Sound recordist/artist Chris Watson set for Edinburgh's Dialogues Festival

  • The List
  • 21 March 2011
Sound recordist/artist Chris Watson to attend 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.

Edinburgh Science Festival

Hands-on science for families in venues across the city with a programme ranging from the entertaining to the controversial and, of course, the icky. The theme for 2020 is Elementary with events focusing on earth, air, fire and water, plus fifth element 'aether'.

Dialogues: Chris Watson

BAFTA-winning sound recordist and founder of Cabaret Voltaire (the band, not the club), Chris Watson, shares some of his latest work in this experimental music festival featuring performances from local, national and international musicians. Part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

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