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Jökulvatn (AV Installation - Somerset House)

'Jökulvatn', which translates as 'Glacial Melt' in Icelandic, is a multi textural, sonic exploration of the differing states of water within the context of a melting Icelandic Glacier. This has been created using of a variety of field recordings that where capture by myself in various locations on the western end of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and within the volcanic/glacial landscapes of the Snæfellsjökull National Park.
The recordings were captured using various techniques which include the use of both Hydrophones (in water and embedded in thawing ice) and traditional small diaphragm condenser microphones.
Each of the pieces four movements are comprised of an evolving series of interwoven chords and pitches, that were originally extracted from the base recordings by a process of tuning to their respective resonant frequencies via filtering/EQ and spectral analysis. These natural tones are then harmonised using a faux tape warp method, with each layer running at a different speed over top one another thus creating different tones. Each movement has a unique feel and sonic texture which is as a result of the original recordings variances in amplitude and tone.
The four movements are titled as followed with approximate timings:
(1) FRACTURE - Inside melting Ice. (0:00)
(2) FALL - Drips from the underside of a glacial cave. (11:00)
(3) FLOW - Flowing water down a deep crevasse. (22:00)
(4) FOAM - Water flowing into the sea from rock pools with waves. (33:00)
* Finale – Submersion (44:00 - END)
The visual element that accompanies the piece, has been created using footage taken by myself in Iceland and elsewhere which has been manipulated in similar ways to the audio; Each 'visual' movement reflects the physical location of the recorded audio (1 – Ice melting, 2 –Torches in a cave, 3 – Flowing melt water & 4 - Swelling sea shore)
Jökulvatn was first performed in Quadraphonic surround in an immersive installation setting on the 26th of June 2016 at the Courtauld Institute within Somerset House. It has been intentionally mixed to have no specific 'front/rear' orientation in favour of exploring more immersive and interesting multiple stereo configurations (e.g. diagonal/ unsymmetrical panning)

Project Tags

  • Iceland
  • Sound Art
  • Audio Visuals
  • installation art
  • Surround
  • Music
  • Ambient music
  • Nature
  • Water
  • ice

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