Drone Records
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Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Touch Tone 43
Release Year: 2011
Note: two long tracks: "Midnight at the Oasis", a 28-min acoustic time compression from South Africas Kalahari desert; "The Bee Symphony": exploration of the vocal harmonies between humans and honey bees
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €14.50

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"Touch presents a piece by British environmental sound archivist Chris Watson and a collaboration between Watson and British composer, producer and keyboard player Marcus Davidson (Spire). "Midnight At The Oasis" is a 28-minute time compression from sunset to sunrise in South Africa's Kalahari Desert and features the dense and harmonic mosaic of delicate animal rhythms recorded in this remote habitat. The piece was first performed at the Marquee in Parliament Street, York, on September 13th, 2007 as part of SightSonic's contribution to the BA Festival of Science. The Kalahari Desert is a vast and open space where most of the wildlife is nocturnal. After sunset, the dunes, grasses and thorn bushes are patrolled by an emerging alien empire -- the insects. "Midnight At The Oasis" presents an unseen soundscape from this beautiful and hostile environment. "The Bee Symphony" is a project by Chris Watson originally for Pestival (an international arts festival dedicated to "insects in the arts and the art of being an insect") in 2009 to explore the vocal harmonies between humans and honey bees in a unique choral collaboration around and within the hives of an English country garden. Recorded live at The Rymer Auditorium, Music Research Centre, University of York, England on December 17th, 2010 by Tony Myatt, using a Soundfield SPS200 microphone recorded onto an Edirol R4 (surround version) and 2 x Neumann U87 microphones via Grace Microphone Preamplifiers, recorded onto an Edirol R44 (stereo version). Composed and arranged by Marcus Davidson using recordings made by Chris Watson & Mike Harding and diffused through a 4.1 Genelec system by Chris Watson." [label info]


"What on earth am I doing inside the house? The sun is bursting, with a totally friendly temperature, which scream: walk! walk! walk! But no, I am inside, listening to music. Music made with the use of field recordings to be precise, as is certainly the case with the first piece by Chris Watson. Entirely recorded in the Kalahari desert, from sunset to sunrise, but then trimmed down to twenty-eight minutes. A remote area, where most of the wildlife is awake at night - with lots of insect chirping and buzzing. Its almost an electronic piece of music, which I guess is exactly why this is such a great piece of music. With much of the field recording artists who merely capture the environment, Watson takes it all a step further and actually composes with those sounds into quite a captivating piece of music. No by looping sounds, or putting on fancy plug-ins, but merely a process of editing and fading. Simple but difficult in order to create such an overwhelming mass of sound. And masses of
sounds is also what's happening on the second piece, which is by Watson and one Marcus Davidson. It explores the vocal harmonies between humans and honey bees. Watson is here responsible for the field recordings used (which he did with label honcho Mike Harding), while Davidson gets the credit as composer. The bee choir consists of five human voices, who buzz like bees. If you are melissophobic then this will surely be a scary piece. A lovely CD of music derived from nature, as well as an interaction of human activity and animal sounds. Now its time to go out and the hear the real action." [FdW/Vital Weekly]