Songmapping Olafsfjör∂ur

Sound creations made in and around the town of Ólafsfjörður
while on the Nor∂andvindur: North Wind Sound Art Residency at Listhus.
Two bodies of work can be accessed via the map or links below:
Heraclitus in Iceland (orange pins) is a set of 9 compositions;
Singing with Scenery (purple pins) comprises 18 improvisations.

Heraclitus in Iceland

Heraclitus in Iceland is a series of compositions  and videos reflecting on continuity and temporality in relation to being a "visitor" in a place.

In my first few weeks in-residence I was struck by the endless flows of water and was often ruminating on the well-known adage: "you cannot step twice into the same river." Discovering that this orginated with the ancient Greek philospher Heraclitus (The Obscure, 535-475BC), I  then sought out some more interesting propositions by him that felt relevant to my time here — ideas about the continuum of existence, harmony & disonnance in the universe, and the role of our senses to make sense of the world.

These compositions, made from digitally manipulated field recordings and vocal and instrumental improvisations, aim to evoke internal and external atmospheres of my time here as a visitor.  In some ways postmodernity means every place feels strangely familar but, in other ways this small town of 800 people felt oblique and forever unknowable,  as if I were in fact Heraclitus, direct from 500 BC, mysteriously materialising in far Northern Iceland.

Singing with Scenery

Singing with Scenery is a quick response project that sees me making small improvisations in various locations in and around the town. These recordings are lightly manipulated using only the original sounds and software effects to enhance the compositions — to shift them from the raw and revealing nature of the external world, to the warm reverberance of the internal.

These are simple attempts to interface with place, positioning myself as a flawed and fragile figure in the landscape. The vocal material is unabashedly melodic, with little attempt at experimental techniques, rather there is a naive intention to summon some folkloric spirit from both the environment and my own received influences and hazy ancestry. Singing with Scenery is in fact an ongoing and embodied query as to where our songs come from.

Singing with Scenery

Olafsfjordur Pano

Gardsá road song
Breakwater song
Kleifar oil drum song
End of the lake stream song
Shipwreck song
Rocky beach song
Windy lake song
Gardsá Valley: mossy ledge song
Gardsá Valley: creaky bridge song
Fish rack swing song

Kleifar Valley: Sunny hill after the shady valley song
Kleifar Valley:  waterhole song
(in 2 parts)

Harbour dusk song
East of town  waterfall song
Hédinsfjardargöng (tunnel) song
Kleifar: under the bridge song
Kleifar: abandoned jetty house song
Lake farewell song