30 May 2010
Whispering in the Leaves - Dawn 
Chris Watson's sound installation Whispering in the Leaves premiered at Kew Gardens yesterday.

The ex-Cabaret Voltaire man made a brief introduction to the assembled crowd about the concept behind the recordings (officially a "sound installation that immerses visitors to Kew Gardens’ Palm House in the dawn and dusk choruses of the Central and South American rainforests"). Basically the 3 hours round dawn and, similarly, round dusk, are condensed into two twenty minute pieces. He explained that the volume was intended to be as if you were there in the rainforest. So the quiet bits were quiet and the thunderclaps really loud.

He encouraged everyone to walk as he did the first performance (of Dusk) live rather than watch him twiddle the knobs. This is highly recommended as it is all multi-channel with various different effects emanating from the 80 different speakers. It was very good and in the general steaminess of the Palm House it was very atmospheric.

Future performances will presumably be played from tape and the companion piece Dawn will play in the morning on the hour.

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Kew Gardens
London

29 May – 5 September 2010

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The Names

Post punk cult band The Names emerged in the winter of 1977-1978 as The Passengers, gathering immediate attention on the local Brussels scene. In 1979, after a series of successful gigs and a crucial step forward opening for Magazine, they recorded their first E.P. ("Spectators Of Life") and attracted the interest of prominent label Factory Records in Manchester.

Their first British studio session (at Stockport's Strawberry Studio) produced the single "Nightshift" / "I Wish I Could Speak Your Language (Fac 29). Receiving enthusiastic reviews in the UK and abroad, it marked the start of a long and fruitful collaboration with producer Martin Hannett. The album "Swimming" followed as well as more singles, including "Calcutta" and "The Astronaut".

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