Chris is away...

in France and out of contact until April 25th 2014.

You can call Mike Harding from Touch for any queries on 07788846919

 

Handel Fellow at the Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum has announced the appointment of the 2014 Foundling Fellows, joining the Fellowship in the 10th anniversary year of the Foundling Museum in London.

They are:

Artist Cornelia Parker, named as Hogarth Fellow
Poet Lemn Sissay, named as Coram Fellow
Musician and sound recordist Chris Watson, named as Handel Fellow

Each Fellow will undertake a project for the Museum with special relevance to children, inspired by the principles of philanthropy and creativity of the great founding figures of the original Foundling Hospital, Thomas Coram, William Hogarth, and George Frideric Handel.

Chris's project celebrates International Dawn Chorus day on 4 May 2014 and will see Chris work with young people to record the dawn and evening chorus of birds, as well as other sounds, in the local area around the Museum. His idea is to compare the sounds of today with the sounds of the Foundling Hospital estate in the 18th Century and we hope to find out if the wild and urban sounds the foundlings heard in then are different to today. The work will be edited and turned into a sound piece. The final piece is intended to be played on radio stations, including Resonance FM, and will be exhibited in the Introductory Gallery at the Museum.

www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk

 

INTERMÈDES GÉOGRAPHIQUES | France Summer 2014

CHRIS WATSON
“The Songs of the Sands in the Forest”- du 7/06 au 5/10/2014.

Vernissage le 7 juin 2014
Création sonore

Paysage sonore insolite, à la croisée de l’Afrique du Nord et de la Franche-Comté, l’installation de Chris Watson est à la fois écho et célébration des grands mouvements de populations et des migrations saisonnières. L’artiste à choisi de mixer des sons recueillis par le passé dans les montagnes de l’Atlas à ceux prélevés au printemps dans la forêt de Chaux lors de sa résidence, pour offrir une approche poétique du nomadisme, une mémoire sonore des hommes et des territoires traversés.

WORKSHOP DE CHRIS WATSON À LA SALINE ROYALE
Une première en France!
Accès libre et places limitées!
Le 18 avril de 14h30 à 16h30
S’inscrire: intermedgeo@gmail.com

 

Slow University ll | Durham 11th March 2014

Seminar

12:00 to 16:15, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan’s College, Durham

The second inter-disciplinary seminar in the SLOW University series is organised in collaboration between: the School of Applied Social Sciences, the Ustinov Seminar Series and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The SLOW movement promotes a socio-cultural shift towards slowing down the pace of work, life and consumption and providing a counter narrative to processes of globalization. Chris Watson’s SLOW sound walks [in seminar one from palace Green to Ustinov College] enabled a slowing down and tuning in to the signature sounds of the spaces and places along the route.

It is clear that these lines of thinking, dialogue and creative application are gathering momentum. The purpose of the second seminar on the SLOW University at Durham [that will then travel to other collaborating Universities] is to harness these dialogues and ask - What does it mean if we take a look at the University and our relationship to as academics and researchers in relation to time, speed and SLOW? What new philosophies, practices, structures and governance might emerge?

 

Cryptic Night, Glasgow | March 6th 2014

Mirror Lands is a film and sound installation exploring diverse relationships to place on The Black Isle in the Highlands of Scotland.

Venue: CCA, Glasgow

Date: 7 - 9 March, 2014

Time: Friday - Saturday: 11-6pm Sunday: 12-6pm

Performance:
Thursday 6 March / 20.00 / £5 / Screening and Q&A with Cathy Lane and Chris Watson

Installation: Free

Booking: Book Tickets here

 

Hy Brasil | Opera North, Leeds 28th Feb - 15th March

The isle is full of noises

Howard Assembly Room, Opera North, Leeds
Friday 28 February to Saturday 15 March
2pm - 8pm (runs on a 30 minute loop)
Open to the public Tuesdays - Saturdays

Hy Brasil is a mysterious, enchanted island, hidden in fog somewhere off the coast of Ireland. It reveals itself to human eye and ear just one day every seven years. This specially commissioned work by sound artist Chris Watson (BBC TV’s award-winning Frozen Planet), brings that day on Hy Brasil to life in an immersive sound installation.

Hy Brasil is composed of compelling wildlife sounds from around the world, drawing visitors deep into the haunting song of seals and the awe-inspiring shrieks of thousands of Manx shearwaters. With glorious ambi-sonic sound and beautiful lighting, lose yourself in the strange and magical world of Hy Brasil.

Supported by the Opera North Future Fund, The Emerald Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Audio equipment supported by Pro Audio

 

Watch | The Sage, Gateshead 16th March 2014

Dunstanburgh Diamonds

This new commission by Chris Watson captures the voices and rhythms locked inside the Dunstanburgh Diamonds, presenting an ambisonic soundscape of Embleton Bay, from Low Newton to Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland. These ancient black dolerite stones are part of the Great Whin Sill, which lies exposed along parts of the coast whilst the surrounding landscape has been eroded around it. Countless tides have shaped the Whin Sill into smooth boulders that murmur, groan and growl with each passing ebb and flow. This new composition extracts the spirit of historic events and memories that have been stored in the stones for generations.

This event is part of the Digging for Sound weekends of new commissions, concerts and walks focusing on the geology, topography and mining legacy of the North East England landscape.

(See entry below for details)

 

Searching for Diamonds | AV Festival March 2014

These sound walks with Chris Watson explore the particular sounds stored along Embleton Bay, which have informed his new Festival commission. The guided walks will begin at Low Newton and end at Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland.

The new commission captures the voices and rhythms locked inside the Dunstanburgh Diamonds, from Low Newton to Dunstanburgh Castle. These ancient black dolerite stones are part of the Great Whin Sill, which lies exposed along parts of the coast whilst the surrounding landscape has been eroded around it. Countless tides have shaped the Whin Sill into smooth boulders that murmur, groan and growl with each passing ebb and flow. The new composition extracts the spirit of historic events and memories that have been stored in the stones for generations.

This event is part of their Digging for Sound weekends of new commissions, concerts and walks focusing on the geology, topography and mining legacy of the North East England landscape.

£5, limited capacity
Sat 15 March and Sat 22 March 2014
Sat 15 March 2014, 9am
BUY TICKETS
Sat 22 March 2014, 9am
SOLD OUT

Low Newton Carpark
Meet at car park at
Low Newton-By-The-Sea
Northumberland NE66

 

University of Glasgow Concert Hall | Glasgow 11th February 2014

PULSE and The University of Glasgow present Chris Watson, who will be performing "Songs from the Silverbank"

Tuesday 11 February 2014, 7.30pm
University of Glasgow Concert Hall

7:30pm Q&A with Mike Harding (including audience questions)
8:30pm Break
8:45pm "Songs from the Silverbank"
9:30 Finish

You can read an article in the Glasgow Herald

 

Nature, BBC Radio 4 Tuesday 4 February 2014

A new series of Nature starts on BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 4 February, 11.02am, presented by and featuring wildlife sound recordings by Chris Watson.

Nature, BBC Radio 4 Tue 4 Feb , 11.02am Islands of Ice and Fire

In the first of new series of Nature, we join wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson in Iceland. When it comes to dynamic landscapes, there’s perhaps nowhere in the world more exciting than Iceland; with it vast groaning glaciers, spouting geysirs, thundering glacial waterfalls, hissing thermal vents and erupting volcanoes – and it’s the sounds of this landscape which Chris is keen to capture. But there are other sounds too; and on a hillside behind Husavik on the North coast Chris is astonished by the density of birds ; snipe, whimbrel, redwing, golden plover and redshank “ At first, it’s not apparent when you just look round, but what you really need to do is just listen” he says.

Presenter Chris Watson, Producer Sarah Blunt

Nature - BBC Radio 4 Tue 11 Feb, 11.02am Arctic Terns at 66 degrees North

In the second of three programmes about the natural history of Iceland, Chris goes in search of Arctic Terns – which travel to Iceland from Antarctica to breed; the longest regular migration of any animal. Some birds travel even further – to the Arctic circle, and so on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, Chris takes a 3 hour ferry journey to the island of Grimsey which lies on the Arctic Circle to see and record some of these remarkable long distance migrants; birds which see more daylight than any other creature, as they enjoy a southern summer and then a northern summer each year.

Presenter Chris Watson, Producer Sarah Blunt

NATURE BBC Radio 4 Tue 18 Feb 11.02am In search of Humpback whales

Every year between January and April, Humpback whales from all around the North Atlantic Ocean gather in an area called Silver Bank 100km north of the Dominican Republic to breed. After calving, the whales migrate north from these lower latitudes to their high latitude, summer feeding grounds.

In June, Chris travelled to Husavik on the north coast of Iceland where he joined a whale watching trip to look for Humpback whales on their summer feeding grounds – and perhaps even see some of the same animals which he had recorded on their breeding grounds earlier in the year.

Presenter Chris Watson, Producer Sarah Blunt

 

A Life in Sound

A selection of progammes and soundscapes featuring sound recordist Chris Watson.

BBC Radio 4

 

Foundling Museum's 2014 Fellowship

CORNELIA PARKER, LEMN SISSAY, CHRIS WATSON - ANNOUNCED AS 2014 FELLOWS FOR FOUNDLING MUSEUM’S 10th ANNIVERSARY YEAR

The Foundling Museum has announced the appointment of the 2014 Foundling Fellows, joining the Fellowship in the 10th anniversary year of the Foundling Museum in London and also coinciding with the 250th anniversary of the death of William Hogarth, whose donation of paintings to the Hospital laid the foundations of the collection of the Museum.

You can read the full press release here

www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk

 

Sounds Alive, Dublin | 31st January 2014

soundsoutloud.com

 

David Attenborough: My Life In Sound

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In an exclusive interview for BBC Radio 4, David Attenborough talks to Chris Watson about his life in sound.

Monday 16 December
11.00-11.30am
You can now here this episode on iPlayer
BBC RADIO 4

One of Sir David's first jobs in natural history filmmaking was as a wildlife sound recordist. Recorded in Qatar, Sir David is with Chris Watson (a current wildlife sound recordist), and is there to make a film about a group of birds he is passionate about, The Bird of Paradise. It is in Qatar where the world’s largest captive breeding population is and it is in this setting Chris takes Sir David back to the 1950s and his early recording escapades, right through to today where Sir David narrates a series of Tweet Of The Days on Radio 4 across the Christmas and New Year period.

Presenter/ Chris Watson, Producer/ Julian Hector for the BBC

 

The Sound of One Ant Walking | Radio Times December 2013

Inside the world of a wildlife audio expert

Chris Watson, who has worked on Attenborough's Frozen Planet and Life in the Undergrowth, shares a remarkable insight into sound recording, some exclusive clips - and his feelings about music in wildlife shows.

 

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award 2013

Chris Watson has been awarded a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award 2013 for Composers, along with Emily Hall and Bryn Harrison

The full list can be found here

Click here for more information

 

In Britten’s Footsteps | BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4, Fri 15 Nov at 11.02am

To mark the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson follows in the footsteps of the composer, presenting a soundscape based on the daily walks which Britten took around Aldeburgh to reflect on his morning’s work.

Presenter and wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson, Producer Sarah Blunt

 

The Slow University?

6th November 2013, 13:25 to 17:30, IAS, Palace Green, Durham

A Seminar organised in collaboration between: the School of Applied Social Sciences, the Ustinov Seminar Series and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The SLOW movement promotes a socio-cultural shift towards slowing down the pace of work, life and consumption and providing a counter narrative to processes of globalization that Hale, Held and Young (2013) write about in ‘Gridlock’.

www.dur.ac.uk/whatson/event/?eventno=17337

 

The Spectator | October 2013

Sometimes Radio 3 tries to be too clever by half

"...The most extraordinary sound of the week was actually something so common and heard almost every day even by those mired in the inner city. Chris Watson, the sound recordist who to great effect spends days and nights outdoors making wildlife programmes, took his recording equipment into Newcastle’s Central Station. One evening, at dusk, after all the commuters had gone home, he picked up a single melody, the song of a blackbird. As Watson explained, ‘The song rolled down on to the track and filled the southern entrance to the station,’ echoing through the vast Victorian amphitheatre. This is why we keep listening — odd moments of pure sound, instant connection." [Kate Chisholm]

 

Touch presents... | Live in Lincoln Cathedral 19th October 2013

Two World Premieres from Chris Watson + Hildur Guðnadóttir, and Anna von Hausswolff
19th October 2013, 7:30 - 9:30pm, Lincoln Cathedral

Touch is delighted to be invited back to play live in Lincoln Cathedral by Frequency, after the hugely successful 13th edition of Spire, which took place in the same space, in October 2011. You can purchase tickets here.

Chris Watson (field recordings) and Hildur Guðnadóttir (cello) will be collaborating on a brand new collaborative multi-channel sound work, titled “Sönghellir (The Cave of Song)” – a sound journey from under the waters of Faxafloi, Iceland, alongside some of the largest animals on the planet. Up, onto the lava beach, across the lava fields and reindeer moss to the foot of the snow mountain, Snaefellsnes. The journey continues up and then into the mountain, ending inside Sönghellir, the song cave…

On a clear day in Reykjavik, one can gaze northwest and see the shining Snaefellsjokull glacier, 60 miles away. Though the glacier is nowhere near in size to some of Iceland’s others, it is by far the most mysterious and popular. It rests near lands end on one of Iceland’s most beloved landscapes – the Snaefellsnes Peninsula – and its bright, mysterious beauty seems to embody the entire region. One of the reasons why Icelander’s love the Snaefellsnes Peninsula so much (aside from its enchanting landscape brimming with lava caves, waterfalls, and mineral hot springs) is that it is a veritable heartland of history. Some of the best and most important sagas took place here, and it is said that Christopher Columbus once spent a winter in Ingjaldsholl, where he heard stories of lands to the west.

Anna von Hausswolff, a Swedish singer, pianist and songwriter, will be performing a new score for the organ, titled “Källan”.

The Eternal Chord, an improvisational work from some of the artists present, will close the evening.


Further details at frequency.org.uk
Book tickets for Touch presents… Live in Lincoln Cathedral

 



Chris Watson Newsletter and Twitter

You can sign up for an occasional Chris Watson newsletter by emailing here

This is not a contact email address, so please don't put messages in the body of the email. Thank you.

and you can follow Chris on Twitter: @chrisrwatson

 

Weather Report named in The Guardian's 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die List | 22.11.07

'Weather Report' is named in The Guardian's '1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die' List...

Chris Watson
Weather Report (2003)

Watson is one of the world's leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena, and here he edits his field recordings into a filmic narrative. The unearthly groaning of ice in an Icelandic glacier is a classic example of, in Watson's words, putting a microphone where you can't put your ears.

You can buy this album in the TouchShop

 

Biography & Photos

Continue reading: Biography & Photos

 

Touch & TouchRadio | Publishing & Licensing

Chris Watson is exclusively published by Touch Music [MCPS]. His work is also released on Touch, one of the most influential independent labels based in the UK [founded 1981/2].

Chris has contributed 3 pieces to TouchRadio, which are detailed below...

Continue reading: Touch & TouchRadio | Publishing & Licensing

 

Discography and Reviews

Here are Chris Watson's releases with the titles linked to the relevent page in the TouchShop. You can read reviews about his releases here:

In St Cuthbert's Time
El Tren Fantasma
Cross-Pollination
Oceanus Pacificus
Storm
Number One
Weather Report
Star Switch On
Outside the Circle of Fire
Stepping into the Dark

Continue reading: Discography and Reviews

 

Downloads

Here you can view archive videos and download various tracks, including contributions to the Touch Samplers which are now out of print - note: please open in a separate tab by right-clicking or control clicking the link

Continue reading: Downloads

 

TV & Radio Work

Chris Watson records for and makes programmes for BBC Radio 4 for the Natural History Unit, based in Bristol, England.

Continue reading: TV & Radio Work

 

Installations & Academic or Other Public Works

Chris Watson, (sometimes with the assistance of Mike Harding from Touch) also gives talks, workshops and demonstrations of his work. Together they established a course at the Royal College of Art in Stockholm, have lectured widely in the UK, Belgium, Norway and many other places.

Continue reading: Installations & Academic or Other Public Works

 

Film, Theatre & Other Media

Chris's recordings have been used in other media too.

Feature Films include The Constant Gardener [2005]

Theatre Productions include Red Ladies by The Clod Ensemble [2008]

Playstation Games versions of the Harry Potter film series

Album Tracks including 'Illuminant' by Efterklang [Leaf, 2007]

Continue reading: Film, Theatre & Other Media

 

Features & Press Coverage

Reviews

Reviews of CDs and other releases can be found in the main Touch review section, which can be found here

Continue reading: Features & Press Coverage