The Moon And The Melodies by Harold Budd / Elizabeth Fraser / Robin Guthrie / Simon Raymonde – selected by Simon Scott (Slowdive)
20+ new and exclusive tracks recorded by Touch artists. A photographic counterpoint,
the view from Hampstead Heath during the London lockdown. Touch: Isolation is a subscription project that will evolve over the coming weeks. Click here to subscribe.
A time to support independent music while it still exists!
“Please keep your distance, the trail leads from here…”
The cancellation of gigs and festivals has already severely impacted our artists creatively and financially. In addition it has denied you, our audience, the opportunity to see them play and support them. The notion of ‘independent music’ might, in effect, be pushed deeper into the self-isolation mode it is already struggling to break free from. We don’t need studios to the same extent, but we do need a stage, a physical reference and if not, a mental space with which to question the drive to online existence.
We set out to respond to these challenging times in a creative and helpful way. The idea is to present Touch: Isolation whereby a new exclusive track from one of our artists, each with a bespoke photograph/cover image, is presented on a regular basis over the coming weeks. All the income received is collected from your subscriptions and put in a kitty, the proceeds of which are then divided up between the contributing artists.
These new and exclusive interventions will include works by Oren Ambarchi, Richard Chartier, ELEH, farmersmanual, Fennesz, fennesz sakamoto, Bana Haffar, Howlround, Philip Jeck, Bethan Kellough, Daniel Menche, Anthony Moore, Yann Novak, Zachary Paul, Claire M Singer, Geneva Skeen, UnicaZürn, Mark Van Hoen, CM von Hausswolff, Chris Watson, Jana Winderen and others to be confirmed – all expertly mastered by Denis Blackham.
We invite you to take this unique opportunity to support the artists, without whom there would be no alternative to corporate art… support the industries which realise the artists’ creation – the uncredited producers, designers, software developers, distributors, vinyl cutters, mastering engineers, friends and family etc., who all symbiotically depend on the other to bring their works to fruition…
The subscription costs £20 for 20 (or more) tracks – please support the artists by investing in the Touch: Isolation project, and expect surprises – good ones for a change.
Social distancing. Actual space. If you can get out, you have to get out. Escape velocity – from Brexit, then somehow prevent institutional meltdown? The UK shows the way, in a method that beggars belief.
The photographs were taken on Hampstead Heath during the early days of the UK/London lockdown, 25 March 2020, primarily in West Heath and the area around Golders Hill whose open space minimises the problems of social distancing. The weather, being superb after weeks of high winds and heavy rain, seemed a metaphor for regeneration and recovery, with the trees coming into bloom – in defiance of the scene we witnessed 33 years earlier after the Great Storm of October 1987 when, in the days that followed, the Heath looked like an arboreal graveyard.
The objective is to find a sense of quiet celebration, to look at the balance between the detail and the scaling force of open spaces. Let’s hope they can remain open.
To make 20 (or more) record covers in less than a week for sound and music we had yet to hear, and to then match the photography to each artist’s contribution… If this seems somewhat in the style of the children’s game, ‘Pin the tail on the donkey’, then perhaps that’s more apt than pretending we know how everything fits together at this juncture.
This might also be seen an opportunity to give an early documentation to the mental state of 2020, remembering the year 2000 and the threat of the ‘millennium bug’, this may well become known as the year when x melted into y, to avoid z.
Roughly a dozen years ago, life went broadband. Today we see our reliance on digital systems like never before.
‘As a dwindling member of the generation that lived through and served in the Second World War I think in some ways this is much worse. It was possible to live in a country area and apart from rationing see little of the war. Bombing was spasmodic and haphazard, and our defences were really good. After a year, there was very little chance of an invasion and much of life – sport, theatres and radio, continued as before. Restaurants and hotels remained largely open, rationed according to turnover.’ David John Harding, b. 1925.
DL – 2 tracks
Released 26th December 2019
‘Emergency Exit’ was composed by Simon Scott from field recordings of flood water and burning embers captured during 2019 in the Fens near Cambridge, where he is based. They are a microcosm of a much bigger global crisis – ‘Climate Change’.
San Fedele Musica e Plunge
Identità sonore elettroniche
lunedì 9 dicembre ore 21
Auditorium San Fedele Milano
#04 SIMON SCOTT (UK)
Finalisti Premio San Fedele
#04 Lunedì 9 dicembre, ore 21
– SIMON SCOTT (UK)
– Premio San Fedele
Debutto a San Fedele di Simon Scott, meglio conosciuto come lo storico batterista degli Slowdive, leggenda shoegaze britannica degli anni 90. Nuova sfida dei finalisti del Premio San Fedele 2019. Questa volta i giovani compositori affronteranno la forma concisa della miniatura, dell’evocazione di un microcosmo sonoro in qualche minuto.
You can read a feature in Czech here
Sept 14th – Glasgow – The Glad Cafe
Sept 16th – London – Café Oto www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/rafael-anton-irisarri/
“We are increasingly separated from contact with nature. We have come to forget that our minds are shaped by the bodily experience of being in the world – its spaces, textures, sounds, smells, and habits.” – Robert Macfarlane, “Landmarks”
Responding to Macfarlane’s observation with field recordings, spoken word, and immersive ambient sounds, “Place Language” seeks to inspire a renewed interest in our surroundings, and to reinvigorate our appreciation for the audible textures and patterns that characterize a place. This unique listening experience takes place over 2 nights and features the London debuts of Marcus Fischer and Hotel Neon as well as new works by Kate Carr, Simon Scott, and Rafael Anton Irisarri.
Sept 17th – Bradford – Fuse Arts Space
Sept 18th – Manchester – The Peter Hat
With Marcus Fischer, Hotel Neon and Rafael Anton Irisarri
Download only – 3 tracks – 61:36
Now available to pre-order from Bandcamp
Release date: 12th July 2019
1. Simon Scott – Live at The Battery, San Francisco [19:09]
Desk recording – 15th May 2019 by Mike Harding. Mastered by SPS Mastering.
2. Zachary Paul – Live at Land and Sea, Oakland [14:24]
Desk recording – 16th May 2019 by Mike Harding. Mastered (mono) by Stephan Mathieu.
3. Geneva Skeen – Live at Zebulon, Los Angeles [28:03]
Room recording – 14th May 2019 by Guy at Third Eye Memories. With thanks to Yann Novak.
Recorded live on Touch’s tour of California in May 2019, with dates at Zebulon, Los Angeles, The Battery, San Francisco and Land and Sea, Oakland.
With thanks to Jen & Charles Belleville, Chris Duncan, Kevin Corcoran, Stacy Horne, Colleen Curlin, Lara dela Cruz, Guy at Third Eye Memories & Joce Soubiran and everyone who had a hand in making these events happen.
Release date: 22nd February 2019
CD & Cassette – 8 tracks – 52 minutes
All tracks composed by Simon Scott
Strings played by Charlie Campagna & Zachary Paul
Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham
You can read reviews here and listen to an extract from the album here:
*Additional 20 minute bonus track features a live recording from the Jazz Café in London in October 2018
Soundings, his debut studio album for Touch (he previously released the live album ‘Floodlines’ in 2016 and re-issued “Below Sea Level” in 2017), finds Simon Scott, the composer and sound ecologist, using field recordings from various cities around the globe; modular synthesizer treatments; live strings and laptop electronics to create an album of transition and shifting time zones. The recordings were edited and composed in hotels rooms across the world as Scott was constantly on tour as the drummer for Slowdive, who successfully reformed in 2014.
Hodos, the album opener, begins with 85 mph Storm Barney recordings, ending with the fading sounds of bellbirds and cicadas recorded in Brisbane 2018. “I took a home recording I made of Storm Barney in Cambridge, listening to it on repeat when I was flying from continent to continent. I wanted this to be the starting point of the process of musically documenting how much travelling I was doing”. This album was created from the US to Asia, South America to Europe and the Arctic Circle back to the UK via California. “Working in hotel rooms and on flights, listening to and editing the recordings I’d made from all of these distant cities formed the basis of the album. It’s the soundtrack to four years of my life in flux with constant change, jet lag, excitement and the seeming perpetual motion of travelling”.
The cassette version features an extended 60 minute version of the album remastered by Scott.
Simon Scott has remixed A Place To Bury Strangers, on behalf of Slowdive, for their Re-Pinned remix LP.
After the success of the Ghostpoet and Vorhees Slowdive remixes Simon’s Frustrated Operator remix shreds the original APTBS track and reworks it through his modular synth system and pushes it into new sonic territory.
Tone 64D – 1 track EP – Download only – 18:39
Grace begins with a 12 string acoustic guitar fed into a modular synthesiser that spits out beautiful grains of sound that rise and fall like the sun. Textures build up and then slip away leaving a pipe organ playing and the church room recordings sonically revealing passing cyclists, rainfall and Cambridge bus station. It shimmers like an oscillating river until the strings fade and the final third section slips in and a deep organ tone leads the tapestry of sound into field recordings, strings and processed instruments. The contact mics on the organ pipes are heard, floorboards and unidentified human sounds appear and the alarm call of a blackbird seeps into the piece.
Simon Scott’s forthcoming new album, “Soundings” will be out later this year on Touch.
Written recorded, mixed and mastered by Simon Scott at SPS
in Cambridge. Strings performed and recorded in Glendale, California
by Charlie Campagna (‘cello) and Zachary Paul (viola and violin).
Pipe organ recorded at The Unitarian Church, Cambridge, UK.
Thanks to Charlie Campagna, Zachary Paul, Andrew Brown
and Jeannie Witty.
Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music UK Ltd
Photography by Jon Wozencroft
“Slowdive have entrusted drummer Simon Scott to remix on our behalf as he has a flair for studio trickery and talents as an arranger and multi-instrumentalist. Following on from remixes for Ghostpoet, Slowdive and Cuts comes a new remix for Brooklyn artist Vorhees”
76pp full colour book + CD
33 tracks – 78:59
Limited edition of 1000
Release date: 11th December 2017
Into the Open
Mika Vainio – Behind the Radiators
AER – Just Before Dawn
Bethan Kellough – Twelve
Wire – A Year A Second [For BCG]
London in a Week
Carl Michael Von Hausswolff – Sine Missing One
Chris Watson – Deepcar
Jana Winderen – Bronx Tunnel
The Magical Land of the North
Claire M Singer – Storr
Hildur Gudnadottir – Death 200AD
Three 20 – Four Twelve
Philip Jeck – Deed of Gift
Walking on Water
Simon Scott – Storm of the Fens
Eleh – Overt One
The Love Train
Russell Haswell – Demons
Heitor Alvelos – Expectant
I’m a Schoolteacher on Holiday
Johann Johannsson – Mingyun
Mark Van Hoen – Prescient
Fennesz – Paint It Black (remastered)
Sohrab – JV Dream
It’s Enough to Make You Weep
Strafe FR – Virgin
Before The Sea @ Falasarna
Jim O’Rourke – Despite The Water Supply
Situation Stabilised / BJ Nilsen – Atom Mother
Peter Rehberg – Cinecom
Gateway to the Garden
Oren Ambarchi – Testify
The Sound of Eleven
In a 24/7 world there is no greater challenge than “to be in command of one’s own time”. Is it true that the ability to download anything, at any moment, constitutes freedom? Has the ‘value’ of music, art and design been stripped bare? “I Google, therefore I am”…
Touch MOVEMENTS has been compiled over the course of 3 years. It is a response to many requests for Touch to publish a fuller account of Jon Wozencroft’s photography for the cover art of the project. The book follows the music, which was compiled step-by-step, like a jigsaw – there was not an “open call” to the artists, rather a sequential development which gives the CD a special narrative quality. And since our last Touch 30 compilation in 2012, the accuracy of the music has grown and rises to the challenge of what sound can do to transform perceptions about the immediate emotion of musical work and its more difficult, longer term evolution.
Following Touch Folio 001 in 2015, this series is a dedication to finding new ways of audiovisual publishing, somewhere between the twin peaks of a jewel-cased CD and a lavish box-set. The two elements of sound and the visual work in parallel to create the idea of an “Ear-book”, whose interdependency reveals itself over time, and allows the richest of listening and viewing experiences. The music and the photography is fully annotated, alongside a rarely-seen manifesto by the Surrealist film-maker Jan Švankmajer which celebrates the spirit of the creative act.
Slowdive have a new album out on May 5th and Simon co-wrote ‘Falling Ashes’ with Neil Halstead and also two more tracks ‘Go Get It’ and ‘Slomo’ with all band members credited. The album features Scott’s drumming, MaxMSP textures, 12 string and 6 string acoustic guitar, percussion and electronics.
Here is a link to Pre-Order the album that is released on May 5th 2017: www.slowdiveofficial.com