for easy endings, and all the conclusion really does is make me want to press play again.” [Marc Masters, 200 Words Pitchfork/The Out Door]

“Listened to in a state of semi-willing wakefulness in the imminent expectation of the arrival of hypnotised, tired-out dozing that movement through a landscape can engender, Aphelion matches those moods and the state of hovering just between consciousness and collapse. shifts and half-cogent tones seem to speak of a dormant world of figurative symbolism and archetypal tone poems celebrating the restful dissolve into the slumbering arms of an electronic Morpheus.” [Antron S. Meister, FreqZine]





UnicaZürn

Stephen Thrower and David Knight will perform at Café Oto as Unica Zürn on Wednesday 25th January 2017. Their debut album for Touch, Transpandorem (Touch # Tone 57), is due to be released on the same day...

Book tickets for Café Oto

Touch presents...
Live at Café Oto

Unica Zürn
with Charles Bullen

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

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.





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

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





Tone 55 | Yann Novak "Ornamentation"

Compact disc in wallet - 1 track - 49;00

Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Release date: 11th November 2016

Track listing and notes:

1. Ornamentation

Presented live in Los Angeles. Source material includes field recordings captured throughout the United States and Canada from 2006–2016 and modular synthesizer recordings, all digitally altered.

Yann Novak is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Ornamentation is Novak's first physical release on Touch and continues his investigations of presence, stillness and mindfulness through the construction of immersive spaces, both literal and figurative. On Ornamentation Novak resists modernism's problematic relationship to race, class and labour, and attempts to decouple contemporary minimalist sound work from this historical precedent. The title refers to Adolf Loos's notorious 1913 manifesto, 'Ornament and Crime,' in which the author argues that the desire to adorn architecture, the body, objects, etc., is a primitive impulse, and the proper and moral evolution of Western culture depends in part upon the removal of ornamentation from daily life. Loos devalued the labor traditionally associated with aesthetics and beauty, and equated ornamentation with the degenerate. In this context, one could consider ornamentation as a way of viewing decay. His examples as such (tattoos, fashion, style, painting, et al.) predictably fell along divisions of race and class, coding modernity as the next outward manifestation of white, capitalist patriarchy. Throughout the process of creating Ornamentation, Novak attempts to sidestep some of Loos's modernist intolerances by focusing on the labor of composition itself, rather than particular processes or structures. Novak began by incorporating specific field recordings from his archive, deliberately selected for their poor quality; awkward interruptions, low fidelity smartphone recordings, problematic frequencies. The selection of these difficult sounds, processed alongside recordings of his modular synthesizer, created a unique set of challenges for Novak where the familiar, reductive approaches would fail to be useful and ultimately abandoned in favor of more dynamic, additive, and laborious process. Unlike minimalism with its roots in modernism, or "sound art" with its conceptual biases, Novak creates a work that acknowledges these conventions, yet stands apart as a meditation on beauty, labour, and aesthetics; Ornamentation as an adornment of time itself.

You can read an interview in ATTN:Magazine here

Pre-order Yann Novak's “Ornamentation” [CD + 24bit DL] in the TouchShop
www.yannnovak.com





Spire live on NTS Radio | 7th October 2016

organ-reframed-art1





TO:102 | Lustmord "Dark Matter"

Compact disc in digifile - 3 tracks - 70:38

Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Release date: 30th September 2016

Track listing and notes:

1. Subspace
2. Astronomicom
3. Black Static

Conceived and Produced by B.Lustmord
Recorded in Los Angeles October-December 2015
Artwork & Photography by Jon Wozencroft

Derived from an audio library of cosmological activity collected between 1993 and 2003. It was gathered from various sources including NASA (Cape Canaveral, Ames, The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Arecibo), The Very Large Array, The National Radio Astronomy Observatory and various educational institutions and private contributors throughout the USA

Lustmord writes: "The Universe we inhabit is a vast expanse far larger than we are able to comprehend. As we attempt to understand its underlying structure and as we gain new insight into the nature of matter, new questions arise and further gaps in our understanding are revealed.

Behind the world that we experience lies a veil of darkness and much is hidden between, beyond and unseen.

We are limited by our inability to truly grasp the infinite breadth of the Universe, the time scales involved in its measure and our insignificant position within.

Some things will always be unknowable, and existence does not begin or end with man's conception.

Everything that has ever been observed by man, even with our most sophisticated instruments, amounts to less than five percent of the Universe.

Approximately sixty-eight percent of the Universe is unseen dark energy and approximately twenty-seven percent is unseen dark matter. We have yet to discover what dark matter is, and only know the things it is not. Although it has not been directly observed, its existence and properties are inferred from its effects on visible matter, its influence on the Universe's large-scale structure, and its effects in the cosmic microwave background.

The universe began of darkness, not of light.

While space is a virtual vacuum, it does not mean there is no sound in space. It exists in space as naturally occurring electromagnetic vibrations, many well within the range of human hearing while others exist at different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum and these can be adjusted with software to bring them within our audio range.

The recordings of these interactions in space come from several different environments including radio, ultra violet, microwave and X-ray data and within these spectra a wide range of sources including interstellar plasma and molecules, radio galaxies, pulsars masers and quasars, charged particle interactions and emissions, radiation, exotic astrophysical objects, cosmic jets and flares from magnetars."

About Lustmord:

Widely credited as the originator of the “Dark Ambient” genre. Credits on over forty motion pictures including The Crow and Underworld. One of the two composers for the Turtle Rock/2K game Evolve. Worked with John Balance, Chris & Cosey, Clock DVA, Current 93, Paul Haslinger, Maynard James Keenan, Melvins, Nurse With Wound, Tool and Wes Borland amongst others.


Pre-order Lustmord's “Dark Matter” [CD] in the TouchShop
www.lustmord.com





Spire live at Organ reframed | 8th October 2016

The 17th Spire will take place at Union Chapel, London on 8th October 2016 as part of the ORGAN reframed Festival (7-9 October 2016)

Union Chapel and Touch are proud to present…

Spire
Union Chapel, London
700pm - 1030pm Saturday October 8th 2016

Spire: organ works past present & future performed by

Charles Matthews (organ)
Philip Jeck (turntables)
Fennesz (organ & electronics)
Simon Scott (Electronics)
John Beaumont (Tenor)
Claire M Singer (Organ & electronics)
The Eternal Chord (Organ)

The Players

Charles Matthews - www.charlesmatthews.co.uk

Born in 1966, Charles Matthews studied at the Royal College of Music, London, and was an organ scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge.  His teachers have included Beryl Tichbon, Gwilym Isaac, David Pettit, Patricia Carroll, Nicholas Danby, Charles Spinks and Dr Richard Marlow. Charles has won numerous awards, perhaps most notably first prize in the 1999 Franz Liszt Organ Interpretation Competition in Budapest.  His most recent solo recording is of Francis Routh's cycle The Well-Tempered Pianist; some tracks from this CD can be heard free of charge at the composer's website.

Recent engagements include solo performances in the UK and Spain, as well as duo recitals with flute, recorder, violin, 'cello and voice.  Performances in recent months include premières of new works by Susan Howley, Rob Jones and Andrew Glover-Whitley.

A collection of Charles's compositions for flute and piano was published in 2006 by Schott.

Charles has performed for productions by the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet, and recorded music used in various theatres in Spain.

He is organist of St Catharine's Church, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, and also contributes to the Spire organ and electronics project.  He works extensively with young people, teaches piano at King's High School, Warwick, acts as piano accompanist and organ tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and works as conductor and contemporary music coach for the annual Curso Internacional Matisse at San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, where he runs the Ensemble Postante.

John Beaumont - www.thestorytenor.co.uk

"From an early age I was nurtured by the music and liturgy of the Anglican Church at Emmanuel Church in Shelley, Yorkshire, where my father was the parish priest for 20 years. A former chorister and Canon Precentor of Wakefield Cathedral, he encouraged me to follow in his footsteps, and I joined Wakefield Cathedral choir aged 8, where I was afforded that most singular of musical educations – an English cathedral choral scholar. The rhythm of the church’s year marked my time until as Head Chorister I was singing Faure’s Pie Jesu in the West Riding Cathedrals’ Festival. Beyond university I became a Tenor Songman at York Minster, enjoying again, in its idyllic surroundings the daily rhythm of music in liturgy with its ebbs & flows… Beyond working with the three choral foundations at St Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, I was singing on film soundtracks, TV advertisements, working latterly with the BBC Singers in the Proms and exploring a more diverse repertoire. Music was complemented by an 18-year career in the marketing communications industry, firstly with EMI Records and then as an Account Director with one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, and it was here that I learned about the importance of the message and the craft of communication – of storytelling."

The Eternal Chord - www.touch33.net/theeternalchord

There is no “correct” way to play the organ. Of course, there are strong and long traditions of how it should be played and by whom, but in the realm of time these rules count for nothing. The instrument has the largest frequency range of any acoustic instrument, and this unique aspect grants great freedom to the players. ALL STOPS OUT!!!

Based on an idea by Mike Harding which grew out of the Spire project, any number of players from two upwards can perform this majestic piece. Hildur Gudnadottir, Anna von Hausswolff, Maia Urstad, Marcus Davidson, Charles Matthews and others have all played alongside Mike Harding to offer various renditions of The Eternal Chord.

Simon Scott - www.simonscott.org

Simon Scott is a sound ecologist and multi-instrumentalist from Cambridge, England. His albums 'Insomni' (Ash International) and ‘FloodLines' (Touch) are out now (see above). His work explores the creative process of actively listening, the implications of recording the natural world using technology and the manipulation of natural sounds used for musical composition. He plays the drums in Slowdive and has recently collaborated with artists James Blackshaw, Spire, Taylor Deupree (Between), Isan + many more.

Claire M Singer - www.clairemsinger.com

The work of Claire M Singer has been widely commissioned, exhibited and performed throughout Europe and North America. This includes acoustic and electronic composition, fixed media, multi-media, installations and live electronics. In recent years her work has focused on a mix of organ, 'cello and electronics with performances and commissions including Union Chapel; SPNM; Sound Festival; Ladyfest; Tate Modern London; The Shunt Vaults; Chez Poulet Gallery San Francisco; XMV New York City; PRSF; Fylkingen Institute Stockholm; Ceremony Hall Austin, TX; Soundfjord; Norwich Arts Centre, no.w.here, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter Cologne and the Muziekgebouw Aan' t ij Amsterdam.

Claire is also Music Director of the organ at Union Chapel and Artistic Director of Organ Reframed festival.

Philip Jeck - www.philipjeck.com

Philip Jeck studied visual art at Dartington College of Arts. He started working with record players and electronics in the early '80's and has made soundtracks and toured with many dance and theatre companies as well as his solo concert work. His best known work "Vinyl Requiem" (with Lol Sargent): a performance for 180 '50's/'60's record players won Time Out Performance Award for 1993. He has also over the last few years returned to visual art making installations using from 6 to 80 record players including "Off The Record" for Sonic Boom at The Hayward Gallery, London [2000]. In 2010 Philip won The Paul Hamlyn Foundation Composers Award.

Philip Jeck works with old records and record players salvaged from junk shops turning them to his own purposes. He really does play them as musical instruments, creating an intensely personal language that evolves with each added part of a record. Philip Jeck makes geniunely moving and transfixing music, where we hear the art not the gimmick.

Fennesz - www.fennesz.com

Fennesz uses guitar and computer to create shimmering, swirling electronic sound of enormous range and complex musicality. "Imagine the electric guitar severed from cliché and all of its physical limitations, shaping a bold new musical language." - (City Newspaper, USA). His lush and luminant compositions are anything but sterile computer experiments. They resemble sensitive, telescopic recordings of rainforest insect life or natural atmospheric occurrences, an inherent naturalism permeating each piece.

You can hear an interview with some of the players here





Tone 54 | Bethan Kellough "Aven"

Compact disc in slip case - 5 tracks - 27:54
Limited edition of 500 copies

Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham
Release date: 26th August 2016

Live at Volume, Los Angeles, 30th April 2016 as part of Touch Conference

Track listing:

1. Descent
2. Vision
3. An Opening
4. Canopy
5. Low

The word ‘Aven' refers to an underground shaft that leads upward from the roof of a cave passage.

Recorded with SoundField SPS200 & JrF C-Series contact microphones, Sennheiser ME64, Sound Devices 788T, Elektron Monomachine, RME Fireface UCX, and Cockos Reaper. Field recordings from Iceland, June 2015 and South Africa, November 2015.

Strings performed by Bethan Kellough.

Bethan Kellough creates sound worlds that weave together instrumental materials, sound design and ambisonic field recordings. Her composition ‘Aven' is based on a recording made in Iceland in 2015, which features the booming sound of underground geothermal activity escaping to the surface through a small shaft. “Looking down into the darkness, there was a sense that a whole world existed in an unknown space beneath. The sound world of Aven is a journey through such an imagined environment.” The composition is driven by this sonic encounter, but enters the imagined worlds beneath through the instrumental material developed throughout the work. These melodic passages predominantly feature violin, which Bethan has played since childhood exploring traditional Scottish music, rock violin, free improvisation and classical studies. The field recordings used in Aven were made in Iceland during the Wildeye sound recording workshop with Chris Watson and Jez riley French, and in South Africa during the Sonic Mmabolela residency with Francisco Lopez and James Webb. Each of the recordings explore a world of sound beneath a surface, reflecting upon the initial recording environment at the geothermal site. In South Africa, an approaching storm was heralded by wind blowing through bushes in the savanna, underneath which was hidden a Soundfield microphone. A contact microphone on a fence in South Iceland revealed the tones of the wind contained inside the wires, and in an Icelandic nature reserve the wind was also captured by microphones buried underneath a layer of grass – a miniature world sheltered by the strands of dry straw.

Bethan Kellough (formerly Bethan Parkes) is a sound artist and composer. Her work spans across ambisonic composition, field recording, sound design and multichannel sound installation practices, drawing a focus on sonic spatial experience. Her works are designed to open out spaces with sound, exploring spatial aesthetics and the interactions between sonically and visually articulated spaces. The immersive sound-worlds she creates inhabit the boundaries between music and sound design, weaving together instrumental materials, sound design and ambisonic field recordings.

She holds a PhD in Sonic Arts from the University of Glasgow. In 2015 she joined the Touch Mentorship Programme.

Her works have been exhibited and performed internationally, including at Touch Conference, Los Angeles, USA; Gallery of Russian Art and Design, London, UK; Resonant Forms Festival, Los Angeles, USA; Borealis Festival, Bergen, Norway; Jardins Efemeros Festival, Viseu, Portugal; Spazio Bocciofila, Venice, Italy; The Global Composition International Conference, Dieburg, Germany; Symposium on Acoustic Ecology, University of Kent, UK; Sound Thought Festival, Glasgow, UK.

Order Bethan Kellough's “Aven” [CD] in the TouchShop
www.bethankellough.com





TOUCH vs TOUCH VINYL | Los Angeles 30th July 2016

Mark Van Hoen
Bethan Kellough

Touch Vinyl







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