Touch, May 2011

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Tone 43 | Chris Watson & Marcus Davidson "Cross-Pollination"

CD in digipak - 2 tracks - 48:20
Art Direction: Jon Wozencroft
Cover image: Yusuke Murakami

Track listing:

1. Chris Watson "Midnight at the Oasis" 28:03

The piece is a 28 minute time compression from sunset to sunrise in South Africa's Kalahari desert and features the dense and harmonic mosaic of delicate animal rhythms recorded in this remote habitat. "Midnight at the Oasis" was first performed at the Marquee in Parliament Street, York, on 13th September 2007 as part of SightSonic's contribution to the BA Festival of Science. The Kalahari desert is a vast and open space where most of the wildlife is nocturnal. After sunset the dunes, grasses and thorn bushes are patrolled by an emerging alien empire - the insects. Midnight at the Oasis' presents an unseen soundscape from this beautiful and hostile environment.

2. Chris Watson & Marcus Davidson "The Bee Symphony" 20:00

A project conceived by Chris Watson originally for "Pestival" in 2009 to explore the vocal harmonies between humans and honey bees in a unique choral collaboration around and within the hives of an English country garden. Recorded live at The Rymer Auditorium, Music Research Centre, University of York, England on December 17th 2010 by Tony Myatt, using a Soundfield SPS200 microphone recorded onto an Edirol R4 (surround version), and 2 x Neumann U87 microphones via Grace Microphone Preamplifiers, recorded onto an Edirol R44 (stereo version). Composed and arranged by Marcus Davidson using recordings made by Chris Watson & Mike Harding, and diffused through a 4.1 Genelec system by Chris Watson. The Bee Choir: Dylan de Buitlear, Lisa Coates, Steph Connor, Lewis Marlowe and Shendie McMath. With thanks to Peter Boardman (the event producer), Tom Emmett, Celia Frisby & Bridget Nicholls, who originally commissioned The Bee Symphony.

Marcus Davidson writes: "The first thing that struck me about the bees was how tuneful they were. During the day, their pitch was always based around A an octave below 440, the note we tune orchestras to. I found that the bees formed chords around the A, which varied depending on their mood. I spent time notating these bee chords, or note clusters, and as the bees sing easily in the human vocal range, I then scored the actual bee music for choir.

The sound of humans singing bees was strangely engaging. I thought it was reminiscent of Aboriginal music, perhaps showing how in tune with nature the native civilisations are. In fact, all the chords and 'tunes' in The Bee Symphony are taken from actual notes sung by the bees in the field recordings. The score was written so the choir sings exactly with different aspects of the bee song in real time, so hopefully we indeed have humans singing in harmony with bees!"

Chris Watson's CD 'El Tren Fantasma' will be out in September…

Buy Chris Watson & Marcus Davidson "Cross-Pollination" in the TouchShop

Touch Radio 63 | Leslie Winer

17.05.11 - Nice to See You - Live in Utrecht – 18:15 - 256 kbps

1. At Half Past 3
2. Nice to See You / Dunderhead
3. On The Difficulty - reading Perec
4. ἐλεγεία for Fred

Recorded by Elizabet van der Kooij at The Tapeworm Comes Alive! – Theater Kikker, Utrecht 28.xi.10. With thanks to Le Guess Who? and PAUME.

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Play Leslie Winer "Nice to See You - Live in Utrecht"

Tone 42DS | Sohrab "Shouting at Dictators"

'Faryad bar Dictator' 'فریاد بر دیکتاتور'
1 track - Download only - 8:56

Mastered by BJNilsen

As you may know, Sohrab managed to leave Iran late last year for Germany, where he appealed for political asylum having been interned in Brandenburg. This appeal has failed and he is trying to raise funds to appeal against this latest ruling.

If he fails, it is probable that Sohrab will be flown back to Iran and arrested at Tehran Airport… Europe is reassessing its policy to 'immigrants' on a daily basis, partly because of the rise of the political right, but also because of the influx of refugees from the 'Arab Spring'. The vast majority are being unceremoniously shipped back to their point of origin…

This release is a fund-raiser to help pay for a lawyer to help with his appeal against the ruling. 100% of Artist and Label money from this release will be donated directly to the appeal fund.

You can donate more if you wish simply by purchasing multiple copies of this release.

The protest was recorded in Tehran in the autumn of 2009.

On June 12, 2009 the Iranian presidential elections were held, and the results were strongly contested by the population. For the first time after the Islamic Revolution, Iranians expressed their dissent by organizing huge demonstrations against the regime. But the protest was not limited to demonstrations in public spaces; every night at 10 o'clock, citizens gathered on rooftops to continue their protests, chanting "Allah u Akbar" ("Allah is great"). At times, these chants would be interrupted by other, more indignant, chants of "Mag bar diktator" ("Death to the dictator"). During these protests, the dark Tehran nights were haunted by the ghost-like shadows and their eerie voices. Dreams, memories, emotions, and hopes roam around like ghosts on the rooftops of Teheran.

Donate to Sohrab's appeal fund and receive "Shouting at Dictators" in the TouchShop

The Bee Symphony on Late Junction BBC Radio 3 | 24th May 2011

Chris Watson's & Marcus Davidson's "The Bee Symphony" was featured on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction on 24th May 2011. It is currently available to listen again to on the BBC iPlayer.

"The Bee Symphony" is released on the CD Cross-Pollination, which is released on 30th May 2011 but can be pre-ordered from the TouchShop.

Midnight at the Oasis on Late Junction BBC Radio 3 | 1st June 2011

Chris Watson's "Midnight at the Oasis" will be featured on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction on 1st June 2011. It will be available on the BBC iPlayer after that...

"Midnight at the Oasis" is released on the CD Cross-Pollination, which is released on 30th May 2011 but can be pre-ordered from the TouchShop.

Jana Winderen wins Golden Nica at Ars Electronica 2011

We are delighted to announce that Jana Winderen has won the Golden Nica for Digital Musics and Sound Art at Ars Electronica 2011. Her entry "Energy Field" was chosen by the jury out of 717 original entries into the category.

Philip Jeck received a Distinction for "Suite: Live in Liverpool" and Sohrab an Honorary Mention for "A Hidden Place".

Since 1987, the Prix Ars Electronica has served as an interdisciplinary platform for everyone who uses the computer as a universal medium for implementing and designing their creative projects at the interface of art, technology and society.

The Prix Ars Electronica, the Ars Electronica Festival, the Ars Electronica Center – Museum of the Future and the Ars Electronica Futurelab are the four divisions that comprise the Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, whose specific orientation and long-term continuity make it a unique platform for digital art and media culture.

The competition is organized by the Ars Electronica Linz GmbH and ORF’s Upper Austria Regional Studio in collaboration with the OK Center for Contemporary Art and the Brucknerhaus Linz, and the prizes are awarded during the Ars Electronica Festival each year. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media.

A previous Touch entry winner was Ryoji Ikeda's "matrix" in 2001.

Previous Distinctions have been awarded to Gescom for their MiniDisc release, which was released on OR, and Chris Watson for his album "Outside the Circle of Fire".
Jana Winderen in the TouchShop
Ars Electronica

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