Sound recordist/artist Chris Watson set for Edinburgh's Dialogues Festival
The ex-Cabaret Voltaire member plans to set up a sound installation at InSpace
How do you go from being a core member of experimental electronic pioneers Cabaret Voltaire to becoming David Attenborough 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 30-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 leftfield 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 Philipsz 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.’
InSpace, Edinburgh, Fri 22 Apr, as part of Dialogues Festival.