Chris Watson

A Journey Through Trees

1. Swamp gum Eucalyptus forest in Tasmania

2. Tropical rain forest, Sabah, Borneo

3. Santa Rosa dry tropical forest, Costa Rica

4. Mount Horaiji sacred cedar forest, Japan

5. Paneveggio Violin forest, Italy

6. The Taiga forest, Finland

Chris Watson


Forests across the world are significant in our hearts and cultures. ‘A Journey Through Trees’ takes the listener from the South coast of Tasmania to the edge of the Arctic tundra, in stages, via the signature sounds, rhythm and music of magical places where we sometimes fear to tread.

Watson was a founding member of the influential Sheffield based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals and habitats from around the world. As a composer and sound recordist Watson specialises in creating spatial sound installations which feature a strong sense and spirit of place.
His television work includes many programmes in the David Attenborough ‘Life’ series including ‘The Life of Birds’ which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ in 1996, and as the location sound recordist for the BBC series ‘Frozen Planet’ which also won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ (2012).
In 2011 Watson received the prestigious Royal Television Society ‘Centre Award’ for the North East & Borders.
Watson has recorded and featured in many BBC Radio 4 and World Service productions including ‘The Wire’ which won him the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Broadcaster of The Year Award (2012). His music is regularly featured on the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘Late Junction’. He has also worked extensively for Irish RTE Radio 1 on series such as ‘Sound Stories’
Watson’s music is released by the London based label and his publisher ‘Touch’. His CD ‘Weather Report’ was voted as one of the 100 best albums to hear before you die by The Guardian newspaper.
In 2013 Watson received a Paul Hamlyn Composers Award.
In 2014 Watson was appointed the Handel Music Fellow for the Foundling Museum in London.
Honorary Doctorate Awards
University of the West Of England – Doctor of Technology 2003
University of The Arts, London – Doctor of Arts 2008
Leeds Beckett University – Doctor of Arts 2018
University of Sheffield – Doctor of Music 2019

Watson’s installations have been commissioned by international galleries and festivals such as;
Sheffield Millennium Gallery, Opera North in Leeds, The National Gallery, London, The Louvre, Paris, the Aichi Triennial in Japan and Unsound in Kraków.

Chris Watson February 2021
Newcastle upon Tyne