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Chris Watson

InSpace, Edinburgh, April 22nd

How do you go from being a core member of experimental electronic
pioneers Cabaret Voltaire to becoming David Attenburgh and Bill Oddie’s
favourite sound recordist, with the odd radio documentary and
installation for assorted sonic arts festivals thrown in for good
measure? Sheffield-born Touch Records recording artiste Chris Watson
doesn’t have an answer for his seemingly wayward career trajectory over
the last thirty-odd years, but, on the eve of a trip to Iceland to make
a programme for BBC Radio 4 prior to a week-long Edinburgh residency
care of Edinburgh International Science Festival in association with
left-field music promoters Dialogues, neither does he see much
difference between his assorted outlets.

“I’m essentially a sound recordist,” Watson enthuses, “and I don’t see
any distinction between any of the things I do. Something I might do
for TV might end up informing an installation work, but what I get
excited by is the release of moving out of the studio. Sounds outside
are much more liberating.”

With Susan Phillipsz recently scooping the Turner Prize with her River
Clyde based sound installation, sonic art has effectively broken cover
in a way that Watson’s work, while different, can benefit from.

For his Edinburgh residency, Watson will trawl the sonic architecture
of North Berwick and surrounding areas prior to shaping the material
for a performance at InSpace.

“I’m interested in trying to capture that interface between land and
sea,” Watson says. “It’s about trying to capture the soul of a place.”

The List, March 2011

ends

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