TOUCH DOWN IN ICELAND – July 16th 2017

Flight to Isafjordur
Please listen with headphones to all the sound

Exploration of the landscape via a hydrophone, geophone, contact mic, shotgun mic, pair of omni mics offered up experiences of the radically different terrain and these sonic experiences allowed me to feel more part of the environment – rocks, water, ice and all.

View from Bolafell Mountain 625m high looking out in the direction of Greenland. Here the snow and ice stays on the high ground through the summer.

The strange surfaces of rock, lava, peat, water courses and unfamiliar crust embellishment on the land tempted me to want to find out what sound signal and vibration could be experienced from this new place.


Please listen with headphones to all sound

Sound from under the ground


Shih Yu and Katherine filming at the jetty.

Sound through the jetty via hydrophones

Hydrophone on the jetty

Hydrophone on the jetty

Here at the jetty at Isafjordur, sounds travelling through air and water picked up through the fabric of an iron and wood jetty were picked up with an Aqua hydrophone.

Water was on the move everywhere down the sides of the fjords. Here’s the sound of a stream picked up with an Aquarian Audio H2A hydrophone with particular icy quality.

Sound of the small stream

The AKG C568B shot gun mic and geophone-senor-RTC-4-5hz-375ohm and Sound Devices 744T recorded were also very exciting to work with. Thanks to SARU (Sonic Arts Research Unit) at Oxford Brookes University, I was able to try a variety of different pieces of equipment lent to further my process of working recording sound through the air and through materials other than air.

Ready to record

Thanks to artist Katherine Lyons-Burk for an invitation to collaborate by contributing to the sound for her work concerning identity in the landscape and go to Iceland. I was able to work with her and filmmaker Shih Yu Chu, and try equipment I have not used before. Katherine was invited to work at an Arts Iceland Residency.

The resulting video collaboration, Contested Landscapes, was created in just over a week. It is part of Katherine’s project working with the organisation Mind that is concerned with mental health issues. Katherine also created workshops in Norfolk (Autumn 2017) with young people based on identity following on from her work in Isafjordur.

Contested Landscapes

I’m pleased to have been invited back to Arts Iceland to create work supported by their Residency in Isafjordur in the Westfjords. I feel I have only just scratched the surface of possibilities of both the culture and landscape with the trip this summer, which offered a taste of otherness.

I especially loved the Arctic Terns and their acrobatics. This one however did not like me and here’s the evidence of its rather accurate dive bomb! Too close for comfort!



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