ICESONGS2

A project by Danae Stratou in collaboration with Vasilis Kountouris (2012)

Video & Sound Installation

ICESONGS2 comprises a video & sound work which emerged from the site-specific installation ICESONGS created by Danae Stratou and presented at La Verriere, the exhibition space of the Fondation d’ Enterprise Hermes, in Brussels in 2010.

The most powerful element of the project was the astounding soundscape which had generated from sounds coming directly from the Antarctic Ocean emitted by the icebergs as they form on Antarctica’s edges, they collide against each other, squeeze out into the open sea, sail away and finally melt. These sounds, captured by water microphonesthat are lying on the seabed of the Antarctic, are now used by researchers for monitoring Antarctica’s melting ice shelf. Dr Alexander Gavrilov2 and Dr Jason Gedamke3 were kind enough to 4convert a large number of samples from their recordings, on my behalf, of the shifting icebergs’ sounds and to share them with me for the purpose of this project.

The final composition of ICESONGS, kept intact in ICESONGS2, is a 20’ minute long soundscape comprising 7 “sound-waves”. These have been synthesised by transforming and fluctuating the speed of 7 of the original – specially converted – recordings so that they vary in pitch and timbre and in this way reflect the rich range and diverse qualities of the sounds produced by the travelling, braking, colliding and melting of the icebergs.

These Iceberg’s songs coming from deep within the Antarctic Ocean are like voices coming out of an imagined landscape, at once familiar and alien, so powerful that they compelled me to attempt, in collaboration with sound and multimedia specialist, Vasilis Kountouris, to create a visual imagery that could potentially accompany the soundscape and thus form a new autonomous work. The result of this collaboration is the video/sound work ICESONGS2. .