Field recording artist Daniel Blinkhorn (Terra Subfónica) returns as FrostbYte to present a crisp soundscape of Arctic recordings. His four pieces evoke thoughts of a cold winter, surrounded by ice and snow, and warmed by the company of a dog ~ but just one dog. Many may remember the famous 70s pop band Three Dog Night; Blinkhorn’s night is not as cold.
The sounds of pinging ice are as crisp as sleet on aluminum, and come across as sedate, non-linear electronic peeps. Triangles enhance the enchantment. Soft rushes of drone enter like tiny wind gusts. The volume stays in the low range, offering the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the white before it becomes too threatening, to enjoy the crisp advance of the Svalbard (Spitsbergen) air.
The archipelago (just above Norway) is home to a variety of species, and is a travel destination for researchers and tourists. Blinkhorn is an atypical visitor, as his interest lies more in sound than in sight. His ears are keenly attuned to the nuances of his particular environment, and his presentation captures the uniqueness of his habitat. Ice fragments “chatter” and melt in blue-draped fjords; ships sluice through dangerous seas. Blinkhorn re-arranges them into “families of sound shapes”, a process he likens to ice sculpture. In doing so, he reminds us that it’s always winter somewhere, but that it need not be feared. The cold offers a peculiar and alluring beauty, in this case frostbyte rather than frostbite. (Richard Allen)
Release date: November 25
Note: the clip below is audio-only.