Ice Manifested As Sound

[Image: Photo by Kevin Sellers, courtesy of the Juneau Empire].

This weekend, April 16-17, over at The Lab (2948 16th Street) in San Francisco, sponsored by Swissnex San Francisco, an event called Activating the Medium will explore the sonic properties of ice—that is, "the physical, geographic, metaphoric, and mythological attributes of ice as manifested through sound."

Specifically, you will hear "the sound of frozen lakes and ice caves," as well as "various hydrophone recordings" taken in frozen circumstances around the world, and "a composition for real and imagined ice" will be played. As something like the main event of the evening, Cheryl E. Leonard's work Antarctica will also be performed, samples from which can be heard on her blog Music from the Ice.

That being the case, I thought I'd post a by now very widely disseminated audio clip, recorded by Andreas Bick, of alien sounds racing through strained ice sheets on a lake in Berlin. The noises are incredible:

And this video, below, that Bick later linked to, offers a bit for anyone curious to hear more from these amazing phenomena that sound like laser warfare being conducted inside a glacier.

In any case, the event kicks off at 8:30pm both nights; tickets range from $8-$15. Enjoy!

(Andreas Bick material originally spotted via Kottke; related older posts include When landscapes sing: or, London Instrument, Phoning glaciers at 3am, and many more).

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Anonymous Lorena said...

Too cool! I live in snow country and often hear the mysterious haunting sounds of cracking ice. What a great project

April 12, 2010 12:56 PM  
Blogger merritt said...

DJ Spooky also composed Sinfonia Antarctica, a riff on an older piece from the 1940s he calls an "acoustic portrait of a rapidly changing content." It incorporates recording of snapping and groaning glaciers with a multimedia performance.

April 12, 2010 1:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Peter Cusack is another name to dig out. Baikal Ice was the album, made for similar ecological reasons.

April 12, 2010 1:59 PM  
Blogger FlorenciaP said...


Us at swissnex are co-organizing but the event will take place at The Lab and not at swissnex. More info here:

April 13, 2010 6:29 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Thanks, Florencia—I've updated the post. Sorry about the mistake!

April 13, 2010 7:15 PM  

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