April 2011 Touch Newsletter

Welcome to the 58th Touch Newsletter. Chris Watson's & Marcus Davidson's "Cross-Pollination" CD is now available to pre-order. The CD features two tracks: "TheáBeeáSymphony", conceived by Watson for Pestival; and a new Chris Watson solo recording, "MidnightáatátheáOasis". Details below.

BJNilsen's "Vinyl" is the first in a new series of limited edition Touch white label releases, which will be limited to 250 copies. This edition is a 12" Vinyl with a bonus 320kbps MP3 download - recommended nocturnal listening...

It is with great pleasure that we can announce TouchRadio is now a "named collection" within the British Library's Archival Sound Recordings website. More information can be found below. To celebrate this news, we have two new broadcasts for you: "March!" and Jen Boyd's "Thistle".

The Tapeworm's tapes for the end of April come from Peter Hope-Evans and Francisco López & Zan Hoffman - both on sale now in the TouchShop.

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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
Stock due late April 2011 - pre-order in the TouchShop now

1.áChrisáWatsoná"MidnightáatátheáOasis" 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. ChrisáWatsoná&áMarcusáDavidsoná"TheáBeeáSymphony" 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!"

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

Tone 45.1 | BJNilsen "Vinyl"

White label 12" Vinyl + 320kbps MP3 download

BJNilsen's "Vinyl" is the first in a new series of limited edition Touch white label releases, which will be limited editions of 250 copies. Orders will be shipped towards the end of week 16, from 21st - 23rd April 2011.

Track Listing:
1. Side A 14:44
2. Side B 15:14
3. Side C 19:52

Recorded on location in Sweden, Iceland, Austria and England using various microphones, media and formats. Sources include wind, waves, tone generators, piano, guitar and other stuff. Mixed in Berlin 2010. Cut by Jason at Transition, 13th January 2011.

Recommended nocturnal listening...

Buy BJNilsen "Vinyl" in the TouchShop

Touch Radio at the British Library

It is a great pleasure to announce that Touch Radio is now a "named collection" within the British Library's Archival Sound Recordings website.

The British Library is home to the UK's national collection of radio recordings in its sound archive. They range from 1924 through to the present day and include programming of all kinds, both public service and commercial. The arrival of the internet, and internet radio, has freed creative programme makers from the need for transmission equipment, broadcast schedules and sponsorship, and ushered in an era in which almost every imaginable approach to programme making is now possible.

Although the artistic possibilities of radio were recognised almost as soon as the medium was introduced back in the early 1920s, the full possibilities of art radio and of radio art are even now only being explored by a small number of pioneering stations around the world, of which Touch Radio is one. The range of approaches adopted by these stations can be as diverse as the interests and personalities of the producers themselves. Freed from the concerns of advertisers, charters, sponsors, licenses, departmental policies or house styles, the programme contributors are allowed to be as straightforward or as creatively original as they like.

This collection represents the complete Touch Radio archive to date: around one new programme released monthly since January 2005, each varying in duration from a few minutes to over an hour. The collection will be updated from time to time as new recordings become available.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation. It includes: books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.

Touch Radio in the British Library's Sound Archive

Touch Radio 61

13.04.11 - March! - 07:15 - 320 kbps

Photo: Lizzie Mickery
Recorded using 3 iPhones

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

Touch Radio 62 | Jen Boyd

13.04.11 - Thistle - 19:20 - 192 kbps

Field recordings of wild fennel, pine trees and thistle near Davis, California. Additional sounds include multiple layers of a running hard drive and a thistle on a turntable. Recorded using an Edirol R9, contact microphones and induction coil microphones.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play Jen Boyd "Thistle"

TTW#29 | Peter Hope-Evans "Cast-Offerings: Visitations, Fetches, Revenants"

Cassette only, in an edition of 200 copies.

Illustration and calligraphy - SavX

Track listing:
A1: deportment (with apports)
A2: a rag though naked may be...
A3: clipp'd and collaps'd (cupid's wings)
A4: my journey (is a hallucination)
A5: the falling step
A6: ancient flower child singing
A7: a harp a skip a jump (blue angles)
B1: this shadow turn this shadow breath
B2: a man though naked may be in rags
B3: in absentia oder in effigie
B4: i expect no succour from benevolent powers
B5: what charm? what lip? : charmolypi

the creation/recreation/wreck creation/of the precursor - the coasters/donovan/sleepy john estes/blind mamie forehand/the fugs/skip james/peggy lee/lotte lenya/sherrie levine/uncle dave macon/moby grape

Peter Hope-Evans: mouth organs/organs of the mouth/jew's harps/trinklets/reception bell. Collaborator: Mick Mahoney. Guitar: Baby Taylor. Recorded aboard Mick's canal boat "Cornwall", Grand Union Canal at Cowley Peachey on Tuesday afternoon, 2nd November 2010.

Peter Hope-Evans was a member of Medicine Head, a British 70s blues band championed by John Peel and signed to his legendary Dandelion label.


"a ton of worms in an acre, that is a wonderful thought........"
s. bon qu'a ša

28 september 1947
brecon, wales
a life devoured by
jews harps
the otherhood of breath
the sussuration of disastarlings

peter hope-evans

this ob(l)iterature
a rendezvous of questions
of notes of interrogation
by what crossroads?
what sphinx?
what mask?
what voice?

Buy Peter Hope-Evans "Cast-Offerings: Visitations, Fetches, Revenants" in the TouchShop
Release details on www.tapeworm.org.uk

TTW#30 | Francisco López & Zan Hoffman "Concert for 300 Magnetic Tapes"

Cassette only, in an edition of 300 copies.

Track listing:
A: Concert for 300 Magnetic Tapes 30:00
B-Side left intentionally blank.

After years of exchanging self-released music on cassette and collaborating via post, Francisco López and Zan Hoffman embarked in 1994 on a somehow surreal small tour of live performances in Spain (Madrid, Alcal´ de Henares and Gijón). By mixing own sonic materials and recorded stuff on cassette received directly from hundreds of underground artists worldwide, they carried out live recombination shows with eight cassette decks and a shared mixing board. A synthetic/distilled edit of the most interesting moments arising from those live composition sessions is now released on this cassette release by The Tapeworm.

Buy Francisco López & Zan Hoffman "Concert for 300 Magnetic Tapes" in the TouchShop
Release details on www.tapeworm.org.uk

The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.