Inspiration/Musings · Unclassified

Ólafsfjördur

As most of you know I visited Iceland in March-April 2012.

While there my friend and I traveled around the Island on and off the famed- Ring Road. Visiting as many potential Artist Residencies as our little car would take us, we ended up at Ytra Lon. It was super late, and we’d expected to reach the hostel around 9-10pm but now it was just past midnight… when all of everything fell into place. 🙂

The sky was crystal clear with the Milky Way, the outside temperature had dropped below -7c and white, ghost-like flashes breezed across the sky.  At first I thought I was hallucinating from looking at the road all day, and night. Laura was driving, and a bit concerned (I’m sure) that I had gone off. 😉 Long story short this was just the beginning. THIS was the Northern Lights. Once Laura pulled over I leapt out of the vehicle and ran towards the back of the car- asking her to please shut off the lights!

Poster of aurora borealis images. It was assembled by someone on WIKI. Original images listed below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Northern_Lights_02.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polarlicht_2.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aurore_australe_-_Aurora_australis.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Red_and_green_aurora.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Northern_light_01.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aurora_%26_moon.jpg
Poster of aurora borealis images. It was assembled by someone on WIKI. Original images listed below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Northern_Lights_02.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polarlicht_2.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aurore_australe_-_Aurora_australis.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Red_and_green_aurora.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Northern_light_01.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aurora_%26_moon.jpg

There they were- weaving, and dancing above me like alien space curtains, Aurora Borealis. I laughed, and cried, and pathetically tried to capture the event on my, at-the-time pathetic camera. What struck me was the music! This crazy tinkling, glass-like, scintillating sound that seemed to emanate from the Aurora! OK. So, I’ve shared this with many friends- my experience and thinking I heard music. Most laugh, or just knod their heads. I’ve been planning to travel back, and record these sounds, or at least make an attempt.

Not sure why I waited so long to Google- Aurora Borealis sound but, I just did so today and WHAT?! I first came upon Professor Carolin Crawford’s lecture on radio emission given off by the Aurora. Sound at 1:30 [youtube http://youtu.be/Zcef943eoiQ]

So I started googling like a fiend! And found Stephen McGreevy and his recordings. Videos below. He also has a Dawn Chorus that he’s recorded. This is the Sun, not birds…

[youtube http://youtu.be/9EHlomvDliU] [youtube http://youtu.be/KD3CBY2CnXg]

Which brings me to Ólafsfjördur, and an upcoming art residency I would LOVE to have the opportunity to attend. Taking place this December through January 2015, two months in the north of Iceland, in the dark. I can’t think of a more perfect time, and place for field recordings, and further development of ‘spaces in-between’ 

 

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