Events

Whispering in the Leaves will be accompanied by a series of educational activities for young people and adults, including a programme of talks and workshops led by Chris Watson. Other events include Chris Watson in conversation with longtime collaborator Sir David Attenborough and a discussion on technology, science fiction and the environment at the BFI. Chris will also run several workshops in location recording, using different habitats around Kew Gardens, whle artists and curators working with the environment will give guided responses to the work once a month.

At the opening of Kew Garden’s Summer Festival on Saturday 29 May and at the closing weekend on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August, Chris Watson will perform 20-minute live sound mixes in the Palm House, featuring recordings that include a tropical thunderstorm and the sounds of the nocturnal insect chorus.

Performances

live performance by Chris Watson
Date: 29 May 2010 from 1–1.20pm
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

Chris Watson performs a live sound mix in which audio recording of a three-hour period across late afternoon, sunset and into the night will be compressed into around twenty minutes. Featuring recordings of a tropical thunderstorm and ending with the deep, lush sounds of the nocturnal insect chorus, the performance will create an intense auditory narrative for the audience.

live performance by Chris Watson
Date: 28 August 2010 from 1–1.20pm
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

See above

live performance by Chris Watson
Date: 29 August 2010 from 1–1.20pm
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

See above

 

Guided Tours

Guided tour by Alec Finlay, Palm House
Date: 3 June 2010 from 11-11.30am
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

Alec Finlay is an artist, poet and publisher whose work frequently considers landscape and the ecology of memory. In 2005, Alec collaborated with Chris Watson on Siren, in which Watson’s recordings of song and the sea combine to create an audio soundscape; less the document of a place, than a space in which desire is submerged. Alec’s most recent project is an ambitious word-map of the Peak District National Park. He has published over twenty-five books and has exhibited at BALTIC, Gateshead and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Guided tour by Heather & Ivan Morison, Palm House
Date: 1 July 2010 from 11-11.30am
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

Heather and Ivan Morison  have worked together on many projects and have exhibited nationally and internationally. Their work is at once a celebration of and a reflection on simple pleasures, mirroring the passion, process and beauty of their subjects; an astronomer, an ice fisherman, dendrology, floristry, a beekeeper, a pig farmer, Java Sparrows, fungi, science fiction and wildflowers to name a few.

Guided tour by Daniela Cascella and Lucia Farinati, Palm House
Date: 5 August 2010 from 11.20am - 11.50am
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

Sound curators Daniela Cascella and Lucia Farinati worked with Chris Watson to produce his installation and CD Cima Verde at Manifesta 2008. Cima Verde formed part of Cascella and Farinati’s ongoing research project Sound Threshold, based on their shared interest interest in literature, experimental music, art history, and over a decade of experience in writing and curating visual and sonic arts projects. They focus on commissioning new work and engaging in close dialogue with artists and musicians.

Guided tour by Cecilia Wee (Sound and Music) and Iain Pate (Forma)
Date: 2 September 2010 from 11.20am - 11.50am 
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

Workshops

Workshop for adults with Chris Watson
Date: 19 July 2010 from 9.45am-5.30pm
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

Participants have the rare opportunity to engage with Chris Watson’s expertise in natural world sound recording. Starting off with an introduction to Chris’ work and the recording techniques that he uses, participants will go on to explore and record sounds within Kew Gardens. The workshop will close with an opportunity for the participants to listen back and analyse the sounds they have collected.


A familiarity and a keen interest in sound recording practice is necessary for this workshop. 

Please bring any sound recording equipment you may have and would like to use, and a laptop if you wish (hard disk recorders will be available for those that don’t have their own). Please also bring a packed lunch (although there are places to buy food at Kew) and suitable clothing for the outdoors, whatever the weather may be!



workshop for students with Chris Watson
Date: 9 August 2010 from 9.45am-5.30pm
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London
Website: kew.org

As above

Workshop for adults with Chris Watson
Date: 10 August 2010 from 9.45am-5.30pm
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London

Website: kew.org

Workshop for adults with Chris Watson
Date: 23 August 2010 from 9.45am-5.30pm
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London

Website: kew.org

workshop for students with Chris Watson
Date: 24 August 2010 from 9.45am-5.30pm
Venue: Palm House, Kew Gardens, London

Website: kew.org

 

Talks

Calls of the Wild: Sir David Attenborough and Chris Watson in conversation
Date: 10 August 2010 from 7.30pm
Venue: The Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS

Chris Watson’s wildlife sound recordings are perhaps best known through his work with Sir David Attenborough on BBC television series including The Life of Birds, The Life of Mammals, Life in the Undergrowth and Life in Cold Blood.

In this discussion, illustrated with tropical rainforest recordings used in Watson’s Whispering in the Leaves installation at Kew Gardens, Chris Watson and Sir David Attenborough talk about the animals heard in the piece, their experiences of filming and recording them, and the changing environment of the rainforest through the day.

The conversation will be introduced by Richard Ranft, head of The British Library Sound Archive.

Projecting the Future: Visions from Art and Science
Date: 19 August from 6.30pm
Venue: BFI Southbank – NFT 3, London

Jem Finer, artist and musician
Ed Gillespie, director of sustainability communications organisation Futerra
Ian Pearson, futurologist
Helen Heathfield, associate director, energy and environment at Julie’s Bicycle

As organisations such as the Natural Environment Research Council begin to make geo-engineering plans a reality, environmental science fiction is becoming science fact. Reflecting on specially curated footage from the Prelinger Archives, a panel of artists, scientists and campaigners will examine potential relationships between technology, science-fiction and the environment.

‘Acoustic landscapes’, a talk by Chris Watson
Date: 28 August 2010 from 2.30pm–3.30pm
Venue:  Jodrell Theatre, Kew Gardens

Chris Watson gives a general introduction to his work as a sound recordist, describing the elements and field craft behind on-location recording, with specific reference to Whispering in the Leaves. On a broader level, he will discuss the development and application of sound recordings in different mediums - radio, cd, film, installation and live performance – and how ideas are cross-fertilised between them. The talk will include excerpts from his sound recordings.

In this project

Links

Chris Watson's Website
Chris Watson is published by Touch Music

Whispering in the Leaves Microsite

Further Reading

A full biography for Chris can be read here

Weather Report was named in The Guardian's '1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die' List. 
It can be bought from Touch: www.touchshop.org

Co-Produced by

Sound and Music
Forma

Originally commissioned by AV Festival 08

Venue Partner

Kew Gardens

Categories

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