Monday, December 15, 2008
Chris Watson on touch records
I had a great vinyl album from the 70's once. The back cover was a guy sitting in a canoe with a huge parabolic mic and headphones. This kind of blew my mind a little. You could release an album of environmental sounds? This would be perfect for sampling.
I wonder if he had any idea albums like this would be used that way in 20 years.
It was called solitudes and I remember listening to it every now and then and the rackle and pops would add to the weirdness of listening to this place that maybe didn't exist anymore. That all these animals were dead, it's probably full of condos now....it was like listening to ghosts. The mst undane thing was important...and you didn't even know it.
This touch series is pretty amazing...releasing conceptual singles like this and from all kind of contemporary composers(?) just messing with ideas of sound and music and on this great format that's easy to pick up. I don't know of anywhere domestically carrying these so it's still a far away dream, but I'd pick any of these up if I came across them.
The seven inch is perfect for these little experiments, and this one is locked groove even. I wonder if that's just at the end or the whole disc is locked grooves, getting shorter and shorter. What's even better about this recording from Chris Watson is that there's no way you could humanly hear these sounds. This place, underwater with stereo mics. You may as well be in outer space. The trouble to capture these two tracks and press them on vinyl is incomprehensible.
I want the job of freelance sound recordist.
There was a great interview with the sound effects guy from industrial light and magic how he was hiking around in California and touched a wire that was anchoring a utility pole on a hill and it made this twang that went from the ground to the pole and back, he ended up using that for the base for the lazer sound. He said the best sounds come from his short wave radio, all the stuff inbetween stations....
I love sound.
Chris Watson - Oceanus Pacificus
Touch # TS02
7" vinyl only
Locked grooves on both sides...
The voices and rhythms of the Humboldt current around the Galapagos Islands recorded April 2006 using a pair of Dolphin Ear Pro Hydrophones onto a NAGRA ARES-Pll digital audio recorder.
Chris Watson, originally from Sheffield but now resident in Newcastle, England, is the world's leading wildlife sound recordist. After co-founding Cabaret Voltaire with Richard Kirk and Stephen Mallinder, he left in 1981 to work for Tyne Tees Television and he also joined The Hafler Trio. He then left to become the sound archivist for the Royal Society for Protection of Birds. He is now working full time as a freelance sound recordist.