Bells and projectors

These two recordings made for a lovely ride home from work today. Both are from Touch Radio, which is the podcast of unorthodox record label Touch, founded thirty years ago by Cabaret Voltaire member and elite sound recordist Chris Watson and friends Jon Wozencroft (thanks to Mike Harding for correcting me on Touch’s origins in a comment).

The first is called ‘Bells‘ and it was recorded in the tower of St. Mary’s Church, Walthamstow. A sequence of peals, some simple, some quite complicated. It’s haunting. Concentrate and it’s like a trip back to the origins of music – something so primitive (not in the pejorative sense) about these primal rhythms and tones (a counterpoint, by the way, to this amazing new work by Howard Skempton, scored for church bells – available for another couple of days on the Radio 3 web site. Also, you can hear church bells every Sunday morning on Radio 4).

The second is a lovely conversation with two collectors and restorers of historic film projectors, David Cleveland & Nigel Lister. Their knowledge and enthusiasm is hugely endearing and the sounds of the projectors themselves, one of which dates back to 1904, are amazingly subtle and intriguing. Also a quite gripping journey here – across the history of moving pictures to the halls and parlours where the first films were shown. Further testament to the special power of sound too, if you needed it. Not that you needed it.

Bells. Download the MP3.

David Cleveland & Nigel Lister. Download the MP3.

The Touch archive is a thing of beauty. Subscribe to the Touch podcast here or on iTunes.

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2 Responses to Bells and projectors

  1. Mike Harding says:

    Mike from Touch here. Really curious where you got the info about Chris Watson from. He is one of our artists, for sure, but did not found Touch 30 years ago… Jon Wozencroft, now at the RCA, did that… Chris has nothing to do with it… could tyou correct? Many thanks…

  2. I love these two sound pieces. The conversation piece about film projectors is enthralling.

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