Welcome to the 60th Touch Newsletter. Biosphere's new album, "N-Plants" is now available to pre-order in the TouchShop. A bonus MP3 download of unrealeased, non-album track "Oma" is available for immediate download for TouchShop customers.
Continuing Touch's fundraising to support Sohrab - "You Are Not Alone l", the first in a series of reworkings of Sohrab material by artists showing solidarity to his cause. Edition one features JG Thirlwell, Achim Mohné, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Leif Elggren. All label and artist money goes towards the fund for his appeal against refusal to be granted political asylum in Germany. Details below.
The fourth video download in the T-Phone series is by Budhaditya Chattopadhyay. "Eye Contact with the City" is a sound installation with video projection, produced for the Bengaluru Artist Residency 2010, supported by India Foundation for the Arts. It was recently nominated with an Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica 2011.
Touch Radio 64 is now broadcasting: Yannick Dauby's "Arches" - the arch-shaped tones of chanting wolves...
And finally, a round-up of Touch's and The Tapeworm's editions for the first half of 2011. Please note that we will not ship any orders - which include the new Biosphere or any of the new Tapeworms - until week 17 (June 22nd onwards).
CD in digipak - 9 tracks - 49:50
When you buy this CD in the TouchShop, you also get a free download of exclusive track, "Oma".
Art Direction: Jon Wozencroft
Cover image: Yusuke Murakami
Geir Jenssen writes: "Early February 2011: Decided to make an album inspired by the Japanese post-war economic miracle. While searching for more information I found an old photo of the Mihama nuclear plant. The fact that this futuristic-looking plant was situated in such a beautiful spot so close to the sea made me curious. Are they safe when it comes to earthquakes and tsunamis? Further reading revealed that many of these plants are situated in earthquake-prone areas, some of them are even located next to shores that had been hit in the past by tsunamis.
A photo of Mihama made me narrow down my focus only to Japanese nuclear plants. I wanted to make a soundtrack to some of them, concentrating on the architecture, design and localizations, but also questioning the potential radiation danger (a cooling system being destroyed by a landslide or earthquake, etc). As the head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said: "the plants were so well designed that 'such a situation is practically impossible'.
The album was finished on February 13th. On March 17th I received the following message from a Facebook friend: 'Geir, some time ago you asked people for a photo of a Japanese nuclear powerplant. Is this going to be the sleeve of your new coming album? But more importantly: how did you actually predict the future? Kind regards, David.'"
320 kpbs mp3 - 1 track - 37:14
The first in a series of reworkings of Sohrab material by artists showing solidarity to his cause... all label and artist money goes towards the fund for his appeal against the refusal to be granted political asylum in Germany... Thanks to all of you who have helped Sohrab by downloading his track "Shouting at Dictators". Sohrab tells us he is very moved by the response to his plight and is very grateful for your support. He is awaiting a date for his final appeal...
Touch mix content providers:
JG Thirlwell - Susanna (Uxorial mix) 4:48 | Achim Mohné - Milan Knizhak mix#1 (side a) 6:05 | Jóhann Jóhannsson - Zarrin (remix) 6:01 (Mixed by Jóhann Jóhannsson at NTOV, Copenhagen, 24th May 2011) | Anonymous - Triple Exposure 9:10 (Mastered by a different Anonymous 24th May 2011) | Leif Elggren - No One Really Knows (destroyed) 11:46
.m4v video for iPod/iPhone/iPad
"Eye Contact with the City" is a sound installation with video projection, produced for the Bengaluru Artist Residency 2010, supported by India Foundation for the Arts. It was recently nominated with an Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica 2011.
Budhaditya Chattopadhyay is a sound artist, researcher and audiovisual media practitioner based in India; he incorporates sound, visual image and digital media to produce works for installation and performance.
CD in digipak - 2 tracks - 48:20
Art Direction: Jon Wozencroft
Cover image: Yusuke Murakami
14.06.11 - Arches - 25:05 - 320 kbps
Photo: Dave Knapik
A few years ago, I had the chance to participate in the organization of a scientific seminar about the relationship between canids and humans, the conferences spreading between ecology, ethology, psychology and anthropology ("Entre Chiens Et Loups", Lyon, 2006). Amongst the invited scientists was Dave Mech a wildlife biologist who spent all his life studying wolves in the field, and in particular on Ellesmere Island located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
We drove together to visit an area in Lozère, the least populated department of France, where some wolves are kept in in semi-captivity, which means that they are living an unusually large enclosure. Those animals were originally rescued from poachers, and the park has a very good reputation for introducing them to the public. There I could observe the wolves in the company of Dave Mech, who provided some invaluable insight into their behaviour.
Last year, I went back again to visit the wolves with Sylvain Macchi who is in charge of the park. I was able to record the songs of the wolves in the middle of the night and the early morning one February during their mating season. The barks are often associated with aggressive behaviours, meanwhile the chantings are a way to reinforce the cohesion of the group and calm down the tensions. The effect of these sounds, listening to wolves chanting in the complete darkness, is an extreme experience. Those arch-shaped tones are amongst the most beautiful things one can hear from the animal kingdom.
Composed in May 2011. Field recordings mostly made in February 2010.
Thanks a lot to Dave Mech for the inspiration and Sylvain Macchi for introducing me to the wolves of Gevaudan.
Cassette only, in an edition of 200 copies.
A: Witch Girl of Pilot's Knob
B: Child Witch and the Watcher
Field recording (EVP captures) and track compositions by Michael Esposito.
EVPs captured at a cemetery in Pilot's Knob, Kentucky, PAW Case File PAW120. Situational Specific Frequency Tests and Results captured in 2009 at a cemetery location where in the late 1800s, reportedly accused of witchcraft, a woman and her daughter, Mary Evelyn Ford were burned alive in Marion County. The daughter was buried at Pilot's Knob cemetery and her mother at a separate location. At the cemetery a dark foreboding figure has also been seen. People have named this figure The Watcher. It is said that this evil presence tries to get the little girl but cannot pass beyond the crucifix decorated fence that surrounds her grave.
Michael Esposito is an experimental artist and researcher in Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). He is a descendant of Alfred Vail, who invented the Morse code with his partner Samuel Morse, and Jonathan Vail, office manager and assistant to Thomas Edison. Michael studied communication theory at Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, American University in Cairo, Egypt and Governor's State University. He is the co-founder of Phantom Airwaves - an institution dedicated to the study and education of EVP research.
Cassette only, in an edition of 200 copies.
Linocuts - Dale Cornish
A1: Behind the Veil Behold the Liquid Light!
A2: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Songs Without Words, Op. 19, No. 6, "Venetian Gondola Song"
A3: Frédéric Chopin, Étude Op. 25, No.1 in A-flat Major, "Aeolian Harp"
B1: Kali Dances
B2: Digital Angel 000
Othon Mataragas is an eccentric pianist, a nonconformist composer and a radical songwriter. Born in Greece, he gave his first concert there at the age of five and won several national piano competitions and awards. His passion for music brought him to London to study piano at the Royal College of Music with Chopin expert Dr Peter Katin and composition at Trinity College of Music with Andrew Poppy, as a scholar. Though he enjoyed his formal studies, he felt like an outsider both as a musician and a thinker. He realised that academic musical studies can be both a blessing and a curse and soon after graduating from Trinity he vowed to discard the intellectualism of many contemporary composers and follow his heart.
Othon's debut album "Digital Angel" was released in December 2008 by Durtro/Jnana. His second album "Impermanence" will be released in September 2011 by Tourette Records. "Impermanence" features performances by Marc Almond, Camille O'Sullivan, Ernesto Tomasini and Justin Jones (And Also The Trees) and will be the first official manifestation of Othon's unique musical expression, which he calls PAN.
Just before releasing "Impermanence", Othon has come up with an unexpected limited-edition tape release. As the title suggests, "Silky Hands Of A Rough Piano Boy" centres on Othon's life-long companion, the piano. On the A-side Othon returns to his soloist roots performing his new work "Behind the Veil Behold the Liquid Light!" together with two gems by Chopin ("Étude Op. 25, No.1") and Mendelssohn ("Venetian Gondola Song No.1" in G minor from "Songs Without Words"). On the B-Side Othon is releasing for the first time two of his oldest and most adventurous songs to date. "Kali Dances" and "Digital Angel 000" were both recorded live as part of the composer's final recital at Blackheath Halls while still studying at London's Trinity College of Music, back in 2006. "Digital Angel 000", though not included on Othon's debut album "Digital Angel", was originally one of the first songs written for the eponymous song cycle. Both songs on this tape are sung by dramatic soprano Shona Allen, while Clare Jefferis plays the alto flute.
|Jóhann Jóhannsson - Virthulegu Forsetar [2x Vinyl LP]||CM von Hausswolff - 800 000 Seconds in Harar [CD]|
|Chris Watson & Marcus Davidson - Cross-Pollination [CD]||Sohrab - Shouting at Dictators [320 kbps MP3]|
|Pita - Mesmer [Cassette]||Chugga - Memphistophelis [Cassette]|
|Cathi Unsworth - Johnny Remember Me [Cassette]||Zachary James Watkins - Black Spirituals [Cassette]|
|Zerocrop - On Tape [Cassette]||The Tapeworm Comes Alive! [Cassette]|
|Deceh - Fundamental Structure [Cassette]||Philip Marshall - Casse-tête [Cassette]|
|Peter Hope-Evans - Cast-Offerings: Visitations, Fetches, Revenants [Cassette]||Francisco López & Zan Hoffman - Concert for 300 Magnetic Tapes [Cassette]|
The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.