Paul Stolper is pleased to welcome Chris Watson as the sixth artist in the ongoing series ‘The Silence Between’. Extending over 2,000Km down the Atlantic coast of West and South Africa the Namib desert is an ancient and unique landscape; a vast and mobile ocean of sand where humans mostly fear to tread.
‘Namib’ is a multi channel composition created from location recordings made over the last eight years from the Skeleton coast to remote interior dunes.The piece reflects a timescale beyond our reckoning as it aims to compress 50 million years of evolution into a 20 minute surround soundscape.
‘Namib’ will trace the sound shift created by a dense Atlantic fog bank as it swirls inland before sunrise and transforms the acoustics around the huge sandstone outcrops along the bone dry banks of the Kuiseb river. This event brings moisture and life to the flora and fauna whilst the reduced visibility allows the listener to tune into one of the few spaces left on our planet not smeared with noise pollution.
The Namib is a place to listen back in time, above and below the surface. The piece reveals the deep rhythms and sound of an evolving sand dune, from individual grains to moving mountain as it creeps in advance of the prevailing winds.After dark, the dunes, cliffs and valleys are patrolled by an emerging alien empire. Insects vibrate and sing into the night air - a vital and dangerous practice as advertising for a mate also sends signals to the acute auditory senses of predators, large and small, that stalk amongst the stillness of the sands.
Chris Watson has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. Most recently Watson has been exploring aspects of spatial sound through Ambisonic installations in collaboration with galleries around the world such as in The Louvre, RMIT Melbourne, Krakow Botanical Gardens, The Millennium Gallery Sheffield and Opera North in Leeds.
Curated by Paul Stolper and composer Adrian Corker, ‘The Silence Between’ invites artists whose works use sound to involve and include the space between the gallery's usual scheduled shows. The works will cover a range of different disciplines from installation, to sculpture and performance. Namib is on display from 25th March to 31st March at Paul Stolper Gallery.