Touch TO:97

Sourced and produced from field recordings and audio irregularities, 1972-2013.
Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye.
Photography: Heitor Alvelos & Jon Wozencroft.

With thanks to Philip Marshall, Anselmo Canha, MSCHarding.
Faith was premiered live in its entirety on June 13, 2014 at the Passos Manuel Auditorium, Porto, Portugal, as part of the Images We Touch event with visuals by Jon Wozencroft.
The Way of Malamat was premiered at The Night of the Living Worms, The Tapeworm showcase, on October 30, 2013.
Dedication was recorded in 1972 by Francisco Alvelos; the voices are those of José Pereira Pinto and Filipe Alvelos.

Reviews here

A sample here:

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Faith is the first full-length sound release by media researcher and curator Heitor Alvelos under his own name. Heitor Alvelos has been a long-time on/off collaborator of Touch, having on occasion provided photography and stage visuals for Biosphere, Fennesz, BJNilsen, Rafael Toral and Philip Jeck, as well as releasing sound pieces under the aliases Autodigest, Antifluffy and Before Surgery, on Ash International, TouchRadio and The Tapeworm.

“The essence of this piece is autobiographical: therefore the use of my own name”, the author clarifies. “And yet it aims at resonating with others”: in the present context, resonance may be regarded as both semantic and visceral, as the sound frequencies on Faith are often of the kind that “rearrange one’s organs”, to quote the recently departed Bernadette Martou. A necessity in order to carry the gravitas inherent to the subject, a confessional confrontation with the zeitgeist.

All sources have been gathered, rescued, recorded and produced throughout the last five decades, all the way back to the segment recorded by Francisco Alvelos in 1972 that closes the piece. Elsewhere, sounds have been processed in varying degrees, the bookends retaining their original contexts, others mutating into deep abstraction. Overall, they flow as one single composition, evocative and foreboding in equal measures.


Author’s statement

The present sound piece has been patiently awaiting its time. Autobiographical as it is, it needed to find the moment of its resonance, a purpose beyond myself and itself.

The time is now, in face of a hunch-turned-evidence that our current apparent loss of existential purpose may be a consequence of the perversion of our lexical wealth, a corruption of the sacred correspondences between human activity and its linguistic translation: so many keywords currently betray their original purpose, in constructions that are both reductive and paradoxical.

A way of balancing out this lexical hysteria has been an investment on a pedagogy of perception, of a mostly acoustic nature, in order to understand, connect and incorporate what the World says beyond our toxic attempts at a translation; another way has been the acknowledgment of the deeply intimate as a regenerative force: fragility, humility, desolation, trauma. Their honouring has gradually become an individual path towards reconciliation; and in turn, I hope this reconciliation resonates.

Heitor Alvelos, 2015


“…All contemporary religions contradict one another, in their articles of faith, can any definition of the word ‘religion’ be made that is practically relevant to the solution of the present political problems.

The dictionaries give us its etymology as ‘doubtful’. Cicero connected it with ‘relegare’, ‘to read duly’ – hence ‘to pore upon, or study’ divine lore. Some four-and-a-half centuries later, Saint Augustine derived it from ‘religare’, ‘to bind back’ and supposed that it implied a pious obligation, to obey divine law; and this is the sense in which religion has been understood ever since. (It) did not take into account the length of the first syllable of ‘religio’ in Lucretius’s early ‘De Rerum Natura’, or the alternative spelling ‘relligio’. ‘Relligio’ can be formed only from the phrase ‘rem legere’, ‘to choose or pick the right thing’…”

The White Goddess, Robert Graves, amended and enlarged edition 1961, Faber and Faber.



About the author

Heitor Alvelos is a media researcher, sound carrier and cultural operator. A Ph.D from the Department of Design of the Royal College of Art (2003) and Master in Visual Communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1992), he curates the futureplaces medialab for citizenship (in partnership with UTAustin) since 2008.

Heitor has released on various media labels (Ash International, Touch, Cronica Electronica, The Tapeworm, the Gulbenkian Foundation) since 2001. Sound and AV collaborations include work with Jon Wozencroft, Fennesz, Biosphere, Lol Coxhill, Philip Marshall, Pangeia, Blaine L. Reininger, Bruce Geduldig, MSCHarding, Len Massey, Max Eastley, Rafael Toral and BJNilsen.

Other roles include: KREV Ambassador in Portugal; singer/soundscapist at the Stopestra music ensemble; co-author of the random music lab 333. Aliases include Autodigest, Antifluffy, Before Surgery.