Wanderlust Winter Special: Svalbard
3 February 2020
Recordings from the Arctic by Rubén D’Hers
A 24 min excerpt of the installation I did in Artica. I used 8 amplified electroacoustic guitars. The work is untitled and has been realized in collaboration between Artica Svalbard and the Arctic Chamber Music Festival.
I did this recording not directly inside Gruve #5 (which is higher in a mountain), but I did it in a lower part at the tundra level where there is an abandoned distribution station of Gruve #5, where the coal came down from the mine in containers rolling on a cable.
There I hung 2 mics and left the place. The sound is basically the wind hitting the structure and even making a very thick steel cable (for transportation) vibrate at a very low frequency. This happens in the recording at some point, but is not so easy to spot.
This is a 5 min excerpt of an air extractor in the toilette in a residency house in Svalbard. It was odd that the air extractor had a whistling-like sound besides the standard motor rotation sound. It is a steady sound, but it has a certain irregularity due to this whistling that is slightly changing. I think this is due to the strong wind outside that created a vacuum effect in the air pipes.
I found it very particular, since I´ve recorded these sorts of air devices for a while, but never found one with these characteristics.
The whistling is everywhere in Longyearbyen (town), the strong wind basically makes every material outside whistle, like thick wires on electrical poles hanging over the road, metal shields, fabric, fences etc.
38:04 air extractor_excerpt_Svalbard_2019