TO:93 | Thomas Ankersmit "Figueroa Terrace"

Thomas Ankersmit’s new album is now available to order in the TouchShop. We are now taking advanced orders.

When you order in advance, you will receive two exclusive tracks by Thomas Ankersmit which will not appear on the album.. This offer is only available to subscribers and TouchShop customers. Release date is April 28th.

CD - 1 track - 36:49

Mastered By Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering
Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

1. Figueroa Terrace

Thomas Ankersmit is a musician and installation artist based in Berlin. Since 2006 his main instrument, both live and in the studio, has been the Serge analogue modular synthesizer.

Acoustic phenomena such as sound reflections, infrasonic vibration, otoacoustic emissions, and highly directional projections of sound have been an important part of his work since the early 2000’s.

In the winter of 2011-2012 Ankersmit was invited by the CalArts electronic music studios, Los Angeles, where the Serge was originally developed in the early 1970s, to record new music with their heavily customized and recently restored "Black Serge" system.

In addition to conventional analog synthesis techniques (FM, AM, ring modulation, filtering, enveloping and panning under voltage control), Ankersmit used various kinds of waveshaping, distortion and feedback (both internally as well as via a microphone and speaker setup in the studio); oscillator-generated frequencies at the upper and lower limits of auditory perception; a patch matrix to control quick transitions; a homemade circuit-bending type interface to create momentary interruptions to the signal flow, and the scraping of a contact microphone. Aside from recording, editing, and a few instances of reverb no digital technology was used.

The music is finely tuned and highly detailed, yet also visceral and raw. Marked by sharp perceptual contrasts, the piece shifts between dense formations of electric noise, to fields of micro-events moving with an intuitive logic, and feedback-drones of overwhelming intensity. The sounds have a real-world physicality, bringing to mind swarms of locusts, distant storms and creaking machinery rather than "synthesizer music".

The piece was premiered in North America at REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles and in Europe at Berghain, Berlin, for the MaerzMusik Festival.

The music is originally quadraphonic and mixed to stereo for this release. Figueroa Terrace is Ankersmit's first full-length solo studio release.

Thomas Ankersmit: Serge analogue modular synthesizers, contact mic. Recorded at CalArts, Valencia and in Los Angeles, December 2011-February 2012. Thanks to Kye Potter, Kevin Drumm, Valerio Tricoli, Darrel Johansen, Kevin Fortune, and everyone at CalArts.

Buy Thomas Ankersmit "Figueroa Terrace" [CD] in the TouchShop

Anna von Hausswolff - Kallan (Prototype) Locked Groove

We are compiling a database of recordings of the locked groove of the LP Anna von Hausswolff "Källan (Prototype)" at the end of side a of this release, whereby you can upload your recording and listen to all the submissions. Instructions for when you receive your copy…:

Please record 60 seconds (no more) of the locked groove at the end of side a whilst it is playing on your record player. Name the file with your name like this – YourName.mp3 and upload via ftp here:

ftp address:
username: f13f43
password: Dudx0iHH

…and email Touch with your record player information like this:
"recorded on an iPhone 5 from a test pressing played on a Vestax BDT-2500 belt driven turntable"

Thank you! Please note there are no rights to these recordings and anyone can gain access to them by logging in and downloading, so if you don't want anyone to have them, don't upload them!

Anna von Hausswolff locked groove recordings:

Click here to listen to the uploads.

Today in Touch history...

First contact with New Order after their concert at the Newcastle Mayfair on 11th March 1982…

Visit the Touch Archive pages
Touch's history

Touch Radio 102 | Howlround

7.03.14 - Brighthelm - 17:47 - 320 kbps

Howlround are the duo of Robin The Fog and Chris Weaver who create recordings and performances entirely from manipulating natural acoustic sounds on a quartet of vintage reel-to-reel tape machines - with additional reverb or electronic effects strictly forbidden. This recording documents their first ever live performance at the Brighthelm Centre as part of the Resonance FM stage at the Great Escape Festival, Brighton, 18th May 2013. It was the first time these delicate, bulky, unpredictable machines had ever left the studio - a complete step into the unknown - and therefore something of an occasion. This recording is presented without edits or overdubs, just the sound of four machines, two people and a huge tangle of quarter-inch tape, looping and snarling precariously around the venue.

Photo: Larry Gale

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Brighthelm"

Landscape & Perception on BBC iPlayer

Paul Devereux and Jon Wozencroft, supported by the Royal College of Art, have since 2007 been researching sensory ways of perceiving landscape. The project, named Landscape & Perception, has focussed primarily on the Carn Menyn ridge in the Preseli Hills of South-West Wales and environs.

The source of the Stonehenge bluestones is widely accepted to be the Preseli Hills, a heritage site seldom studied but rich in sonic phenomena, notably the lithophones that litter Carn Menyn, the main rocky outcrop on the Preseli range.

A central premise of the Landscape & Perception project is to question the hierarchy between vision and sound in the building of prehistoric monuments, in particular the sacred sites of Avebury and Stonehenge, whose acoustic dimensions have never been properly assessed.

The BBC’s Inside Out South programme joined Devereux and Wozencroft first in Wales and then at Stonehenge, to report on their research and witness the sounding of the bluestones. You can watch the 10 minute package for the next week on the BBC iPlayer (UK only).
Watch on the BBC iPlayer

Touch Radio 101 | Daybreak

16.02.14 - Daybreak - 2:06 - 320 kbps

Sunrise at Wandsworth Common railway station, London.
Photo: Pepa Ivanova.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Daybreak"

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There is an Android version of the Touch app now available. You can install it here.

Touch is a free app that keeps you up-to-date with Touch news; read about and listen to tracks from the Touch catalogue; stream each and every Touch Radio episode; save Jon Wozencroft’s Touch cover art as wallpaper and cook meals from the Touch Recipe Book.

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Tone 50D | Jana Winderen "Out of Range"

Digital Download - 1 track - 40:00 - 668mb zip file [inc wav, pdf booklet and pdf text files]

Performed, composed and recorded by Jana Winderen
Photography by Jon Wozencroft

A lower quality audio file will be available from all good download stores on 3rd March. However, we strongly recommend you obtain the version in TouchShop. It is better and cheaper…

Track listing:

1. Out of Range

"Out of Range" is an audio work based on ultrasound and echolocation used by bats, dolphins and other creatures who operate beyond the range of human hearing - 'seeing' with sound, or perhaps 'hearing' objects.

All sound is invisible; ultrasound is inaudible. Of course, many species have a greater range of hearing than us humans and also more specific and specialised with complex combinations of the different senses… Creatures on both land and under water produce and/or perceive very high sound frequencies. Some species of insects, birds, fish, and mammals can emit and hear ultrasound, used for communications, hunting and orientation. These creatures operate on a different level of perception to us, in an inaudible range above 20kHz…

Many animals also use the acoustic properties of a space; a bat for example can use the echo from a tower block wall to amplify their calls for mates in the autumn; a toadfish uses the shape of a cave to amplify their calls to protect their habitat. Whales use the different acoustic properties at different depths in the ocean at different pressure levels to send their long distance calls. An astonishing fact about moths is that they have a reflex action with their wings to shut down when they hear the bat echolocation calls… That we reckon that this is so astonishing says something about us…

The mix for the piece is based on ultrasound, hydrophone recordings below the water and also of echolocation sound within audible range. The recordings were made in various locations in Central Park and East River in New York, USA, a forest outside Kaliningrad in Russia, Regents Park in London, UK, and various locations in Madeira, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The ultrasound is time-stretched to bring it into a frequency range audible for human beings.

Recordings were made on a Pettersson Ultrasound Detector D1000X, Reson 4032 and DPA 8011 hydrophones and 4060 dpa microphones onto a Sound Devices 477T hard disk recorder.

The photographs mirror "the audible range" through a contrast between gateways, portals and sight lines, set against situations where the camera eye cannot make sense of the optical event it is confronted with.

Deutschlandradio Kultur, Redaktion Hörspiel / Klangkunst commissioned the piece for Elektroakustischer Salon: Art’s Birthday 2014, which was performed live at Berghain, Berlin, on Friday 17th January 2014. With thanks to Marcus Gammel.

Buy Jana Winderen "Out of Range" [WAV] in the TouchShop

Tone 45.6 | Anna von Hausswolff "Kallan (Prototype)"

2 tracks - Vinyl LP - 39:57
(at the request of the artist, there is no digital version of this release)

Limited edition of 500, white shrink-wrapped sleeve, with colour metallic sticker and black inner sleeve, with white labels. Expected shipping date: 3rd March 2014.

Cut by Jason at Transition Studios on 22nd January 2014
Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft

Track listing and notes:
A. Källan (Prototype) part one 20' 10" (with locked groove)
B. Källan (Prototype) part two 19' 47"

Organ: Anna von Hausswolff. Recorded live at Lincoln Cathedral, 19th October 2013.

Performed at Frequency 13 Lincoln Digital Culture Festival as part of Touch presents…, (which also featured Chris Watson & Hildur Gudnadottir). Recorded live by Mike Harding using 2 x dpa 4060s onto a Nagra Ares Pll digital recorder. This recording is unedited from the original raw file.

Though she now lives in Copenhagen, Anna von Hausswolff grew up in the once vibrant, bohemian neighbourhood of Haga in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a family who counted amongst their ancestors Bernhard Reynold von Hausswolff, an 18th Century governor of Falun, Sweden, who helped bring an end to the burning of witches. Although Anna has achieved acclaim with her song-based albums “Ceremony” and “Singing from the Grave” (both first released on Kning Disk in Sweden), she has always had an ear for the radical approach, and this is the first step in a long-term collaboration with Touch.

Pre-order Anna von Hausswolff "Kallan (Prototype) [12" Vinyl LP] in the TouchShop

TO:95 | BJ Nilsen "Eye of the Microphone"

BJ Nilsen’s new album is now available to order in the TouchShop. ‘Eye of the Microphone’ was recorded and mixed in London, 2012-13. You will receive a free download of Nilsen’s recent performance at Café Oto with this album, when purchased in the TouchShop. We are now taking advanced orders. Release date is December 16th.

Extended Digipak - 3 tracks - 43:19

Mastered By Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering
Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

1. Londinium
2. Coins and Bones
3. Twenty Four Seven

BJ Nilsen (b,1975 Sweden) Is a sound and recording artist. His work is based on the sound of nature and its effect on humans. He primarily uses field recordings and electronic composition as a working method. He has worked for film, television, theatre, dance and as sound designer. His newest album presented here is “Eye Of The Microphone” [Touch # TO:95, 2013] - a somewhat surreal audio rendition of the sounds of The City of London. Currently also working on The Acoustic City, a book publication with CD, co-edited with Matthew Gandy, [2014, JOVIS Verlag, Berlin].

Recorded and Mixed in London 2012 – 2013

++ To stroll properly, one should not have any particular plans ++ 

In 2012 I received a scholarship from the Leverhulme Trust for a one-year Artist in Residency at the UCL Urban Laboratory in London, to introduce sound as an art practice to urban scholars and students. As part of my research I decided to dérive the city. 

I spent full days and sometimes nights sweeping the streets and its interiors for sound - walking and listening with no route or intention. A city without sound does not exist. Every location, passageway, alley, road, park, and pub contains its own world of isolated sound events and patterns - the sound of a shopping bag caught by the wind on the asphalt of a busy street when a bus passes by. What seems to be merely a bus is also a cacophony of sounds, a sound world in itself: hydraulics, breaks, interior noise, honking, public announcements, humans, rolling bottles, cell phones, mp3 players. The rattle of an air-conditioning unit in an old pub toilet gradually develops its broken down sound over many years, creating a raga for it own demise. Nobody seems to hear it. Is it there? The choice of sound varies; it's a personal selection, some sounds made it into this composition, many hours of recording didn’t. 

Sound composition can alter space and time and transform a specific location and experience into an imaginary world.

Buy BJ Nilsen "Eye of the Microphone" [CD + MP3] in the TouchShop

David Attenborough: My Life In Sound

In an exclusive interview for BBC Radio 4, David Attenborough talks to Chris Watson about his life in sound.

Monday 16 December
BBC Radio 4
You can now hear this episode on iPlayer

One of Sir David's first jobs in natural history filmmaking was as a wildlife sound recordist. Recorded in Qatar, Sir David is with Chris Watson (a current wildlife sound recordist), and is there to make a film about a group of birds he is passionate about, The Bird of Paradise. It is in Qatar where the world’s largest captive breeding population is and it is in this setting Chris takes Sir David back to the 1950s and his early recording escapades, right through to today where Sir David narrates a series of Tweet Of The Days on Radio 4 across the Christmas and New Year period.

Presenter: Chris Watson
Producer: Julian Hector for the BBC

Further information:

The Sound of One Ant Walking | Radio Times December 2013

Inside the world of a wildlife audio expert

Chris Watson, who has worked on Attenborough's Frozen Planet and Life in the Undergrowth, shares a remarkable insight into sound recording, some exclusive clips - and his feelings about music in wildlife shows.

Touch Radio 100 | BJNilsen

19.11.13 - Bottomless Perfume - 33:00 - 320 kbps

So we pause where we began, with BJNilsen (see TouchRadio 1)...

Archival Recordings, Mixed in Berlin October 23, 2013, containing Bits and Pieces from:

Beachy Head, Eastbourne, England
Karl Marx Tomb, Highgate Cemetery, London, England
Whitstable Bay, Kent, England
CleanCar Berlin, Mitte, Germany
Temple Gas Works, Glasgow, Scotland
Fruitmarket City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland
Port of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Carlsberg Brewery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Unknown Music School, Naples, Italy
Galleria Umberto, Naples, Italy
Barbed Wire, Todmorden, England
Side Street, Lisbon, Portugal
Tempelhof Airfield, Berlin, Germany
Cave, Durness, Scotland
Fishmarket, Via Tribunali, Naples, Italy
Hatún, Reykjavik, Iceland
The Jacobite Steam Train, Armadale, Scotland
London Olympic Rehearsal, Islington, London, England
Boleskine Cemetery, Scotland
Train Bridge, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Bottomless Perfume"

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers

Many congratulations to Chris Watson for winning the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers for 2013

We are proud to reflect that this is the second Touch-related award winner. Chris Watson follows Philip Jeck in collecting this highly prestigious award.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Touch Presents... | Sohrab, Achim Mohne, Jiyeon Kim

UPDATE – Sohrab has been refused entry into the UK.

New line-ups for London dates:
BJNilsen and John Chantler added to Touch presents... line up at Café Oto on Friday 8th November 2013, and BJNilsen will also perform at Pelican on Saturday 9th November 2013. NB: Sohrab will still be performing at the Berlin date.

In November Touch presents a short series of concerts in London and Berlin, featuring performances by Sohrab, Achim Mohné and Jiyeon Kim – a triple bill of exploratory music with three artists each defining their own sonic territory. German artist Achim Mohné works across different media formats, blurring the edges between them and exploring unexpected uses of modern and outmoded technology. Sohrab is a Tehran born musician whose ambient works are both a product of his environment and a reaction against it. Korean sound artist Jiyeon Kim's experiments in resonance have led to an unconventional approach to field recording.

8th November 2013 | Touch presents… at Café Oto, London
Achim Mohné, BJNilsen, John Chantler Sohrab & Jiyeon Kim
Café Oto, 8pm
Buy tickets

9th November 2013 | Touch presents… Hidden Narratives of Empty Spaces at The Peckham Pelican, London
BJNilsen, Sohrab Jiyeon Kim & Mike Harding
The Peckham Pelican, 7pm
Buy tickets

12th November 2013 | Touch presents… at Ausland, Berlin
Achim Mohné, Sohrab & Jiyeon Kim
Ausland, 8.30pm

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Touch is establishing a curated mentorship programme, whereby assistance is given to individuals whose methods and aims of working we respect and would like to support. This could take the form of assistance with application and grant proposals, working practices and also with general advice and input from our experience and background in the creative industry. Read more about the programme here…

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