Touch, November 2010

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AUTO 17 | The Automatics Group "Auto 17"

12" vinyl only - 2 tracks - 23:21

Plus digital download bonuses:
1 x Side C: 15:11 (digital only)
1 x iPhone movie 3:53
and the vinyl tracks (sides A and B) as a digital download

Or and the Automatics Group present Auto 17, recordings of raw output from 49 configurations of an EMS VCS 3 synthesiser. Sides A and B are released on 12" vinyl with side C available digitally.

The VCS 3 was the first portable modular synthesiser commercially available. Renowned for its ability to produce wide-ranging electronic sound effects, it was sometimes considered problematic when producing melodic sounds due to the instability of its components. Over time, wear, tear and accumulations of oxide have exaggerated these instabilities, making the machines even less predictable.

The recordings in Auto 17 are the result of incremental / violent changes to the modular configuration of the machine. Each configuration makes sound that repeats with some level of predictability. With no external intervention for the duration of each recording, patterns vary according to the physical intricacies of the machine - indeterminate fluctuations in voltage etc.

Recorded directly from the two independent outputs of the VCS 3, unusual modulation routing produces a variety of complex relationships between the left and right channels. Timbral, rhythmic and harmonic themes emerge, revealing unexpected properties of the machine.

The Automatics Group undertake projects investigating issues of control, representation, autonomy and formalism. Auto 17 was recorded by Theo Burt and Peter Worth at the Music Research Centre, York (with thanks).

Buy The Automatics Group "Auto 17" in the TouchShop

Ash 9.4 / PARC 4 | "The Ghosts of Effingham"

4-minute Luminescent Wax Cylinder
plus two MP3 digital downloads

Ash International, in association with PARC (the Parapsychic Research Cooperative), presents "The Ghosts of Effingham" by Michael Esposito & Carl Michael von Hausswolff.

The Medium:

In 1877, Thomas Edison was trying to develop a telegraph inscription machine that would transcribe telegraph messages into indentations on a paper strip so the message could be replayed at will. From this he surmised that a telephone message could be recorded in a similar way. Using a diaphragm with an embossing point against rapidly moving paraffin paper, he achieved a certain amount of success. Edison changed the paper to a tin foil wrapped cylinder and added a second diaphragm needle unit for playback. Edison finished the plans for the machine on August 9, 1877. He gave the sketch of the machine to his engineer John Kreusi, who built it in only 30 hours. The first test of the machine was performed on August 12, 1877 with Edison reciting the now-famous "Mary Had a Little Lamb" nursery rhyme.

Exactly 133 years later, between 9th August 2010 and 12th August 2010 the first Luminescent Phonograph Cylinder Record was editioned. To accentuate a point, the cylinder contains recorded voices of unknown origins, possibly spirits of the dead. This is pertinent because late in Edison's life, he believed that he might be able to one day develop a recording device sensitive enough to record spirits of the dead. This was inspired with the loss of his wife Mary Stilwell Edison due to a brain tumour on 9th August 1884. Exactly 126 years later, the world's first cylinders containing voices of the dead were released.

The Media:

"The Ghosts of Effingham" was created using EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) captured at the family farm of Michael Esposito, "The Vail", in Effingham, Illinois (established 1927). Carl Michael von Hausswolff lent composition and frequencies based on Friedrich Jürgenson's work. Two MP3s are supplied with each Cylinder purchase. The first of which is the original track. The second is of the cylinder as played on an Edison Fireside (1909) Model A with a Diamond B reproducer and a Cygnet horn. The result is a sonic testament to the work dreams and desires of man to record the sound of his own voice in life and even in death.

Buy Michael Esposito & Carl Michael von Hausswolff "The Ghosts of Effingham" in the TouchShop

TO:48 | Rafael Toral "Violence of Discovery & Calm of Acceptance"

CD - 50:15 - 10 Tracks - repress

Design: Jon Wozencroft
Photography: Heitor Alvelos

Track listing:
1. Desirée
2. Measurement of Noise
3. Quiet mind
4. Maersk Line
5. Liberté
6. Optical flow
7. Energy Nourish
8. Hay que trabajo me cuesta quererte como te quiero
9. We Are Getting Closer
10. Mixed States Uncoded

Considered by the Chicago Reader to be "one of the most gifted and innovative guitarists of the decade", Rafael Toral has been developing in the last 15 years a unique sound world, having been as influenced by Alvin Lucier and Brian Eno as by Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. Using the guitar as part of a complex electronic instrument, Toral has collaborated with Jim O'Rourke, John Zorn, Sonic Youth, Rhys Chatham and Phill Niblock and played in many European countries and in several states in the US. He's also a member of MIMEO, the electronic orchestra featuring Keith Rowe, Christian Fennesz, Peter Rehberg, Kaffe Matthews and many others.VDCA is a collection of ten small pieces crafted by Toral with extreme precision and care through the last seven years. Using guitars and analogue technology, it can be described as Toral's best work, embodying all the directions he explored in his previous critically acclaimed records, "Sound Mind Sound Body" [Moikai, USA], "Wave Field" [dexter's cigar/drag city, USA] and "Aeriola Frequency" [Perdition Plastics, USA] but taking them into new dimensions.

Andrew Male of MOJO writes:

"Ambient drone guitarist's masterpiece summons up a whole raft of childhood sci-fi memories."

Buy Rafael Toral "Violence of Discovery & Calm of Acceptance" in the TouchShop

Spire 4 | Pietro Riparbelli "4 Churches"

4 tracks - .mp3 digital download - 42:09

Track listing and notes:

1. The Dome, Orvieto

I was in Orvieto for 3 days and recorded some sound during the morning, trying to avoid the tourists. I always try to find the cathedral without too many people but at the same time there must been some, because their sounds allow us to perceive the reverb of the space.

Moreover, I've recorded voices from a choir during a celebration and I've utilised a sample of the organ of the cathedrals. The Dome of Orvieto is a fantastic gothic church. Orvieto is an Etruscan city and it's on a hill in which caves were excavated by the Etruscans. During the Second World War the Nazis didn't bomb Orvieto because of the amazing cathedral that they wanted to take back to Germany!

2. The Basilica, Assisi

I was for one week and recorded sounds within the interior of the Basilica where the relics of Saint Francis are kept. It is a really dark place where there are a lot of passages with stairs to reach the crypt. There are many frescoes by Giotto - really wonderful. It is a place of meditation and there is an incredible silence, although you have to find the Basilica without tourists early in the morning. I was seated in front of the stone of the relics for a long time each day. There are a lot of guards that control everything - especially people like me who were there everyday. At the end of the track you can hear a chant by nuns recorded from within the Basilica. They were behind a window and it was a fantastic experience.

3. The Cathedral of Saint Germain, Paris

This was the first Cathedral of Paris built around 500 A.D.

I found within this cathedral a crazy English woman that was telling stories and laughing to herself. I stayed close to her and she thought I wanted to kill her; so she attacked and punched me. I've recorded organs and chanting voices. The distorted sounds are pitched organs.

4. Notre Dame, Paris

This is the leasst organised composition because it is almost impossible to recorded the reverb of this place because of the tourist that are there all the day at every hour. But I've managed to record an organ session and a mass.

For these recordings, made between 2005 and 2010, I used a 4-Channel audio recorder (Edirol r4) and an Edirol CS50 Stereo Shotgun Mic.

Buy Pietro Riparbelli "4 Churches" in the TouchShop

Jon Wozencroft on Resonancefm | Thursday 11th November 2010

Thu, 11 November, 15:00 – 16:00

Designer and writer Adrian Shaughnessy's weekly programme discussing issues surrounding design.

Adrian Shaughnessy talks to Jon Wozencroft who runs the multimedia publishing company Touch, which he describes as a "an alternative vision of audio-visual publishing." Artists who Wozencroft works with at Touch include: Oren Ambarchi, Biosphere, Fennesz and Phil Niblock. After attending the London College of Printing, Wozencroft worked as a freelance writer, designer, editor and programme-maker. In 1986 he was invited by Neville Brody to be the author the book The Graphic Language of Neville Brody. It was published in April 1988, and a major exhibition of the same name was held at The Victoria and Albert Museum which Wozencroft co-curated with Brody. In 1990, they started the FUSE project, of which Wozencroft is the editor. He is currently Senior Tutor in the Communication Art and Design Department at the Royal College of Art.

Touch Radio 57 | Phill Niblock

19.11.10 - Sound Delta – 39:16 - 192 kbps

1. Zound Delta (21:52)
2. Bells & Timps (5:30)
3. BuchBel (11:54)

Zound Delta was made at a residency with the European Sound Delta Project in 2009. The sounds were recorded from the mouth of the Danube River at the Black Sea, - to about 200km upstream, at Russe Bulgaria. In Russe, there was a festival, and the finished piece was played. There were boats (Belgian barges outfitted as living boats) starting at the mouth of the Danube and the Rhine Rivers, with changing residents, for several months.

Bells and Timps was made using church bells in Gent Belgium, recorded by Godfried Willem Raes of Logos Foundation, in 1986. I modified the time by stretching vastly, and some changes in pitch as well.

BuchBel was recorded during an overnight train ride from Bucharest to Belgrade. All sounds are from the train, with many layerings. The train trip was immediately after the festival in Russe, Bulgaria, in 2009.

All of the pieces were made in ProTools.

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

Tone 42 | Sohrab "A Hidden Place"

LP - 6 tracks - 40:20 + free download: Aamookhtan Baraye Zistan (42:46)
when you buy the vinyl from the TouchShop

Mastered by Denis Blackham
Cut by Jason @ Transition

Photography by Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:
A1: Susanna (9:51)
A2: Somebody (5:59)
A3: Pedagogicheskaya Poema (3:28)
B1: Himmel Über Tehran (5:31)
B2: A Hidden Place (9:27)
B3: Zarrin (6:16)

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. Sohrab is totally isolated in Iran, with little or no connection to what is happening there. Sohrab is, like so many, displaced within his own country and occupies a similar internal cultural isolation. This is suggested by Jon Wozencroft's imagery and artwork; looking in through shattered glass and an air of menace underneath the surface.

He recently performed live at Berghain for a Touch night, with Fennesz, Hildur Gudnadottir and others. It was his first legal gig since a performance by his punk band was broken up by the police in Tehran...

He is currently seeking status as a political refugee...

Sohrab used Reason 3, his midi controller (R)evolution UC-16 and a sampler, recorded live through Ambrosia recording software.

You can listen to his contribution to TouchRadio, "Tanhayi - Live in Tehran", recorded in October 2009

و چنان بی تابم، که دلم می خواهد
بدوم تا ته دشت، بروم تا سر کوه
دورها آوایی است، که مرا می خواند

so restless am i that i wish
to run to the end of the plain,
to top of the mountain
there is a voice in the distance,
that is calling me

(Sohrab Sepehri)

Buy Sohrab "A Hidden Place" in the TouchShop

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