Consciousness and consequence - surveying the polarscape

Jan 17, 2023, 08:47 PM

"After hearing PALOAO (Perennial Acoustic Observatory in the Antarctic Ocean) clip that I was provided with, I did some research to find out what sounds the project are capturing as they explore the Antarctic underwater soundscape. Whilst their recordings are of underwater marine life and strange acoustic events, the clip to me had the quality of a small survey plane as it flew over the vast polar wasteland, examining the damage caused by humans on the fragile ecosystem.

"The piece tries to conveys the soundscape and emotional impact of being on that plane, staring into the vast whiteness as you slowly drift in and out of consciousness, unsure if you are dreaming or awake.

"All of the sounds in the project are from the original sound recording, and are processed to give a dreamlike quality, with the occasional jarring of reality as the listener becomes aware of where they are. There are some additional sub-sonic recordings from the LOM Geofon, to resemble the cracking elements of ice shelves, moving, sheering and breaking in the distance, denoting the consequences we have forced on the environment."

 Unidentified sound reimagined by Neil Spencer Bruce.

Part of the Polar Sounds project, a collaboration between Cities and Memory, the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Explore the project in full at