Hydrological soundscapes

In addition to collecting snow and water samples, I’ve been collecting sounds of snow, ice and water from Kilpisjärvi. I’ve assembled some of these sounds into a simple collage that spans from winter to spring.

It begins with silence (the most important sound of the forest!). Then sounds of snow in and around the birch forest (footsteps, shoveling, skiing), then out to the lake, drilling through the ice, and underwater recordings of sounds below the ice (ominous ice cracking, footsteps, snowmobiles and a sound I think of as the hissing of lake trolls – distant skis? Wind?). Then the sounds of rain in early June. Footsteps squishing through tundra, a mountain spring, melting snow fields, and the mighty Kitsiputous falls. Then a descent to Siilasjoki, and finally back to Kilpisjärvi, now fully thawed. Here’s the sound file:

Lumi, Jää, Vesi sound file

and here it is embedded into a simple movie (mostly snapshots) showing some of the context:
Lumi, Jää, Vesi movie

Listening carefully to the recordings, I’ve found many samples that would make excellent loops for techno music (for example, underwater ripples, thumps, clicks and scrapes – some possibly from fish). So the next step will be recontextualizing these sounds into a more musical format. Finally, I hope to base a musical piece on the microbiological data, using sampled water sounds as the basic elements, but with rhythm and melody derived from the dynamics of the microbial community, through the snow profile and from winter to spring.