Chris is away...
In St Cuthbert’s Time – The Sounds of Lindisfarne and the Gospels
6th July 2013 – 30 September
10am – 4pm daily, Holy Cross Chapel, Durham Cathedral
Throughout human history artists have been influenced by their surroundings and the sounds of the landscape they inhabit.
When Eadfrith, the Bishop of Lindisfarne, was writing and illustrating the Lindisfarne Gospels on that island during the late 7thCentury and early 8thCentury he would have been immersed in the seasonal sounds around the island.
For ‘In St Cuthbert’s Time’, a collaboration with Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study, and other Durham-based researchers, artist Chris Watson has created a sound installation that reflects the acoustic landscape of that island during the time that the Lindisfarne Gospels were being considered, written and illustrated.
Durham Cathedral’s Holy Cross Chapel provides an inspiring location for quiet reflection and meditation on the sounds St Cuthbert and the other monks would have experienced for themselves.
The installation will run continuously on a loop lasting around forty to fifty minutes and reflect the seasonal changes of a year out on the island. It will be played at a very discrete level as the intention is to create an atmosphere within the Chapel as if the Chapel was on the island and the natural sounds of that place were percolating inside through the two large unglazed windows. The replay level and spatial representation of the work is key to its success.
Visitors will be able to engage in conversation without having to raise their voices, as the sounds will be audible simply at the level they would be experienced in reality. Those who choose to listen will be able to engage with the work in a way which encourages a creative thought process regarding the spirit and sense of place.
The Installation will run from 06 July 2013 - to 30 September 2013, daily between 10am and 4pm.
There will also be a new album released on Touch to coincide with this event. More information on the CD release to follow in due course...
The CD is now available to preorder - official release date is 1st July 2013
[Photo by Maggie Watson]
Inside the Circle of Fire: A Sheffield Sound Map
Thursday 12 September 2013 - Sunday 23 February 2014
From making childhood recordings of birdsong in his garden, to co-founding electronic pioneers Cabaret Voltaire, and his work as one of the UK’s pre-eminent sound recordists, Sheffield-born Chris Watson has had an enduring fascination with sound.
In this ambitious new exhibition, Chris will transform the Millennium Gallery into an immersive ‘sound map’ of Sheffield, charting its boundaries on the edge of the Peak and travelling its waterways to the bustling heart of the city. By truly hearing the sounds of the city, perhaps for the first time, we hope that visitors will gain a new perspective on Sheffield in 2013.
Sound exhibition at The Hole Gallery, Prague | May 2013
More info can be found here
May 6-20, 2013
Chris Watson: Monte Bondone, Settembre
2013, 2 min 28 sec
Opening: May 6, 6pm
Galerie Díra / The Hole Gallery, Školská 28, Prague 1
Galerie Díra is sound art and site specific gallery in the backyard of no. 28 of Školská street, Prague.
David Attenborough to launch Tweet Of The Day on Radio 4
On 6 May David Attenborough will launch Tweet Of The Day, Radio 4’s new year-long celebration of the wonder and poetry of birdsong. Just before the Today programme, early risers will be treated to a different call or song of a British species, followed by a fascinating story of ornithology specific to the tweet in question.
In Britain there are now 596 species on the official bird list, of which 286 are recorded as rare. The BBC will be collaborating with brilliant wildlife sound recordists such as Chris Watson, Geoff Sample and Gary Moore to track down the songs of some of these much-loved birds, from the nightingale to the swift, the greenfinch to the garden warbler. The series will begin with the cuckoo – the song of the male is familiar to many, but how many of us can say that we have seen the bird itself?
Viv Albertine (The Slits) on El Tren Fantasma
"Technically it's so beautiful; it's beautifully recorded. I think he does what an artist should do, which is take something every day and make you hear it or see it differently. I could listen to this anytime of day or night, I could listen to it heartbroken or grieving... so beautiful, so inspiring. It paints pictures in your head and yet it's barely music. This record can make you see beauty in the everyday."
The Egg Show | Channel 4 31st March - 1st April 2013
Chris is working on...
The first of the two main programmes as Mark Evans explores the weird, wonderful world of eggs. The eggs are due to hatch. Jimmy Doherty examines bugs, and Lucy Cooke investigates frogs.
Easter Eggs Live
Monday 1 April
The second of the two main programmes exploring the wonderful and often weird world of eggs, from clown fish to emus. Mark Evans updates viewers on the animals that have hatched overnight.
The sound of one ant walking | The Radio Times
"The sound of one ant walking – inside the world of a wildlife audio expert"
The Listeners | BBC Radio 4 February 2013
BBC Radio 4, Tue 19 & 26 Feb at 11.02am
(repeated Thur 21 and 28 at 21.02)
Presenter Patrick Ayree
Producer Sarah Blunt
“I suppose for me listening is the most important thing I can do,” says acoustic biologist Katy Payne in this series. “ I just wish we were as good listeners as elephants are”.
In this two-part series, we discover that listening is about much more than just hearing.as we meet individuals whose professional lives are spent listening and interpreting the sounds they hear. The first programme focuses on sounds within the human hearing range and the second programme, explores ultrasound and infrasound; sounds above and below the human hearing range.
In the first programme we hear from Julie Ryan a volunteer with the International Rescue Corps, an organisation which specialises in urban search and rescue, Cardiac surgeon Jonathan Pitts Crick, piano tuner Davis Powell, wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson and acoustic biologist Katy Payne
In the second programme we hear from acoustic biologist Katy Payne, Brian Baptie, a seismologist with the British Geological Survey, astrophysicist Tim O’Brien, wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson and bat ecologist John Altringham.
The echoes of Benjamin Britten's 'composing walks'
Chris retraces the steps of Benjamin Britten and tunes into the Suffolk countryside which inspired the composer.
Chris Watson talks to Pascal Wyse, The Guardian 31st January 2013: The echoes of Benjamin Britten's 'composing walks'
In Port Magazine, the wildlife specialist shares anecdotes from his career, and his latest commission in Suffolk (see above).
And in The Financial Times: A walk with the FT: In Britten’s footsteps
And BBC news
The Liminal write about "Chris Watson – In Britten’s Footsteps" installation
The Guardian reviewed the piece on 5th February:
Gamophone Magazine review can be read here
Recordings of a Desert Waterhole | Namibia December 2012
"At 1800h local time I fixed a Sennheiser MKH 8040/30 middle and side rig against a sun bleached log by the edge of a small muddy pool. This was the only surface water I could find on the floor of a steep sided valley formed by the ephemeral river Kuiseb on the western fringe of the Namib desert in Namibia, southwest Africa."
Chris Watson featured in new book about field recording
The use of sound world in 100 albums
Le field recording, ou enregistrement de terrain, est une pratique apparue logiquement à la fin du xixe siècle avec l’invention de systèmes d’enregistrement, de plus en plus portables. Peu à peu, le studio perd de sa fatalité et l’homme peut partir par les chemins pour capter quantité de musiques et de sons. Les premiers à se lancer sont les ethnomusicologues et les audio-naturalistes. Les uns sont en quête des musiques de divers peuples de la terre, vivant souvent loin des grandes villes et de leurs facilités logistiques. Les autres souhaitent quant à eux conserver la trace des sons de la nature.
Chris Watson in Aldeburgh | 1st February 2013
PLACE WEEKEND: Roots - Journeying Home
The third edition of our annual winter weekend exploration into the culture and meanings of place looks at the nature and resonance of home. It draws its inspiration from the life and travels of Benjamin Britten, and its title from an astute observation he made in 1951 about the importance of Suffolk to his life and creativity.
Over the weekend (see below), in the company of award-winning writers, thinkers, artists, musicians and film-makers, Roots will explore what home means in an age of globalization, from considerations of domestic architecture to the psychology of unsettlement, and from the lure of the local to our place in the cosmos.
As always, the approaches will be various – readings, screenings, music, performance, discussion, walks and installation – and we’re especially pleased to announce a new commission by internationally acclaimed sound artist Chris Watson, In Britten’s Footsteps, responding directly to the Aldeburgh landscape, and a presentation by conductor and writer Paul Kildea, the author of an important new Britten biography.
PLACE is curated by Gareth Evans in association with Aldeburgh Music.
Join us next week at Aldeburgh Music’s cross-arts PLACE weekend. More info and tickets here, hope to see you there http://www.brittenaldeburgh.co.uk/whats-on/event/place-weekend-roots-journeying-home
Join us at @aldeburghmusic next week for the cross-arts PLACE weekend. http://www.brittenaldeburgh.co.uk/whats-on/event/place-weekend-roots-journeying-home #BrittenLivesHere
and you can read a feature in The Quietus here
Live in Geneva | 11th January 2013
Il présentera à Genève en première mondiale Blue Notes, une création unique inspirée de l’océan, qui en traduira le rythme et la musique avec des sons enregistrés pour la plupart en milieu subaquatique. Tout un art !
He will present in Geneva the world premiere of Blue Notes, a unique design inspired by the ocean, which results in the rhythm and music with sounds recorded mostly in an underwater environment.
Interview on SNYKradio
SNYKradio is a podcasting service based in Copenhagen. They cover contemporary music and soundart.
Last weekend Chris Watson performed at The Copenhagen Field Recording Festival, they met up with him and talk to him about the art of listening.
A Guide to Mountain and Moorland Birds | 7th-11th January 2013
BBC Radio 4, Mon – Fri, 7-11 January, 13.45-14.00
Brett Westwood in conversation with Stephen Moss
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson, Producer Sarah Blunt
Which bird sounds like a coffee percolator and moves like a clockwork mouse? Well, the answer can be found in the first of a new series of Radio Guides to our commonest upland birds. Surrounded by the go-back-back-back calls of Red Grouse, Brett Westwood joins keen bird watcher Stephen Moss on the magnificent rolling hills of the Long Mynd in Shropshire. With the help of recordings by wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson, they offer a practical and entertaining guide to the birds which you’re most likely to see and hear on heather moors in Upland Britain.
This series complements five previous series; A Guide to Garden Birds, A Guide Woodland Birds, A Guide to Water Birds, A Guide to Coastal Birds and A Guide to Farmland Birds and is aimed at both the complete novice as well as those who are eager to learn more about our upland visitors and residents.
Chapel of Skins | 22nd January 2013
Afternoon Drama : Chapel of Skins
BBC Radio 4 , Tue 22 January 2013, 14.15
Recorded high up in the Shropshire hills of the Welsh Marches, and inspired by a living landscape and its history, Chapel of Skins is a fictional story about a ghostly meeting of ways, written and narrated by Paul Evans with wildlife sound recordings by Chris Watson.
Phone Box: Paul Evans
Trebrodier: Liza Sadovy
Anchor: Ben Crowe
Quabbs: Alex Tregear
Wildlife sound recordist: Chris Watson
Director / Producer: Sarah Blunt
Chris Watson Remix for The Horrors
Track title: Dive In (The Pressure Ridges)
The boxed set is available to pre-order now, but is also available to buy digitally right away from all services.
It's possible to listen to the album on Spotify and also using the widget they built: widgets.xlrecordings.com/higher/
Celebrating 90 years of radio broadcasting...
Celebrating 90 years of BBC radio - short features marking some memorable radio moments. Here is Chris's selection:
1924: The Cello and The Nightingale
Cellist Beatrice Harrison duets with nightingales in a Surrey garden - or does she? Sound recordist Chris Watson investigates.
Robert Macfarlane & Chris Watson - The Sea Road
Robert Macfarlane & Chris Watson: The Sea Road (17.32) Recorded live at Port Eliot festival, July 2012
b/w Granite (7.05) (Watson) /Stormbeach (7.25)(Watson)
Rivertones 2. A 12” single, released 19th November 2012
Undoubtedly the highlight’s of Caught by the River’s summer was an utterly unique collaboration between two of Britain’s most forward-thinking adventurers, author Robert Macfarlane and sound recordist Chris Watson. They had been plotting something special for a few months, a performance piece based on Robert’s book The Old Ways that would blend archive audio, field recordings and spoken word. We put it on stage at our fifth birthday party at the QEH in May and then again at Port Eliot Festival. Robert read while Chris created a bespoke soundbed for the words. The result was eerie, trippy, uplifting, effortless and fantastic. Cut to a couple of months after Port Eliot. Chris Watson sends a jaw-dropping recording of the Port Eliot performance at the exact point we’re scratching our heads about what to put on the next Rivertones release…