Welcome to the 57th Touch Newsletter. In advance of some exciting TouchRadio news - hopefully included in our next newsletter - we have two new broadcasts for you - "Pub" and Phantom Airwaves' "Ghost of Gnathonemus Petersii (2011)".
Now shipping: CM von Hausswolff's "800 000 Seconds in Harar", his debut for Touch.
Back in stock in the TouchShop: "Spire Live - Fundementalis". This double vinyl LP 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.
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)
10.03.11 - Pub - 38:31 - 192 kbps
Photo: Dave Knapik
CD in digipak
Photography by Jon Wozencroft
Track A: Day and Night 27:14
4. The Sleeper in the Valley 13:32
Boomkat writes: "It's hard to believe that it has taken this long for Swedish experimental composer Carl Michael Von Hausswolff to compose a solo album for Touch. In my mind he's always been a part of the label's wider roster, and listening to "800,000 Seconds In Harar" it seems perfectly aligned with the British label's wide-reaching sound. The record was produced as a soundtrack of sorts to a play focused on the life of poet Arthur Rimbaud, and since he ended up in the Ethiopian city of Harar, the theatre director saw fit to send Von Hausswolff out into Africa to explore this mysterious city. How the trip unfolds is what makes "800,000 Seconds In Harar" such an arresting experience; it is clear from the first track that Von Hausswolff is somewhere 'exotic' as flies buzz erratically and crickets squeal rhythmically. Children can be heard playing in the distance, their words barely heard, and Von Hausswolff uses all of these sounds as an accompaniment to his drones, procured from an unusual local string instrument known as the krar. The track is split into three parts, and as the chattering field recordings fizzle out, we are greeted with further dense drones creating an otherworldly harmonic push. The music is both familiar (especially to those already passionate about the Touch catalogue) and deeply alien. Von Hausswolf translates the inherent African qualities with subtlety and intelligence, and by the time we reach the album's closing piece "The Sleeper in the Valley", its thick, electronic morse rhythms are more than welcome to upset the mood a little. This is the perfect close to a record full of mystery and awe, and one which will no doubt stand up as another jewel in the Touch crown. Recommended."
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 here.
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.
Philip Jeck - Live in St. Michel & St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels
[as part of Les Nuits Botaniques] 7th May 2006
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
BJNilsen - Live in Masthuggs Church, Göteborg
[as part of the GAS Festival] 4th October 2005
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
Cassette only, in an edition of 400 copies.
1: Origin Vibratory
2: Rural Harmonics
3: That Which Is Heard
4: Emerging Presence
Program repeats on both sides.
A close study of the harmonic composition of a Hammond organ and a Sruti Box with attention given to the organization of isolated frequencies and the effects of these vibrations on brain activity.
Deceh is an anonymous duo including Eleh. "Once four, three no more, now we're up to two. Dear old friend, must this end, before we start anew?"
Cassette only, in an edition of 200 copies.
Illustration by Rayna deNiord
A1: 4263 (Number Crunch #1)
A3: The Man Who Fell
B1: 9176 (Number Crunch #2)
B2: Slight Return
Number Crunches composed, arranged and performed by Andrew Poppy. Field recordings captured by Zeno van den Broek and Sven Schlijper. Hidden voices: Thaddeus Zupancic. Mastered by BJNilsen. Commissioned by PAUME as part of "The Tapeworm Comes Alive!", Utrecht, The Netherlands, 28.xi.10.
A Bunch o' Worms...
We are offering a Subscription Service for The Tapeworm cassette series.
This offers you a guaranteed supply of the limited editions at a discounted rate. If you bought 10 cassettes individually it would cost, including postage charges, £6.00 more than by subscribing to this service. We guarantee to produce at least 10 cassettes in 2011. Coming soon: Francisco Lopez & Zan Hoffman, Peter Hope-Evans and CM von Hausswolff... Other editions to be announced in good time!
NB: buy two subscriptions, and you get yourself 20 tapes, saving a whopping £12. Bargain!
Support the worm! Save some dosh!!
The cassette will never die!!!
LONG LIVE THE CASSETTE!!!!
The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.