ebbing ice lines of the low arctic 

quadraphonic sound installation + upcoming album & film
> shown at the IGLOO sound gallery of Vysočina Regional Gallery (Jihlava, CZ)  →  08.03. — 26.05.2024

Ebbing Ice Lines of the Low Arctic is a quadraphonic sound installation that investigates the soundscape of the Low Arctic’s melting zones and the life they foster. By weaving glacial gurgles, thawing squeals, avian vocalizations, hydrophonic acoustics, and site-specific hums, the composition sheds light on the minute sounds produced by these environments as they retreat under warming climates. Recorded in Iceland and Finland, these animal and melting voices tell a story of disappearance. The title plays with the existing tree line terminology—the edge past which trees do not grow—to imagine ebbing lines beyond which ice can not exist.

As they snake across latitudes, these lineations form vulnerable ecotones, gateways towards polar crystalline waters, ramparts teeming with sounds. Here, enveloped by terns’ shrills and rock ptarmigans’ clucks, the ice exudes peculiar guttural sounds. It squeals as its prismatic contours rub against one another, echoing the animated nature of its jumbled body. It growls as it releases strings of air trapped beneath glacial skin for hundreds of years. As the bubbles murmur and swim towards the surface, the Earth’s old atmosphere carries its history back into the winds. Ice is a vast expanse of earthly memory, a trickling archive spreading over eons. Far from forming sessile architectures, this planetary reservoir is in constant flux, in perpetual momentum, withdrawing from the globe in acoustic multitudes. Frozen drifts, azure crevasses, glacial streams, dripping crests, and gapping moulins all vibrate with ebullient tongues—a voice of some sort, a gestural diversity, which images hardly convey. Yet if we listen, glaciers and thaws bristle with sonic vibrance—a discreet phenomenon that speaks volume.

Shown at Vysočina Regional Gallery‘s IGLOO sound gallery (08.03. — 26.05.2024) ︎︎︎
> curator: Miloš Vojtěchovský


Ebbing Ice Lines is a tentacular project that materializes in a plurality of formats (and titles). An album version that also includes analog photographs, and a photographic film are currently in the works. Two of the album’s tracks were nominated for the following awards:
> walking on sólheimajökull glacier nominated for Phonurgia Nova’s Field Recording / Soundscape Award 2023
> gestures of thaw (supraglacial) nominated and highly commended for Sound of the Year Awards (2022) : “Sound of the Year" and "Disappearing Sound" categories

> This title is a tribute to Andrea Polli’s piece "Walking on Taylor Glacier" part of her astonishing "Sonic Antarctica" album


> special thanks to Madelyn Byrd, Corinne Diserens, Diane Barbé, Irwin Barbé, Ludwig Berger, Mathieu Bonnafous, LOM, Clément Coudeyre, Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, Kría Daniels, Ásdís Kalman, and Daníel Niddam.

> sound recording trips and research funded by Berlin’s Senate Department of Culture

© Pablo Diserens — 2020 →  2024