Spectral Arctic Ice Triangulations

for amplified water percussion (2010)
with 3-channel sound
performance of this piece requires a tub of water, a hydrophone and a chime mallet
duration is c. 12′

In the last few years my work has taken me back to the Arctic Ocean (where I lived as a child) and to the soundscape beneath the Polar ice. “Spectral Arctic Ice Triangulations” for sub-ice ecoacoustics features the sound from three microphones suspended beneath the Polar ice cap. The microphones were separated by about 1 kilometer in a trianglular configuration. This surround-sound recording method allows for the spatial triangulation of events occurring underneath and inside the ice. We hear the sounds of ice splitting, creaking and cracking, and also a few fur seals, bowhead whales and beluga pass by. I filtered this recording through the harmonic spectrum of my 1997 composition for piano and large ensemble, “Sikuigvik (the time of ice melting).” “Sikuigvik” was one of the first ecoacoustic pieces, and it applied analysis of a melting ice system to musical harmonic generation and form. Now we hear “Sikuigvik” played by the Arctic ice itself as it melts. The performers play amplified water and pitched tubes (such as tubular bells) lowered into the water.

score excerpt

Spectral Arctic Ice score and elec
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