Chris Watson & Marcus Davidson – Cross-Pollination


CD – Touch


Two distinct compositions complete this release by Chris Watson & Marcus Davidson for the renowned label Touch. The first track (composed by Chris Watson only) “Midnight at the Oasis” stands out for its focus on exploring oblique frequency interlacements that cross from the animal world in very varied ways into the surrounding environments, with some reference to human activities as well. Recorded in the South African Kalahari desert “from dusk to dawn”, this 28-minute-long composition is involving because of the variety of the harmonies and the multi-faceted rhythms. It bears witness to an exotic nocturnal wilderness full of a multiplicity of sound emergencies and pulses: a “totally full” orchestral enjoyment that we can hardly imagine to be the result of the merely spurious act of activating a microphone. In the other track, “The Bee Symphony”, Marcus Davidson started with similar sensitivities, transcribing different field recordings made by Chris Watson on bees, before subjecting everything to superimpositions of choral human harmonies. The effect is even more majestic: the sequences produced by the insects – originally organized by the investigator from Sheffield for the eccentric “Pestival” – are now widened and made more dense and sensitive thanks to complex microtonal modulations woven together with unconventional textures. Though we might say that the syntony is still between nature and civilization, we can’t ignore the conceptual aspects of the operation, precisely performed as integration of only apparently heterogeneous expressive codes.