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The British Library is home to the UK’s national collection of radio recordings in its Sound Archive. On 18th November 2010, the entire collection was handed over to and shared with The British Library, and is now a "named collection" within the Library's Archival Sound Recordings website. You can read more about this here.
Touch Radio 115 | Vault!
25.06.15 - Vault! - 25:43 - 320 kbps
"Mark [Van Hoen] and I visited the tunnels underneath downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday. Many miles of these tunnels are closed to the public, but a section underneath the city archive collection is open. We recorded using an iPhone 6 and a Zoom H6. One of the signs had been adapted to read: "SOUNDs HORNy".
Touch Radio 114 | Pascal Wyse
01.06.15 - Pascal Wyse - Any Port in a Storm - 09:34 - 320 kbps
To call this field recording would be crediting the situation with more adventure than it deserves. At five in the morning, with a hangover starting to percolate, the ideal conditions are surely to just roll over, hit record and go back to sleep – and that is pretty much what happened here. End of disclaimer.
Boats, whether out at sea or in harbour, have a particular vocabulary of sounds. On the water, they are masked by the white noise of the ocean, in which – as many sailors have reported – you can hear almost any sound imaginable. Moored up, where things are quieter, the water laps and slaps the hull while the wind plays aeolian harp on the mast.
That rigging sound is often a chorus of tapping lines against masts, but this particular boat – a cruising yacht with a Bermuda rig, moored at Yarmouth after a day’s sailing – had an unusually musical voice, sounding clear notes as the wind passed through its structure. At sea this was a contented hum, but at night it felt much more ominous.
The tones in this piece were recorded in one of the sleeping cabins in the stern, a little resonant box. Of course, there has been some processing – mainly to remove the snoring of sailors.
Continue reading: Touch Radio 114 | Pascal Wyse
Touch Radio 113 | Simon Scott
27.04.15 - Simon Scott - Caxton Gibbet - 31:36 - 320 kbps
The word 'gibbet' is used both to refer to an executional structure and to a hanging iron cage that used to display the remains of executed prisoners; when someone is thusly displayed, it is known as ‘gibbeting’.
Recording the wooden gibbet in 2012, believed to be haunted burial site and located at Caxton in Cambridgeshire, to capture the sound of the gallows wood (elm) and saproxylic (dead wood) invertebrates (beetles) that lived within it was a challenge because of the vast amount of traffic that passes by. It is located beside a busy roundabout (A428 to Cambridge) and I initially found it difficult to capture the wooden gibbet creaking and moving in the way I had envisaged. I therefore used contact microphones to get inside the construction. I was inspired by the grim history of this location, the place of multiple murders and capital punishment, and also from reading about Bernie Krause (b.1938) who, on the CD included in his wonderful book "Wild Soundscapes", explains that “recordings are an illusion… the best microphone systems and recorders cannot possibly reproduce exactly what our ears hear in the holophonic way that we hear it” (2002). He documented acoustic environments that faced dramatic change or extinction but often needed to recreate the sounds of nature by double tracking or changing microphone placement.
This location has changed dramatically recently as a McDonalds fast food restaurant opened on this site recently.
Continue reading: Touch Radio 113 | Simon Scott
Touch Radio 112 | Bethan Parkes
06.04.15 - Bethan Parkes - Krafla Geothermal Power Station/Hverir, Iceland June 2014 - 27:28 - 320 kbps
This composition features unprocessed recordings from Krafla Geothermal Power Station and the nearby mudpools and steam vents of Hverir in Northern Iceland. The recordings were made in June 2014, on the Wildeye sound recording course led by Chris Watson and Jez Riley French, using a SoundField SPS200 and JrF contact microphones.
The composition draws upon the spatial experiences of recording at these sites, journeying from the booming, all-encompassing drone emitting from the boreholes; through the uncontained, explosive energy of steam vents and bubbling mud-pools; and into the inner sonic worlds of the metal pipes and geodesic structures that punctuated the lava field.
Continue reading: Touch Radio 112 | Bethan Parkes
Touch Radio 111 | Mark Van Hoen
17.02.15 - Mark Van Hoen - Anthem for the Homeless - 21:40 - 320 kbps
"Inspired by BJ Nilsen's performance at LACE in Los Angeles last month, I decided to attempt my own composition using field recordings. The source recordings are quite crude in comparison to those made by the great Mr Nilsen; I even used only an iPhone to collect the recordings; but after a little judicious use of processing back at the studio, I am pleased with the results. On leaving LACE after the show, I noticed how many homeless were sleeping in the doorways at the back of the venue, where my car was parked. There were several droning air-conditioners, some emitting quite rhythmic sounds. It occurred to me that there are many that would hear this as music (myself included) but it's very doubtful that those sleeping in those doorways do... or perhaps some do find some comfort or music in such sounds. I assembled several of them to create this, an anthem for the homeless."
Photo by Mike Harding taken in downtown Los Angeles
Continue reading: Touch Radio 111 | Mark Van Hoen
Touch Radio 110 | Pinkcourtesyphone
22.01.15 - Pinkcourtesyphone - Live at LACE - 35:40 - 320 kbps
Recorded by Myke Dodge Weiskopf at Touch presents... Live in Los Angeles, 21st January 2015. With thanks to LACE, VOLUME and especially Yann Novak.
Continue reading: Touch Radio 110 | Pinkcourtesyphone
Touch Radio 109 | Before Surgery
04.01.15 - Before Surgery - Potlatch - 16:19 - 320 kbps
Field recording of fireworks on Saint John's Night, June 23, 2014, the local pagan inheritor celebration of the Summer Solstice. Recording by Heitor Alvelos on Bruce Geduldig and Bernadette Martou's balcony, Porto, Portugal. The vantage point, overlooking the tail end of the Douro river from a considerable height, allows the acoustic experience to become as impressive as the visual: the sound of the fireworks travels back and forth through the valley in considerable detail.
Recent trends in mass entertainment have dictated the expectation for further ingredients of sensory input, i.e. the "pure" experience of the explosives shall not be enough. Cue the arrival of pop anthems as an added sound layer that, as far as acoustics go, can only be experienced as a distraction. This is the main reason for the dramatic pitch shift in the present recording: the sound fabric is brought down to the point where pop pap no longer hurts. In the meantime, a different landscape emerges, austere and foreboding.
Edited by Heitor Alvelos in Suçães, August 2014: the recording has been left unaltered save for a pitch shift of -77%.
Mastered by Anselmo Canha in Porto, September 2014.
Assisted at various times by José Maria Lopes, Teresa Serôdio, José Canha, Antifluffy.
Continue reading: Touch Radio 109 | Before Surgery
Touch Radio 108 | BJNilsen
31.12.14 - BJNilsen - NYE Berlin-Schöneberg 31.12.2014 - 38:26 - 320 kbps
Continue reading: Touch Radio 108 | BJNilsen