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Chris Watson Brings East Africa to Santa Cruz

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“What I do is trivial. We’re talking about one of the most ancient deserts on the planet. I’m sort of tinkering with aspects of that.”

Those are the words of Chris Watson, the great British field recording artist, sound artist, and musician (and long ago of Cabaret Voltaire and the Hafler Trio), whom I had the pleasure of interviewing yesterday. The occasion was an installation of his, “Namib,” named for a 2,000-mile stretch of East Africa that he visited repeatedly over the course of nearly a decade. Sounds he documented there have now been shaped into a quadraphonic exhibit, which is being shown at Indexical in Santa Cruz this Friday and Saturday as part of the label Touch’s 40th anniversary. You can read the interview at, which I’m always happy to write for. More details at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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