Photo: Nico Van Hoen
Photo: Nico Van Hoen
CD – 1 track – 45:29
The region around Eupen, in the east of Belgium towards the border with Germany was once part of another country and was annexed after hostilities in 1919. It has the feel of both border territory and hinterland simultaneously, not seeming to belong to any one place or region. No hard border here. There are ghosts; the region was heavily fought over in both major western European conflicts of the twentieth century, but now it is a still place, thrown over to managed habitats for forestry and wildlife. It is here, in the Eifel Nature Park, that Meakusma commissioned Chris Watson and Mike Harding to organise and lead a field recording workshop and, in the given time, adopt a suitable approach to developing a ‘sound painting’ to describe the ambience of the area. Seven in the group with skills ranging from beginner to advanced were shown how to manifest the hidden sonic world available to them with contact microphones; how to patiently set up a recording zone within a smaller area and, most important of all, how to listen actively and simply be in that place. Sessions pre-dawn and post-sunset encouraged an unusual perspective. This is animal time: dark and strange, and sound carries. Under a flightpath from Liège airport the recordists were confronted with a familiar challenge; how to allow industrial noise (noise here defined as any unwanted sound) into our increasingly enclosed world of headphones and hush…
Eifel Nature Park is part of Natura 2000, stretching over 18% of the EU’s land area and almost 6% of its marine territory. It is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world, offering a rich haven to Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats. Natura 2000 is a network of core breeding and nesting sites and some rare natural types of habitat which are protected in their own right. It stretches across all 28 EU countries, both on land and sea. The aim of the network is to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable species and habitats which are listed under both the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive. Natura 2000 is not a system of strict nature reserves from which all human activity would be excluded; while it does include strictly protected nature reserves, most of the land remains in private ownership. The approach to conservation and sustainable use of the Natura 2000 areas is much wider, largely centred on people working with nature rather than against. However, EU Member States must ensure that the sites are managed in a sustainable manner, both ecologically and economically.
released September 18, 2019
Recorded at Hautes Fagnes Eifel Nature Park for Meakusma 2018, Eupen, Belgium by Steffen Bennemann, Jasmin Blasco, Peter Caeldries, Meike Effenberg, Mike Harding, Maxim Hoebreckx, Pepa Ivanova, Louise Le Du & Chris Watson, 7-9th September 2018
Mixed at The Dungeon, Los Angeles, October-November 2018
Artwork & design by Philip Marshall
For the workshop with legendary field recordist and former Cabaret Voltaire member Chris Watson at the 2018 Meakusma Festival, there are still a few places available.
Chris Watson needs no introduction. After leaving Cabaret Voltaire in 1981, he set out on a career as a field recordist specialized in natural history. His work is mostly released on the Touch label. He also works for television, radio and makes installations. He also does work for computer games.
Participants to the workshop will meet with and be taken on a sound walk and night recording session in the High Fens by Chris Watson and Mike Harding of the Touch label. Afterwards, an audio CD will be published using the recordings.
We are proud to have Watson and Harding over at the festival as their presence and the planned CD with audience participation is very much what the Meakusma Festival wishes to stand for.
drøne – mappa mundi
Voice of the People
Echo of Hope
[drøne # drøne1]
Limited Edition CD (500 copies)
You can hear an extract here
Release date: 13th October 2017
Now available on Bandcamp
Cover image & font by nico
This the first CD released by drøne, after two vinyl albums on Anna von Hausswolff’s label, Pomperipossa. In a 5” jacket with artwork and font by nico, who also provided the hand-written text for the vinyl artwork for the 2015 and 2016 releases, “Mappa Mundi” traces and describes audio surrounding and occupying the planet earth.
Workers toil in smithies, call signs and chants-at-prayer reveal attempts to order the chaos, which always remains one step ahead. Post-lapsarian for sure, but smoke signals and drums have morphed into the ‘bing bong’ of the attention-grabbing, mind-polluting PA system. The coded simplicity of the whistle (“Start!”) has evolved into a more deliberate attempt to control rather than inform by explicit, structured language. Announcements have become commands; signs bark orders. Thus ‘no’ becomes a powerful rejection, rather than merely a preference; and no-ers are more easily to spot… “You’re going the wrong way”! (To which the only sensitive and mature response is: “Good!”)
Call signs, IDs, audio sigils and signatures all combine to describe a polluted, confusing atmosphere which threatens to leave us powerless and bewildered. “Decipher the sounds and you win the game! First prize is, guess what? You get to take the audio poison! Congratulations! You’ve lost!”.
The first album, ‘reversing into the future’ drew this response from Lend Me Your Ears: “This thrilling piece – surely the most kinetic non-dancefloor record in an age”. Anna herself wrote of the follow up record, ‘a perfect blind’: “I love everything about this release. Such a great presentation and exciting project! And most important: the music is sublime.”
The Quietus wrote: “Last year’s distinctive debut from drøne was likened to a hurtling journey. It’s combination of field recordings, shortwave radio and modular synths possessed an excited, driving energy whose route was hitherto unexplored and destination unknowable. But with an expanded sound pool boasting instruments across the ages – from guitar, through pipe organ and strings to dulcimer and psaltery – its follow-up takes a sideways step into more cognizant, reflective pastures.”
drøne – a perfect blind
Side A back to the station
Side B cutting the screen
Cover image by Maria von Hausswolff
Cut by Jason @ Transition
Font by Nico
“I love everything about this release. Such a great presentation and exciting project! And most important: the music is sublime.” [Label boss Anna von Hausswolff]
oleg belyaev – baroque ‘cello
charlie campagna – ‘cello
paul haslinger – piano
philip jeck – pulse
bethan kellough – violin, viola
marie takahashi – baroque viola
anna von hausswolff – voices
baritone guitar & cymbals
dulcimer & psaltery
lorenz cipher machine
1877 henry willis organ (union chapel)
Disruption between then and now/memory and presence, dulcimer, psaltery, ‘cellos, violas and violin embroider radio, static, stray voices and electronics… ‘a perfect blind’ is the second album by drøne (Mark Van Hoen & Mike Harding) with an array of guest artists, including label supremo Anna von Hausswolff, dreamer and composer Paul Haslinger, field recordist and sound designer Charlie Campagna and Touch artists Bethan Kellough & Philip Jeck. Strings by Seattle-based Marie Takahashi and Oleg Belyaev are also layered into this complex and perhaps more musical offering. Moving in all directions, ‘a perfect blind’ continues where ‘reversing into the future’ [pomperipossa records, 2016] left off.
‘a perfect blind’ was conceived and designed in Los Angeles with organ recordings from London (at Union Chapel), short wave radio, treated voices and other archaic sound sources.
A stunning front cover image by Maria von Hausswolff and miss-taken typography by Nico embrace this sense of dislocation; as the mediaeval language which enfolds our collapsing 19th Century institutions fails to find relevance, our sense of entrapment in the old is accompanied by an assault on the senses. The destabilising effect of “post-truth” adds to our sense of unbelonging, of being elsewhere, observers not participants.
‘a perfect blind’ is the term used for the best possible observation point where the viewer is unseen by the object of interest. Is this the best place to be? Memories which slowly fade away, also reverse back from the past shoving us into the future…
SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER
11am – 11.30am
Below Sea Level
Simon Scott, sound ecologist and multi instrumentalist talks about his project, Below Sea Level with Mike Harding, the creative producer and co-director of audio visual label, Touch.
[Pomperipossa Records # PRLP2]
Limited Edition Vinyl + full length wav DL [42:45]
Release date: 16th April 2016
Cover image: Maria von Hausswolff
Cut by Jason @ Transition
Side A this strange life l ::: 19:53
Side B this strange life ll ::: 19:57
Pomperipossa Records, curated by Anna von Hausswolff, is delighted to announce the forthcoming release of the first album by drøne. Field recordings, short wave radio, modular synth all combine to form an enticing, arresting, moving journey of electrically-charged dissonance, drones and electronic melodies… Anna calls it “a jewel”.
“A very hot day in the hills above Los Angeles… only possible to work in the mornings because of the sweltering afternoon heat, so all a bit frantic, but with a kink in time. There is no wifi-controlled air conditioning; the car is electric-powered and charging up. It has barely rained for months, (if not years) and the hoses are working overtime. Its an analogue session; Mark’s modular synth set up is working furiously and overheating. We are pushing sounds through and seeing what works… and things gradually take shape. The forms seem to determine themselves; how much control do we have? How much do we want? Some peculiar things start to happen and the haze bends. Some of the sounds seem alive and are quick to reform as we struggle to contain them, like trying to stuff snakes into a bag. The sounds moan and sing, forming their own phonemes.”
The first series will be rebroadcast on Resonance Extra and will go out in Brighton & Hove on a new smallscale DAB trial starting 1st December 2015].
Engineering Science Building
8:00PM – 11:00PM Nightly, Workshop 12:00PM – 4:00PM, $20 – $70
VOLUME and LACE present the second Resonant Forms festival for three days from September 11 – 13, 2015
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions [LACE]
6522 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
SONVA Winter Fest week
Sonva is a Cornish word meaning a ‘place of sound’ and is the name of the Research Group and the Music community at large at Falmouth University.
From analogue to digital…and back?
Mike Harding introduces Touch (1982-2016+), an art project which has witnessed much change in the world of sound and its relationship not only to art but also how the “real world” of studios, record stores and distribution has changed; how perception of the role of artists, now largely dominated by public funding, has shifted. He will look at the way artists have adapted to working in a digital environment (even if the essence of the work is analogue) and how they see themselves and their role, and also the role the growing number of female artists has played and the influence this is having on the artistic community.
He will look specifically at the work of Chris Watson, Jana Winderen, Hildur Gudnadottir, BJNilsen, Philip Jeck and Christian Fennesz, all artists with whom he has a long-standing relationship. Mike will also discuss copyright and the realities of a world where music has virtually lost all monetary value, and how this unfolded. He will also look at what can go wrong, often more illustrative than what goes right, with an historical glance at the incompatibilities of the laws and digital technology…
Mike will also introduce the students to “freq_out”, a project created and curated by CM von Hausswolff, which asks them to participate in a collaborative frequency experiment which will be presented by them at the end of the period.
I might be doing something at this event at Cafe Oto…