July 2008 Touch NewsLetter

Welcome to the July 2008 Touch Newsletter. Below you will find information about new editions, a new TouchRadio, live events and more...

New Editions

Lawrence English - Kiri No Oto

Touch Tone 31

Track Listing:

1. Organs Lost At Sea
2. Soft Fuse
3. White Spray
4. Waves Sheer Light
5. Commentary
6. Allay
7. Figure's Lone Static
8. Oamura

[Kiri No Oto loosely translates to the 'sound of fog or sound of mist'.]

"The record is inspired by a few encounters I've had with mists, snow storms and sea sprays in Japan, Armidale, New Zealand and on route to krakow last year and how they shape impressions of the objects within them.

The idea behind the record relates to mists ability to distort and bring into and out of focus objects that lie within its field. Like the visual experience of this phenomena - I applied this to the various sound treatments and mixing approaches on the record. I was specifically interested in exploring 'harmonic' distortion and finding the richness in the frequencies that are usually associated with extremes of volume - so in a way the ear begins to distort and alter the sounds it comes in contact with - like another layer of auditory 'fog'.

I was particularly interested in capturing an analog sensibility to the record - as the softness and blur of filtering and distortion gave each of the sounds an expansive quality. Each piece invites the listener to find their own point within it and from there make their way through the record.

Many of the sounds on the record are sourced from both instruments and found sound - with recordings being from Poland, New Zealand, Australia and Japan." [Lawrence English, May 2008]

Lawrence English is a media artist, composer and curator based in Brisbane, Australia. Working across a broad range of aesthetic investigations, English’s work is eclectic and characterises a long-term exploration into various themes including audio/visual environments, found sound/vision, subtle transformation of public space and sonic art works that exist at the very edge of perception

Lawrence English in the TouchShop

7" vinyl only
Limited edition

Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft
Cut by Jason at Transition

Track Listing:

Side A: Behind the Radiator Part 1 - 2:52 +
Side B: Behind the Radiator Part 2 - 2:58 +

Locked grooves

Mika Vainio continues the series of Touch Sevens, 7" vinyl-only releases, with this stunning record. The crackle... The fire of the analogue... Mika Vainio is the most adept at using crackle as a voice. Sound artists have used crackle ever since the reality of digital audio hit home, however there's a big difference between this and how other practitioners use it...

Here are two tracks recorded by Mika in Berlin this February.

He has released 3 solo albums for Touch under his own name [Onko, 1997; Kajo, 2000 and In the Land of the `blind, One-Eyed is King, 2003. He is perhaps best known as part of the Finnish duo, Pan Sonic, and he also releases work as Ø for Finnish label, Säkhö Recordings.

7" vinyl was the quintessential format for popular music. Today, it is an undervalued and mostly promotional medium, used as a fetishistic signpost to a time of musical authenticity and a "healthy" popular culture. It might seem like another retrograde step to launch a vinyl series just as the download format threatens to dominate, and indeed there is an element of "the rear view mirror"... the generation of Touch artists who grew up with vinyl [and cassette] still feeling a strong emotional attachment to it. This series is more than that... an overtly critical, non-digital statement is supported by treatments of audio work which cannot be applied to digital formats - the sonic texture, the use of a locked groove, the A & the B and the additional dimension of the visual counterpoint. As for the aspect of audience participation, we choose not to specify the RPM on the label, encouraging the listener to experiment with playback options and personal preferences. An attempt to make music that works at both speeds. The front cover might actually be the back cover...

Mika Vainio in the TouchShop


Touch Radio

32. 1.07.08 - Tom Lawrence - Donadea Forest - 30:47 - 192 kpbs

Donadea Forest Recordings, December 2007 to May 2008.

00:00-04:27 Castle Crow's Cacophony (31st December 2007, 7.20am)
04:28-10:23 January Gales 9th January 2008 10.45pm (contains references to 9/11 forest monument and the avenue of trees, captured with contact mics)
10:24-14:48 Forest Rain 12th January 2008 1.15am (extensive flooding)
14:49-20:36 Forest Harmonics 8th March 2008 6.20-11.50am (sampled forest chimes, forestry felling, and the 'carbon chorus' [surrounding motorways]).
20:37-30:47 The Dawn Chorus (recorded on National Dawn Chorus Day 20th May 2008, 4.35am)

Tom Lawrence is a composer/sound recordist. He is on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Dublin City University. Further details can be found here.

Principle photography by Eddie Mallin from Dublin, currently living in Kildare. Using film-based cameras, he prints using traditional darkroom techniques and favours fibre-based papers. Images for this project are mainly scanned negatives. Monochrome images © Eddie Mallin. For more information, click here.

Supplementary photography captured during recording sessions by Tom Lawrence.

Special thanks to Karen Bothwell, Forest Manager Kildare & E.Laois and all the staff at Coillte Teoranta. For more info on Donadea Forest, click here.

These recordings were made using a Sennheiser mkh20 binaural rig, a Neumann kmr82, contact microphones, a hydrophone, a Sony C1 and a Sound Devices mixer and recorder.


Forthcoming live dates for Touch artists can usually be found on their websites... but here are some we would like to bring to your attention:

Philip Jeck has two live dates in July:

July 2nd

Solo concert at the "Organizing -The City SCOS 2008 Conference, Manchester.
The Contact Theatre at 7.00 pm. There are tickets for those not attending the conference at the special price of £5 available in advance from janet.adnams@manchester.ac.uk

July 18th

Playing the soundtrack to MARYLAND, performance/dance by Mary Prestidge, directed by Ulla Kovisto. With dance works by Sue Maclennan. Borough Hall, Greenwich, London SE10, 7.45pm

Tuned City, Berlin

5th July
@ Radio House, Nalepastraße

Jacob Kirkegaard - Labyrinthitis
Chris Watson ¬ BJNilsen - Storm

Chris Watson is giving a workshop from 1-5 July. You can sign up here

For more information on the festival, read here

Chris Watson is also holding a workshop in London: "Field Recording in & around an Urban River"

Monday 28th July (+ Sunday 27th July)
10am - 5pm (exact Sunday times to follow)

Museum of Garden History, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB.

Price: £60 (Students - £45)

Following the success of previous sound recording workshops, we are delighted to welcome back BBC sound recordist extraordinaire and founder member of Cabaret Voltaire, Chris Watson, who will lead a workshop concentrating on field recording in and around the Thames. The Museum of Garden History is located a stone's throw from the banks of the Thames; a river which is itself a remarkable receptacle and generator of diverse sound. As the city interacts with the river, so the range and variety of sounds increases, from ferries to tidal barriers, and in doing so it creates a rich environment in which one can demonstrate field recording techniques and use amazing equipment like hydrophones. This event will provide attendees with the chance to gain practical experience in the field followed by a studio workshop.

On the Sunday, attendees are welcome to join Chris as he leads a recording session on location. Material recorded on the Sunday by attendees will then be used on the Monday as Chris demonstrates techniques and equipment and provides a critique of attendees work. Every attendee will have the chance to work one-on-one with Chris. The combined work created over the course of these two days will then be made available for each participant (subject to permission).

Cost includes lunch and refreshments on the Monday. Information concerning the times and location of the Sunday field session as well as equipment requirements will be released shortly. The workshop is suitable for both experienced and novice field recorders alike.

For more information, please email Chris Potts or telephone him on 07747 600 711.

To book, please call the Museum on +44 20 7401 8865, or click here for tickets

Oren Ambarchi live in London

10th July
(Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O'Malley, Matt "Skitz" Sanders) at ULU, University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY

14th July
Oren Ambarchi solo
@ Luminaire, 311 High Road, Kilburn, London, NW6 7JR


You can find photos from the recent Spire Live at Hardingtonar on 21st June on the Spire website here

Touch Archive

We have been posting mp3s of some of the tracks from the early Touch cassettes... You can browse and find links in the Touch Archive section of the Touch website here. In the section 'Early Cassette Culture', you will find some of the titles listed for each edition will contain some audio links... more will be added in the coming months.

The previous NewsLetter from June 2008 can be found here