July 2012 Touch Newsletter

Welcome to the 80th Touch Newsletter. Introducing new series of vinyl and download only releases, "from the archives…". Islands Inbetween was originally released by Touch on cassette in 1983. The 2012 edition, of 500 vinyl and download is now on sale.

This momth sees two Touch events at London's Café Oto - on the 17th July a special "Touch invites…" night, and on the 22nd July, Elliott Sharp & Philip Jeck in performance. Details below.

On 29th August, Touch.30 presents a free evening of performances, as part of the 9th edition of the Feeërieën, in the centre of Brussels and in the middle of the Warandepark - Biosphere, Philip Jeck and BJNilsen in performance.

Touch.30 visits the USA. In September 2012 Touch will present a series of events in Manhattan and at Issue Project Room celebrating the publisher’s 30th anniversary. Full details below…

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T33.2V | Touch 33 - "Islands Inbetween"

LP - edition of 500 vinyl and download only

A new series of vinyl and download only releases, "from the archives...". Islands Inbetween was originally released on cassette in 1983 [Touch # T33.2]. Three tracks, by John Keliehor & Orlando Kimber, have been removed from this edition for copyright reasons. This item will be shipped after our break at the end of July, from the week beginning 30th July… The official release date is 3rd August 2012.

The second in this series, "Drumming for Creation" [Touch # T33.3V] will be released in the autumn...

Cut by Jason at Transition
Sticker by Jon Wozencroft

Track Listing:
Side One 20'31"

Day and Night
Gending Gending
Degung Instrumental
Cremation Gamelan
Dag combination dance
Ramayana ll

Side Two 17'05"

Temple Gamelan
Frog Sound
Degung instrumental no. 2


Indonesians often use the name 'Nusantara', meaning 'the islands in-between', when referring to the archipelago that forms their Republic. This cassette covers only some of the cultural activity on Java and Bali, the best known islands out of the 13,700 counted by statisticians, so it is not intended to be in any way definitive. The selections are more like musical postcards of two cultures balanced between tradition and tourism.

legend: meridian 105º - 115º east

Side one

There is no specific translation for 'Gending Gending'. The term generally means 'orchestra' or 'gamelan composition'. The Javanese word for hammer is 'gamel', and the music is said to encourage the growth of plants. 'Suling' - the end blown flute. 'Degung instrumental' - from the Sudabese region of West Java to the speakers of tourists cafes. 'Genggong' - the first Balinese instrument, a mouth harp made from the palm and played by Igusti Ngurah Togog at his homestay in Peliatan, Bali. 'Cremation Gamelan' - a portable ensemble plays while the cremation tower is raised from the death pavilion. Before travelling a mile along the Peliatan road to the Temple of the Dead, the tower is spun around on its bearer's shoulders to confuse the soul, preventing its return home to trouble the living. The overture played as the tower is set alight (with a magnifying glass - matches are thought to be unclean), is recorded on 'Touch Travel'. Dag combination dance - in Bali, individual dances are sometimes merged into modern adaptations, not only as a result of tourism - the gamelan elders think popularisation is the best way to attract young people to dance, though dividing lines are difficult to draw. 'Dag' is a combination of 'Kecak' and 'Kebyar', performed from the squatting position in a pantomime style very popular with children. Attention is focused on the facial expressions of the dancers which interpret man's ever-changing moods. 'King Rama' - the story of the 'Kecak' (monkey) dance is taken from the Hindu Ramayana epic and portrays Rama'a search for his wife, Sita, who has been abducted to the monkey forest. Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu, The Creator, and serves as an ideal for the Hindu man. 'Ramayana ll' - the opening sequence of the gamelan acvcompaniment to the 4 part ballet held on the full moon-lit nights of June, July and August at Prambanan temple complex. The largest central temple is dedictade to Shiva, the destroyer. The voices that follow were recorded on a train at Bandung station at 3am, en route to Yogjakarta. Local sellers board trains whatever the hour, and every carriage becomes an indoor market.

Side two

'Watermark' - nightfall by a bridge near the Monkey Forest, Ubud. 'One Language' - there are c. 300 different languages and dialects in Indonesia. After independence in 1945, Bahasa Indonesian became the universally accepted language, though its use had already been encouraged by Nationalists as a political tool against the Dutch colonisers, and sanctioned by Japanese invaders who wished to spread propaganda to the villagers. 'Temple Gamelan' - musicians play while women bring ornately prepared offerings to the temple shrines on auspicious days of the Hindu calendar. Spirits and demons cannot live without food and drink, so the women fan the essence towards the divine recipient before offerings are placed on the ground to waiting dogs. Smaller offerings made daily, are left at strategic points around the house and alongside the ricefields. 'Frog Sound' - the sound comes from the reed mouthpiece of the genggong harp. Played by Togog and his son. 'Ducks' - every morning young boys and old men direct the family ducks out of their pens and along narrow paths into ricefields that are wet enough to paddle in. 'Tenun' - the Balinese weaving dance depicting women working at this traditional craft. 'Anjung' - the name given to the hordes of semi-wild dogs that roam Bali's villages, barking instinctively at any approaching white man. 'Garuda' - Indonesia's national symbol is the Garuda bird. Vishnu's chosen vehicle and thus the king of flight associated with creative energy. Garuda is a dominant motif in Indonesian art, the name of the national airline and the seal of the official state coat of arms, beneath which appears the words 'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' - literally 'many are there but there is only one'.

Buy Touch 33's "Islands Inbetween" [LP] in the TouchShop

Touch invites… | Café Oto, London 17th July 2012

Café Oto, 17.07.12
Presentations, talks & performances.

Maia Urstad (Bergen) - 'Radio Field'
"As a sound installation artist I have always been intrigued by how we communicate. My fascination with the sending and receiving of messages, and how they may be converted on their way, has led to a series of artworks containing portable radio transmitters and receivers..."


Jiyeon Kim (Seoul)
Jiyeon Kim started her career as media art project producer, then she moved to the soundmaker/musician field. She mainly uses field recordings with sounds made with handmade analogue sound devices and acoustic objects as her source. Currently she experiments on resonating different materials in various methods with diy microphones, amplifiers, analogue oscillators, which leads her to develop unconventional ways of field recording. Jiyeon is also working as a sound educator, actively programming and running various sound workshops for young people. She aims to inspire participants to engage with their sonic environments in an artistic and social way. This summer, Jiyeon is invited to 3 weeks of a field recording residency near Verona and Naples in Italy, where she will explore sound environments of abandoned places in rural areas.


Sandra Jasper (London/Berlin)
Sandra Jasper is a geographer currently completing her doctorate at the UCL Urban Laboratory. Her thesis "Cyborg Imaginations: Nature, Technology and Urban Space in West Berlin (1961-1989) draws from diverse fields, such as sound art, engineering and architecture. Sandra teaches on the UCL MSc Urban Studies and convenes "Stadtkolloquium" a postgraduate research network. Her recent publication "Phantom limbs: Encountering the hidden spaces of West Berlin" came out in "Urban Constellations" (Jovis, ed. by Matthew Gandy).


Dawn Scarfe (London)
Dawn will present an introduction to her work with glass including Tuning to Spheres: an installation/performance which uses assorted wine glasses as acoustic resonators. A number of wine glasses sit on a turntable. A small loudspeaker plays sine tones tuned to the pitch of a particular glass, causing it to resonate as it passes underneath the speaker.


Tickets: www.cafeoto.co.uk

Elliott Sharp & Philip Jeck | Café Oto, London 22nd July 2012

Elliott Sharp is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer and central figure in the avant-garde music scene in New York City for over thirty years. He's played OTO a few times before and this one promises something different but equally enchanting as he pairs up with Philip Jeck on record players and keyboards. His track "Black Rain" appeared on Touch.

Philip Jeck works with old records and record players salvaged from junk shops turning them to his own purposes. He really does play them as musical instruments, creating an intensely personal language that evolves with each added part of a record. Philip Jeck makes geniunely moving and transfixing music, where we hear the art not the gimmick. Most of Jeck’s audio work is released on Touch.

Tickets: www.wegottickets.com

Touch.30 live in Brussels | 29th August 2012

Touch.30 presents a free evening of performances, as part of the 9th edition of the Feeërieën, in the centre of Brussels and in the middle of the Warandepark, where everything takes place on and around the restored bandstand.

In performance:
Philip Jeck
The Ash International Sound System

Further details at www.abconcerts.be

Touch.30 live at Issue Project Room, New York City | 13th-16th September 2012

In September 2012 Touch will present a series of events in Manhattan and at Issue Project Room celebrating the publisher’s 30th anniversary. Since its first release in 1982, Touch has created sonic and visual productions that combine innovation with a level of care and attention that has made it the most enduring of any independent music company of its time. The label has presented a wide range of artists from New Order to Thomas Köner, and now has a strong focus on artists such as Fennesz, Chris Watson, Philip Jeck, Jana Winderen, Hildur Gudnadottir, Oren Ambarchi and Biosphere.

How to buy tickets:

Festival pass includes admission to the following events (there will also be various afternoon events included in the price - to be announced soon):

Thu, September 13, 2012  8:00pm
Philip Jeck & Ted Riederer + Ken Montgomery at Issue Project Room

Fri, September 14, 2012  8:00pm
Eleh + Lary 7 at Judson Church

Sat, September 15, 2012  8:00pm
Chris Watson* & Marcus Davidson - The Bee Symphony & the world premier of the second part of the trilogy - at Issue Project Room
[*unfortunately Chris Watson is unable to attend]

Sun, September 16, 2012  7:00pm
Touch ensemble at Experimental Intermedia [Access to this performance, with a $5 donation, is included for festival passholders only!]


Recent releases in the TouchShop

Christian Fennesz - AUN [CD]

Thomas Koner - Novaya Zemlya [CD]

fennesz wozencroft - Liquid Music [USB flash drive]

Hildur Gudnadottir - Leyfdu Ljosinu [USB flash drive]

Infinite Livez @ Glockenbackwerkstatt [Cassette]

The Automatics Group featuring Amy Winedeath - Ammo A Mass A Mat [Cassette]

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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.