Touch Newsletter #111

Welcome to the 111th Touch Newsletter. We are now taking advanced orders for two new vinyl releases: Hildur Gudnadottir’s Saman will shortly be available on vinyl - it is already out on CD - and Achim Mohné’s Accelerated Standstill.

Shipping will commence during the last week of August. Both items include full downloads of the release, with a 3rd bonus track by Achim Mohné, “Accelerated Standstill”, only available when you buy the vinyl in the TouchShop. [cf TouchRadio episode now broadcasting - Fritz Kiste by amé (a pseudonym for Achim Mohné.

There are also two live events to note, one in Bristol on September 17th and Los Angeles on September 27th…

We are also offering a remarkable new work by two of the Spire team, Charles Matthews and John Beaumont. This is not a Touch release; The Story Tenor is a new project by John Beaumont, who also performs with BJNilsen as "Black Death" (see the new Tapeworm cassette Spire - Live in Bergen on the previous Tapeworm newsletter…) You can read about this release and listen to one of the tracks here. It is maybe not to everyone's taste (classical English song), but it is of the highest quality at a remarkably low price, and we'd like to give it a mention here.

The Touch app for iOS has been updated and can be downloaded at the iTunes App Store

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TO:96V | Hildur Gudnadottir "Saman"

We are now taking advanced orders for this new release - shipping will commence the last week of August 2014. If you pre-order the album, you can download the zipped MP3 (320 kpbs) version when you place your order…

LP - 11 tracks - 39:06

Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye and cut by Jason at Transition

Track listing:

Side A
1. Strokur
2. Frá
3. Birting
4. Heyr Himnasmiður
5. Bær

Side B
6. Heima
7. Í hring
8. Rennur upp
9. Til baka
10. Líður
11. Þoka

This album is about resonance: on "Saman", which means "Together", Hildur melts her voice with her cello, connecting the two instruments together…

All tracks composed, performed and recorded by Hildur Guðnadóttir in Berlin, except Heyr Himnasmiður (track 4), composed by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson, lyrics by Kolbeinn Tumason. Cello made by David Wiebe in 1991. [Cello nr 49]

Track 6, bass by Skúli Sverrisson, string fretted cello built by Hans Jóhannsson, resonated through two grand pianos.

Tracks 1, 4 and 6 recorded by Francesco Donadello.

All tracks mixed by Francesco Donadello and Hildur Guðnadóttir at Vox-Ton Studio, Berlin.

Pre-order Hildur Gudnadottir "Saman" [LP + download] in the TouchShop
Also available on CD…

Tone 45.7 | Achim Mohné "Accelerated Standstill"

We are now taking advanced orders for this new release - shipping will commence the wlast week of August 2014. If you pre-order the album, you can download the a zipped MP3 (320 kpbs) version when you place your order...

LP - 2 tracks - 46:06 + free bonus track

Track listing:
1. L'Inertie Polaire
2. Rasender Stillstand
3. Accelerated Standstill

Cut by Jason at Transition, this release is dedicated to Paul Virilio

An assembling for locked grooves. Collected and performed since 1997, recorded live in 2013 as part of “Touch presents…” at Café Oto, London; Ausland, Berlin; the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, and the Centre for Arts and Media (ZKM), Karlsruhe.

This record can be played at all speeds, but the recommended speed is 33 rpm.

Accelerated Standstill is an assembling of locked grooves found on customary vinyl records. The records have been collected and performed live between 1997 and 2013. Locked grooves normally functioning as a ‘barrier’, avoiding the needle coming into contact with the label at the centre of the record. All grooves sound different, depending on how dust has effected and transformed the soft surface of the vinyl.

By using a triple vinyl deck set-up this (analytic auditory observations of) ending grooves are mixed live thus composing a “music that lies hidden in the medium itself". The tiny dust particles inside the vinyl groove convert into a ‘sound sculpture’ - an important syntactical parameter (of the apparatus) is formed by the turntables themselves. The speed of their rotation is not limited to 33 or 45 rpm, but expanded between 1 and 150 rounds per minute thus determining the loops and the rhythm.

Achim Mohné started working with record players, cassette recorders and other sound-media-apparatus in the mid 1990s. He experiments with the space and time intervals of sound-media and is especially interested in the "music that lies hidden in the medium itself". His method is to subject the support material to a forensic autopsy. His most recent project analyses the transfer data of a Wi-Fi router called Fritz Box/Fritz Kiste (cf TouchRadio). His further work features sound tracks for film and theatre performances (with Yoshie Shibahara) as well as collaboration with classical musicians (such as violinist Ayumi Paul).

Pre-order Achim Mohné "Accelerated Standstill" [LP + download] in the TouchShop

Touch in Bristol | Encounters Festival

1pm and 930pm 17th September 2014, Arnolfini, Bristol

1pm Touch presents: The Memory of Water. Jon Wozencroft will introduce a programme of films, including his own film work for Fennesz’s Liquid Music (2001) and Chis Watson’s Vatnajökull (2003).

followed by...

930pm Vinyl Requiem (Replayed) with Philip Jeck

More information can be found here -

Touch in Los Angeles | AxS Festival

730pm 27th September 2014, Pasadena, California

Mike Harding provides the soundtrack from the Touch catalogue to Jon Wozencroft's imagery.
More information can be found here -

STORY001 | The Story Tenor "24 Songs by Gerald Finzi"

We are now taking orders for this new release.(You can read about Gerald Finzi here)

CD in digifile + booklet - 24 tracks - 59 mins Free download when you buy from the TouchShop included

Track listing:
(The songs are contained in three cycles:)

1. A YOUNG MAN’S EXHORTATION OP. 14 [Set to poems by Thomas Hardy]

1. A Young Man’s Exhortation
2. Ditty
3. Budmouth Dears
4. Her Temple
5. The Comet At Yell’ham
6. Shortening Days
7. The Sigh
8. Former Beauties
9. Transformations
10. The Dance Continued

2. TILL EARTH OUTWEARS OP. 19 [Set to poems by Thomas Hardy]

11. Let Me Enjoy The Earth
12. In Years Defaced
13. The Market-Girl
14. I Look Into My Glass
15. It Never Looks Like Summer
16. At A Lunar Eclipse
17. Life Laughs Onward

3. OH FAIR TO SEE OP. 13B [Set to works by various poets]

18. I Say, “I’ll Seek Her” (Thomas Hardy)
19. Oh Fair To See (Christina Rossetti)
20. As I Lay In The Early Sun (Edward Shanks)
21. Only The Wanderer (Ivor Gurney)
22. To Joy (Edmund Blunden)
23. Harvest (Edmund Blunden)
24. Since We Loved (Robert Bridges)

John Beaumont - The Story Tenor
Charles Matthews - Piano
Jonathan Lane - Sound Engineer
John Rushby-Smith - Producer

Recorded in The Nimbus Foundation's Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouthshire, in one 10-hour session from 10.00am - 8.00pm with multiple coffee & tea breaks; Friday 29th November 2013.

Gerald Finzi's particular synthesis of stylistic influences and his special sensitivity to English verse (notably, but by no means exclusively, that of Thomas Hardy) make him a unique figure, and certainly a towering presence in the English song repertory, regarded by some as a distinctly minority interest when compared to the French Romantic melodie, let alone the German Lied.

There is some truth in this, for all that it undervalues such masters as Purcell and Britten. Finzi felt little sympathy with the latter's work, but his own finest songs certainly hold their own in such company. As his biographer Diana McVeagh has written, his own word-setting idiom was closer to Dowland than Purcell, and he never displayed the virtuosic brilliance of Britten. With a compositional language firmly based in tonality, he often stresses that bedrock of Western music through the use of modality, bitonality, and his favourite device, the false relation. But even in such a strange song as "The comet at Yellham", the rock never crumbles.

Finzi loved the English countryside, living in it for many years, but his representation of its many aspects in his music is never sentimental, though often tinged with regret and nostalgia (as, for example, in 'Harvest' and 'The Market Girl'). Such emotions also spill over into those other overarching themes of his: love, both triumphant and lost (the latter remarkable for someone with as blissfully happy a marriage as Finzi had), the inevitable passage of time, and the ending of everything in death. For someone whose own life was ended prematurely by disease, the vision of bitterness in old age found in such a song as "I look into my glass" is truly remarkable.

About the players:


"My story began as Head Chorister in Wakefield Cathedral Choir where my father, its Canon Precentor (the priest in charge of all things musical) had in his time been a chorister alongside a young Kenneth Leighton, both having been born in 1929. Embarking on this project I discovered a twofold connection with Finzi; that he studied from 1917-22 with Edward Bairstow, organist of York Minster, where I was a Tenor Songman in its choir from 1983-1985 and also that he played a very supportive role in Leighton's early years helping him on his journey to becoming a 'name' & well-respected 20th Century composer. I encourage you to read more about Leighton's recollections of Finzi at

Moving to London, beyond working with the three choral foundations at St Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, I was singing on film soundtracks, TV advertisements, working latterly with the BBC Singers in the Proms and exploring a more diverse repertoire. Music was complimented by an 18-year career in the marketing communications industry, firstly with EMI Records and then as an Account Director with one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, and it was here that I learned about the importance of the message and the craft of communication – of storytelling.

A chance conversation led me to singing teacher Nicholas Clapton. His technical knowledge, intelligence in interpretation, and direct manner gave birth to The Story Tenor. That singing is ‘talking at pitch’ and the singer a vessel for its interpretation chimed with my thoughts, and 3 years hard work saw a vastly expanded repertoire and this, my first solo CD. Recorded on a crisp November day in 2013 during one 10-hour session in very rural Monmouthshire at the Wyastone Concert Hall, many songs were laid down in one 'take' (warts and all) to give the disc at least that sense of a live recording. I'd be very surprised if you found all 24 songs to your taste - they span decades of Finzi's composing life - but my hope is that you will find at least some that bring you pleasure, moving you to discover more of Thomas Hardy and the wider repertoire of 'unfashionable' English song. Thankfully, fashions come and go, and come round again. I also work with BJNilsen under the moniker "Black Death" and for Spire."


"A hugely talented pianist and organist with whom it has been my privilege to work with since 2007. His sensitive, thoughtful and masterful interpretations of Finzi’s songs were a great inspiration for me on the day of the recording. Find out about Charles at" (John Beaumont) Charles is also a founder member of Spire -

Pre-order The Story Tenor "Songs by Gerald Finzi" [CD + download] in the TouchShop

“The Tapeworm’s Bunch of Fives” – live at Café Oto, 16.9.2014

Celebrating five glorious years of The Tapeworm… starring a clew of worms: CM von Hausswolff, Dale Cornish and Phil Julian, Andrew Poppy, Osman Arabi, Autodigest and Zerocrop.

at Dalston’s finest… Café OTO
18-22 Ashwin Street
London E8 3DL

16.09.14 at 20h00
£5.00 in advance, £7.00 on the door

On the 16th of September, we warmly welcome you to Dalston’s finest, Café Oto, for our fifth birthday concert, ‘The Tapeworm’s Bunch of Fives’. CM von Hausswolff, Osman Arabi and Autodigest are flying in from far-flung places, especially for you. Andrew Poppy will finger the ivories; our interim minstrel Zerocrop will sing for you a lullaby or two; straight outta Croydon, Messrs Cornish and Julian will début a duet set. Surprise guests? Possibly, yes!

Buy tickets at
More information on
Download flyer [.pdf]
Buy Savage Pencil "Bunch of Fives" T-shirt

TTS#03 | Savage Pencil "Bunch of Fives" T-shirt

To celebrate The Tapeworm’s fifth anniverary, the one and only Savage Pencil has dreamed up a new white-on-black T-shirt. This is available to pre-order now, in five sizes.

Sizes available: S / M / L / XL / XXL

Printed in white ink on a black mélange Continental T-Shirt.

Front illustration: Center Chest, 20cm wide

Buy Savage Pencil "Bunch of Fives" T-shirt

TTW#70 | "Spire - Live in Bergen"

Cassette only – edition of 150 copies
Illustration - Art I Cho

Track listing:
A1: Charles Matthews plays JS Bach "Komm, Heiliger Geist"
A2: Charles Matthews plays Giacinto Scelsi "In Nomine Lucis"
A3. BJNilsen and John Beaumont "Black Death"
B1: The Eternal Chord "The Eternal Chord (Live)"
B2: Marcus Davidson "Ananta"
B3: The Spire Ensemble "Live In Bergen"
B4: Charles Matthews plays Arvo Pärt "Pari Intervallo"

Recorded on 1st November 2013 as part of Bergen Kirkeautunnale, Norway.

Featuring BJNilsen & John Beaumont’s ‘Black Death’, a new project using voice (tenor) and electronics; Charles Matthews’s repertoire includes performances of organ pieces by Arvo Pärt, Giacinto Scelsi and Johann Sebastian Bach; Marcus Davidson’s ‘Ananta’ is released for the first time, and Spire regulars The Eternal Chord and The Spire Ensemble also perform.

Spire is an organ-based live project curated by Touch’s Mike Harding and organist Charles Matthews, and is celebrating ten years of activity. You can read more about the project here. -

‘The tall peaceful trees would be like the pipes of a great organ…’ (Claude Debussy)

‘It is impossible not to be drawn upward, whether towards the spire of the church or cathedral or to the huge and daunting forest of pipes themselves. The organ dwarfs all comers, and unlike other instruments, it is this non-musical element which makes the organ stand apart.’ (Mike Harding)

Buy "Spire - Live in Bergen" in the TouchShop
More information on

TTW#71 | CM von Hausswolff "Dark 80ies"

Cassette only – edition of 150 copies
Illustration – Filip Cleynen

Side A
00.00 - 01.08 Phauss “We're Not Able To Realize Your Order”
01.08 - 04.08 Phauss “Saharan Royal Blue”
04.08 - 05.03 Phauss “We're Not Able To Realize Your Order” (cont…)
05.03 - 09.28 Blue For Two: “The Drums” (Remixed)
09.28 - 10.15 Phauss “We're Not Able To Realize Your Order” (cont…)
10.15 - 22.51 Phauss “Hafez Phauss”
22.51 - 24.10 Phauss “We're Not Able To Realize Your Order” (cont…)
24.10 - 26.25 “ZacRadiuMatic Test”

Side B
00.00 - 02.53 Phauss “Moving Towards The Sun”
02.54 - 04.23 “Midsummers Day 1984 - March 1985 / Unwoman”
04.23 - 08.22 CM von Hausswolff and Zbigniew Karkowski “Royal Music #3 (Beyond the Veil of Death at the Right-Time Hotel)” for Richard Wagner and the Yanomamo Sniffers.
08.22 - 13.45 Phauss “Poland 10 - 20.4 1989”
13.42 - 21.14 Phauss “Folkwar”
21.14 - 26.07 “ZacRadiuMatic Commercial”

Recorded and assembled by Michael Muennich 2013/2014 at Fragment Factory, Hamburg. Mastered by Phil Julian.

Michael Muennich was born in 1980 in a South West German border town close to France. Relocated to Hamburg in 2004. Founded Fragment Factory in summer of 2009 as a platform to publish the own and friends' musical (or non musical) effusions. Recent and forthcoming releases on Fragment Factory, Banned Production, Firework Edition Records, Noise-Below and Geräuschmanufaktur. Primarily working on the basis of everyday surrounding sounds, focussing on all kinds of objects as tone generators.

Buy CM von Hausswolff "Dark 80ies" in the TouchShop
More information on

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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.