Touch, March 2011

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Spire Live - Fundamentalis | back in stock in the TouchShop

Autofact # FACT 12/Touch # Tone 28
This release is now available again from the TouchShop

Double LP Vinyl only
Art Direction & Design by Jon Wozencroft

Spire Live - Fundamentalis is a collection of live tracks recorded at various Spire events held throughout 2005 and 2006. Released in association with US label, Autofact, Touch presents a selection of tracks performed by the main performers of Spire: Fennesz | Philip Jeck | BJNilsen | Charles Matthews | Marcus Davidson. Improvised pieces from Fennesz, BJNilsen and Philip Jeck contrast with a performance by Charles Matthews of a scored composition by Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, 'In Nomine Lucis', and Marcus Davidson's self-penned 'Standing Wave', which ends side two with a locked groove. Cut to preserve and enhance the bottom end frequencies, Fundamentalis is not merely a document; the tension between and within the individual pieces is palpable. Fennesz's set "...evokes the rolling centuries in all their pain and beauty, leaving us at once becalmed and energised, but never oppressed under the weight of time." Electronics breathe new life not only into the organ, but also into the setting. But successor does not mean replacement. Ultimately, it's the majestic sound of the organ, so steeped in centuries of tradition, that one remembers above all else.

Spire is one of the most innovative projects around, drawing on the full canon of organ works, from the very first annotation in the Robertsbridge Codex from the 14th Century, to max msp patches and software sampling... With two CD releases and 9 performances in cathedrals and churches throughout Europe, Spire remains a potent live force in harnessing the sounds of the ages.

Track listing:

Side One
Philip Jeck - Live in St. Michel & St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels
[as part of Les Nuits Botaniques] 7th May 2006

Side Two
1. Charles Matthews - Live in St. Michel & St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels
[as part of Les Nuits Botaniques] - plays Giacinto Scelsi: In Nomine Lucis 7th May 2006

2. Marcus Davidson - Live in Masthuggs Church, Göteborg
[as part of the GAS Festival] - Standing Wave 4th October 2005

[locked groove]

Side Three
BJNilsen - Live in Masthuggs Church, Göteborg
[as part of the GAS Festival] 4th October 2005

Side Four
Fennesz - Live in St. Michel & St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels
[as part of Les Nuits Botaniques] 7th May 2006

Compiled and edited by Mike Harding October/November 2006
Cut by Jason at Transition, London, on a Neumann VSM 70 March 2007

Buy "Spire Live - Fundamentalis" [Double Vinyl] in the TouchShop

TO:82 | CM von Hausswolff "800 000 Seconds in Harar"

CD in digipak
Photography by Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

Track A: Day and Night 27:14
1. Day
2. Night
3. Alas! [you can hear an extract from this track here]
Track B
4. The Sleeper in the Valley 13:32

CM von Hausswolff says: "I was approached by my old friend and Radium 226.05 colleague Ulrich Hillebrand, now director of Angered Theatre in Göteborg. He informed me that there was a new play in the process of being written by author and theorist Michael Azar called "Jag är en annan" (I is another) stemming form the famous letter written by Arthur Rimbaud in his youth. The play uses Rimbaud's life from being a young poet in Charleville ending with him being the trader in Harar, Ethiopia. Hillebrand asked me if I was willing to compose the music to this play. I accepted. I told Hillebrand that I needed to use material that had something to do with Rimbaud's life and as he had connections in Ethiopia and in the small city of Harar he said: why don't you go to Harar for 10 days and see what you can find?

So I went to Addis Ababa where a guy was waiting for me and drove me the 10 hours beautiful ride to Harar. I made recordings and looked for other useful material.

There are 2 tracks. On the first track, which consists of three "parts" I have used material from Harar. The long dronic sounds are taken form an instrument that I, after searching for days, bought in Harar - it's called a "krar" and is a string instruments (it's quite clear that I have used a string instrument- also if you study Ethiopian music you came across the name of Saint Yared and he was the first to construct a notation system for music... much earlier than the Europeans). As I could not really master the actual playing of this instrument, I bought a bow for a violin and some rosin and with this I got one good tone out from this krar. Then the computer helped me to sort the modes and pitches out. On this piece there also two location recordings: the first one you hear is a recording I did outside Harar on a hill where there are next to no car sounds or other machine sounds - just the wind, insects, some kids and that (I wanted this recording to be more or less timeless or at least 19th century and forward... The second location recording was done in the night in my hotel, where I woke up one night and became fascinated by the leaking taps in my bathroom so I decided to records this.

On the second there are only oscillators used ... several of them ... AND using one low pitch oscillator I ran a sound filtered through. This sound is the low "rhythm" you can hear, and it's a low pitched morse code signal... and the text is the famous poem Rimbaud wrote in his youth called Le Dormeur Du Val (The Sleeper in the Valley). This poem is a beautiful text starting off in the nature, where a person is sleeping in the grass. Slowly Rimbaud zooms in and we read that it's a soldier and at the very end we are told he has two red wounds on his chest - the guy is dead!"

Arthur Rimbaud lived in Harar from 1884 until shortly before his death in 1891.

This is Carl Michael von Hausswolff's first album for Touch, but the connection goes back many years, of course. Carl Michael von Hausswolff was born in 1956 in Linköping, Sweden. He lives and works in Stockholm. Since the end of the 1970s, Hausswolff has worked as a composer using the tape recorder as his main instrument and as a conceptual visual artist working with performance art, light and sound installations and photography. You can read a full biog on his website.

Buy CM von Hausswolff "800 000 Seconds in Harar" in the TouchShop

Touch Radio 59 | Phantom Airwaves

10.03.11 - Ghost of Gnathonemus Petersii (2011) – 05:47 - 192 kbps

Alex Halsted is a fish. Specifically, the Gnathonemus Petersii is an Elephantnose fish native to the Niger River in West and Central Africa. The fish has very poor eyesight and emits a weak electrical field from electro receptors covering its body. These receptors allow the fish to send a sonar-like electric pulse similar to the bat’s use of echolocation.

On 24 September 2009, David More, a sound artist who creates sound works by harnessing variations from the fish’s electric field, and I, executed experiments using the frequencies created by the fish as white noise to record for Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) and additional energy provided by Heidi Harman using Reiki.

The EVPs captured were not only very strong, but they seem to also refer to the fish, to David and also in some cases seem to refer to itself as the fish. Is it possible that disincarnate entities taping into available frequencies to communicate also pick up personality or other energies that define the identity of the being it’s taping into?

Included in this adaptation is a previously unreleased composition created using the frequencies of the fish as well as the EVPs captured and separately, the EVPs captured during those trials.

Whatever the physics of the phenomena are from those experiments, one thing we are sure of: Alex Halsted is a fish.

Cover photograph and treatment: Heidi Harman (2009)

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Ghost of Gnathonemus Petersii (2011)"

Touch Radio 60 | Pub!

10.03.11 - Pub! – 38:31 - 192 kbps

Photo: Dave Knapik

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

Touch presents... Live in Brussels | 6th April 2011

Touch presents… as part of The Domino Festival:

Mika Vainio
Hildur Guðnadóttir
Thomas Ankersmit

In 2012 wordt het Engelse Touch 30 (!) jaar. Touch werd opgericht in ’82 en omschrijft zichzelf als een ‘audiovisuele operatie’. Een combinatie van klank en beeld. Wat beschouwd wordt als moeilijke avant-garde, geeft Touch mooi vorm. Inhouse designer is fotograaf Jon Wozencroft zelf. Opvallend aan de Touch hoezen zijn de vele natuurbeelden, vaak landschappen. “It’s a project about beauty. I can find myself working on it as a gardener would” dixit Wozencroft. Naast ‘sterren’ als Fennesz, Jóhann Jóhannsson, (ex-Cabaret Voltaire oprichter en ‘sound recordist’) Chris Watson en Mika Vainio, huisvest Touch ook straffe recente signings als revelatie Eleh en Jana Winderen (wiens cassette The Noisiest Guys On The Planet (Cassette, Ash International) opnames bevat van … garnalen).

Visit for concert details in English, French and Dutch

Reviews can be found here:

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