November 2010 Touch Newsletter

Welcome to the 53rd Touch Newsletter. Touch's Spire series returns with a new download-only release by Pietro Riparbelli titled "4 Churches".

Back in stock in the TouchShop - Rafael Toral's debut album for Touch, "Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance".

Corridor8 is a contemporary annual international visual arts and writing journal based in the North of England. Its latest issue comes with a CD of two exclusive Chris Watson tracks, and is now available from the TouchShop. Also available, on 10" vinyl from the TouchShop - Chris's remix of "Birds Flew Backwards" by Doves.

Ash International, in association with PARC, are proud to present Michael Esposito's and Carl Michael von Hausswolff's "The Ghosts of Effingham" - a 4-minute Luminescent Wax Cylinder plus two MP3 digital downloads - a beautiful and unique format...

The Automatics Group undertake projects investigating issues of control, representation, autonomy and formalism. Their new release for OR, auto 17, is available as a limited 12" vinyl, with a third "side" plus a movie for iPhone/iPod bundled as a digital downloads.

The Tapeworm presents "Remiksz" - Stefan Goldmann taking on Fennesz's "Szampler" cassette. A dialogue of the hard drives. Also out there, somewhere - a promotional mixtape for "The Tapeworm Comes Alive!"...


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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

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.

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

Corridor8 #2 - The Borderlands Edition

264pp Book (paperback) + CD
CD - 2 tracks by Chris Watson exclusive to this publication

Track listing:
1. 89º 24' N above [8' 33"]
2. 89º 24' N below [8' 27"]

Corridor8 writes: "...the 'Borderlands' edition, Strange Weather, extends our northern focus to the far-flung reaches of the UK from the midlands to the borders and beyond, and will feature the same mix of in-depth critical writing, profiles, art and literary writing we established in Issue 1.. Included this issue are features on the field recordings of sound recordist and ex-Cabaret Voltaire member Chris Watson (with free CD), Iain Sinclair's rare audio-recorded journey from the heart of Manchester, new fiction from the Manchester University Creative Writing Centre's Ian McGuire, interviews with the art collectors of the Norths of England and Ireland, as well as the science fiction work of artists Ivan and Heather Morrison, the pioneering 1960's art and writing publication New Worlds and others. International curator Axel Lapp will this time assemble 'Flash Artists' pages we began in Issue One."

Features: Chris Watson | Ivan & Heather Watson | Iain Sinclair | Art Gene | Neville Gabie | Grizedale Arts | Mit Senoj | The M.A.R.I.N. project | Shona Illingworth. Flash artists: Axel Lapp | Brass Art | Snaebjörnsóttir/Wilson | Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson | Hayey Tomkins | Janis Rafailidou | Libia Castro & Olafur Olafsson | Sam Watson. Fiction: Iain McGuire

Buy "Corridor8 #2 - The Borderlands Edition" in the TouchShop

"Psych Folk 10" - featuring Chris Watson's remix of Doves

10" vinyl EP, poster sleeve, limited edition.
Released by For Us in conjunction with Rough Trade Shops.

Track listing:

A1: Pete Greenwood - The 88
A2: Sam Amidon - Way Go, Lily
A3: Sleepy Sun - Marina (Live)
B1: Doves - Birds Flew Backwards (Chris Watson remix)

Featuring tracks from the Psych Folk compilation by Pete Greenwood and Sam Amidon available on vinyl for the first time, plus a special live version of 'Marina' by Sleepy Sun. All three artists were huge hits at the this year's Green Man Festival.

Green Man themselves select a rare Chris Watson remix of Doves 'Birds Flew Backwards' for the B-side. Doves need no description as they one of the uk's most well-loved bands. Chris Watson is a world-renowned environmental sound recorder, has worked on the Planet Earth series for the BBC, and is also a founder member of post punk legends Cabaret Voltaire.

Buy "Psych Folk 10" in the TouchShop

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

4-minute Luminescent Wax Cylinder,
plus two MP3 digital downloads

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

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

TTW#25 | "The Tapeworm Comes Alive!"

Cassette only, in an edition of 250 copies.
Illustration: SavX

Promotional mixtape, not for sale...

Le Guess Who? and PAUME present a night curated by cassette label THE TAPEWORM featuring Leslie Winer, Leif Elggren, Zerocrop, Ananizapta, Savage Pencil, People Like Us and Philip Marshall.

On Sunday 28th November 2010 Leslie Winer, Leif Elggren, Zerocrop and Ananizapta all perform live in a continuous 'revue' performance, hosted by The Tapeworm.

In the lobby of Theater Kikker, sound installations feature the 'Wormcast' mixes of released and unreleased works from The Tapeworm's catalogue. There's more: Savage Pencil exhibits his art in a gallery setting and Leif Elggren and People Like Us are featured with their video art. PAUME also commissioned a special and exclusive sound art piece by Philip Marshall based on field recordings made by PAUME in Utrecht.

PAUME invited The Tapeworm to produce an exclusive cassette release for this event. Featuring a splendid selection of artists from the label, The Tapeworm presents 'The Tapeworm Comes Alive!' in a limited edition of only 100 copies for sale at the event only.

Established in June 2009, The Tapeworm is a true cassette label. Feature articles in magazines like The Wire, Gonzo Circus and RUIS are testament to the label's status. No barcodes, but styled in typical black and white and adhering to the relentless pace of releasing two tapes every month, mostly specifically recorded for The Tapeworm, the label has featured a dazzling line-up of artists since its inception. Every tape is strictly limited; to only 250 copies in most cases.

"The Tapeworm Comes Alive!" on Facebook

TTW#26 | Goldmann vs Fennesz "Remiksz"

Cassette only, in an edition of 250 copies.
Illustration: Hau/Viet Hoa Le

Two tracks
60 minutes

This is a remix of Fennesz's "Szampler" cassette, created by Stefan Goldmann erasing Christian Fennesz's original samples one by one and replacing them with corresponding samples of his own, made between 1999-2010 for his Akai S5000 sampler, in the same sequence. As a result, this cassette contains no sounds whatsoever from Fennesz's original.

While "Szampler" was a journey through Christian Fennesz's own sample collection, Stefan Goldmann structured his own sound archive around the layout of "Szampler", replacing it all sound by sound. The result is a dialogue of the sonic atoms that built the works of two of today's most challenging musical minds. And a first ever glimpse behind the curtains - a full anatomy of sound, more revealing than any interview on "how it was done."

Buy Goldmann vs Fennesz "Remiksz" in the TouchShop
Release details on

The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.