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IMG_3303

The Ófeigsfjarðarflói is divided into three fiords, furthest east is Ingólfsfjörður, in the middle is Ófeigsfiörður, and furthest west is Eyvindarfiörður. Those fiords were named after three brothers, the sons of the Norwegian Herraudur White Cloud (Herraauður Hvítaský) , who settled there. According to the land registry of 1706 the farm in Ófeigsfiörður was abandoned, but soon afterwards it was re-inhabited. The register also states, that the most important advantages of the property were seal hunting, driftwood collecting and processing, eiderdown and the winter grazing on the shoreline. The greatest disadvantages were the long and hard winters and the long and dangerous way to the nearest church. The farm was abandoned in the sixties, but the driftwood and the eider colonies are exploited every summer.
The eiderdown is mainly collected on the islet Hrútey, just off the headland Hrúteyjarnesmúli, and also around the farmhouses. Sustenance fisheries were also practiced during the centuries and the shark fishing was an important enterprise until 1915.
During Catholic times a prayer chapel stood in Ófeigsfiörður. Some geothermal activity was spotted in two places on the property.
Nowadays travellers use the nice camping grounds in Ófeigsfiörður. Hikers in the northern Strandir area use them in the beginning or at the end of their hiking tours. The closest you get to Ófeigsfiörður by car is Eyri in Ingólfsfiörður, but a 4wd track continues all the way.
Following recording was recorded nearby the camping side.
In the recording an Arctic tern is constantly attacking the fury microphones. But the battle last for only twenty minutes so the recording ends in a peaceful sonic experience.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid-level

Árás í Ófeigsfirði

Hér er á ferðinni upptaka sem tekin var upp við tjaldsvæðið í Ófeigsfirði, síðdegis þann 25. júní 2015.
Kría gerir ótal árásir á óboðinn gest við hreiðurstæð sitt. Árásirnar standa yfir í u.þ.b. 20 mínútur en eftir það fellur allt í dúnalogn og við tekur hljóðmynd sem er hljóðlát og draumkennd.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á upptökuna í góðum opnum heyrnartólum og á miðlungs hljóðstyrk.

Download mp3 file (224kbps / 30Mb)

Recorder: Sound devises 744/302
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 (Parallel ORTF)
Pix: Canon EOS M
Recording location: 66.049999, -21.702376
Weather: Around 12°C , Calm, dry and sunny.

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IMG_7641

Vatnajökull is the largest ice cap in Europe by volume (3,100 km³). Vatnajökull has around 30 outlet glaciers (icefall) flowing from the ice cap. Svíafellsjökull is one of them.
Glaciers are not a playground for everyone. They have its own weather system and the gravity force will destroy everything that get lost in the ice.
Two British students lost their lives 1953 in a storm which lasted for 10 days on the glacier. It was not until 2003 that some of their equipment was found, carried forward with the movement of the outlet glacier. No human remains were found.
Two German tourist have been missing since 1st of August 2007 when they were on a hiking trip on Svínafellsjökull. Nobody knows what really happened but it is most likely that they fell in a swallow somewhere on the glacier, but their equipment was found in a small valley, high in the nearby mountains.
All glaciers have been shrinking fast last decade. That can be easily seen at the end of Svínafellsjökull witch now has a big glacier lagoon that did not exist few years ago.
As glaciers the glacier lagoons can be also dangerous. Icebergs can suddenly fall off the icefall and make huge waves in the lagoon, also when icebergs turns around or brake down in a parts.
I got in touch of these forces when I was recording the lagoon under Svínafellsjökull, 23rd of May 2014. I hid the equipment from other tourist in a landslide nearby and about two meters above the lagoon surface. Two Aquarian hydrophones where placed in the lagoon and a pair of MKH20 was used to pick up the sounds above the lagoon. The idea was to record in two or three hours.
I was in another place with my second recorder to record a sound close by the glacier.
After one and half hour I suddenly hear a big „bang“ with a long powerful echo from nearby mountains. All the icebergs on the lagoon suddenly moved around as a beans in a boiling pot.
I ran to the recorder´s place on the other side of the lagoon. The bag with the recorder was floating between the Icebergs so it was no problem to locate it in the muddy water. I disconnect the battery and took it inside to dry it as fast as I could. But nevertheless, it had several malfunctions since this drowning.
I am not sure what really happened. The flood line does´t goes all the away to the recorder´s place. I think it is most likely that some icebergs pulled the recorder by the hydrophones into the lagoon.
Thanks to Sound Devices in US and the reseller in Iceland (Pfaff-Borgarljós and Bragi Kort) I got a new recorder for a very nice price. Most of the loss was then covered by the insurances.

Flóðbylgjan við Svínafellsjökul

Jöklar og umhverfi þeirra getur verið hættulegt þeim sem það ekki þekkjir. Jöklarnir eru síbreytilegir og hafa sitt eigið veðrakerfi. Því ber að umgangast þá með varúð. Skemmst er að minnast hvarf tveggja þjóðverja á Svínafellsjökli þann 1. ágúst 2007 .
Mér var það svo sem lika ljóst að jökullón geta verið hættuleg þann 23. maí 2014 þegar ég staðsetti upptökutæki við jökullónið neðan við Svínafellsjökul. Tveir Aquarian vatnahljóðnemar voru staðsettir ofan í lóninu og aðrir tveir MKH20 hljóðnemar ofan við lónið. Sjálfur fór ég með annað upptökutæki til að hljóðrita upp við jökulinn sjálfan.
En líklega er aldrei of varlega farið. Eftir u.þ.b. eina og hálfa klukkustund kvað við mikill hvellur frá jökulsporðinum sem bargmálaði í fjöllunum ofan við jökulinn. Stuttu síðar fór allt jökullónið á hreyfingu eins og iðandi suðupottur. Mér varð því ljóst að upptökutækið við lónið gæti verið í hættu. Hljóp ég því sem fætur toguðu að staðnum, en allt kom fyrir ekki. Tækið var komið út í lónið og flaut þar í tösku milli ísjaka. Eftir að hafa þrifið það og þurrkað kom í ljós að tækið hafði bilað varanlega eftir þessa sundferð.
Allt bendir til þess að ísjaki hafi dregið tækið í lónið á vatnahljóðnemunum því flóðlínan hafði ekki náð upp að staðnum þar sem tækið hafði staðið. En skaðinn var skeður sem leytist þó á endanum þokkalega farsællega þó tjónið hafi verið eitthvert. Með óútskýranlegum hætti vistaði upptökutækið upptökuna áður en það drukknaði. Það sem hér má heyra eru síðustu andartök tækisins.

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics: Aquarian H2n-XLR & Sennheiser MKH20 (AB40)
Pics: Canon EOS-M (See more pictures)
Recording location: 64.007509, -16.883081
Weather: Calm, cloudy, around 9°C

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IMG_8059

The Jökulsá á Fjöllum river was a large obstacle in the past. River crossings on horseback were not possible so ferries were used at three different locations. The refuge hut was built at one of these locations, intended to house the travellers. The river was first bridged here in 1948. The road through Mývatnsöræfi was partially buried underneath the lava flow during the Mývatnseldar eruption in 1875. A few years later a new road was laid though this wilderness. The cairns indicate the location of this road, which is one of the earliest examples of a public road making. This was also used as a postal road.
The refuge hut was built in 1883 from dressed stone quarried from the surrounding area and bound with lime. A number of men participated in transporting the timber, lime and cement for the construction, all the way from Vopnafjörður, Húsavík and Akureyri. The low ceilinged cellar was used as a stable, its entrance having once been protected by a lean-to. The suspected haunting of the hut prevented a proper use of it.
The refuge hut at Jökulsá á Fjöllum plays a role in the novella Aðventa (The good Shepard) by Gunnar Gunnarsson.
Not only was this a period of intense volcanic activity, it was also a time of innovation in building techniques in Iceland, of which the construction of stone houses was a part. Prior to the construction of the refuge hut, stone houses had been built in a few places in the North-east. These included Þverárkirkja in Laxárdalur (1878) and a vicarage in Sauðanes (1879). The construction of the Althing Parliament House in Reykjavík in 1881 also had a considerable impact on the propagation of stone houses in Iceland.
The refuge hut was previously managed by the Icelandic Road Administration, but has been a part of the National Museum of Iceland‘s Historic Buildings Collection since 1988 (*National Museum of Iceland)
The recording starts under the hut´s wall. The wind gently wipes the surface around the hut when a lonely Snow Bunting gives a weak song to the empty black desert.
Then the recording slowly moves from the hut to the river’s bank, to a place that could tell many stories from the past if the stones could speak. The recording ends with a squawk from two Pink Footed Goose that overfly close over river’s surface on the way to the north.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening at low- to mid level.

Sæluhúsið við Jökulsá á Fjöllum.

Fyrr á öldum var Jökulsá á Fjöllum víðfeðmur farartálmi. Áin var hvergi talin reið og voru lögferjur á þremur stöðum. Sæluhúsið var reist við einn slíkan ferjustað en fyrst var brúað hér árið 1948. Þjóðleiðin um Mývatnsöræfi fór að hluta undir hraun í Mývatnseldum árið 1875. Nokkrum árum síðar var ráðist í að leggja nýjan veg um öræfin og var Jakob Hálfdanarson, síðar kaupfélagsstjóri kaupfélags Þingeyinga, valinn til að stýra verkinu. Vörður sýna legu vegarins en þessar vegleifar eru með elstu minjum um opinbera vegagerð á Íslandi en þetta var jafnframt póstleið.
Sæluhúsið var reist árið 1883 úr tilhöggnu grjóti úr nánasta umhverfi. Timbur, kalk, sement og önnur byggingarefni í húsið voru flutt alla leið frá Vopnafirði, Húsavík og Akureyri með aðkomu fjölda manna. Lágreistur kjallarinn var notaður sem hesthús og var inngangsskúr, bíslag, áður yfir kjallaratröppum. Notkun hússins varð þó ekki sem skyldi sökum frásagna um reimleika. Húsið er hluti af sögusviði Aðventu eftir Gunnar Gunnarsson, þar sem greinir frá ferðum Fjalla-Bensa, Benedikts Sigurjónssonar.
Gamalíel Einarsson var fenginn að byggingu sæluhússins sumarið 1883 sem aðalsmiður hússins en Sigurbjörn Sigurðsson, Jakob Sigurgeirsson og Friðrik Guðmundsson áttu þar einnig stóran hlut. Jakob Hálfdanarson mun hafa ráðið staðsetningu og útliti hússins. Landssjóður veitti fé til smíðinnar.
Þessi umbrotatími jarðskorpunnar var einnig tímabil nýrra hugmynda um byggingatækni á Íslandi og var bygging steinhúsa hluti af þeirri nýbreytni. Steinhlaðin hús voru tekin að rísa hér og þar á Norðausturlandi nokkru áður en sæluhúsið reis af grunni. Meðal þeirra voru Þverárkirkja í Laxárdal (1878) og prestsbústaður á Sauðanesi (1879). Bygging Alþingishússins í Reykjavík árið 1881 hafði einnig umtalsverð áhrif til frekari fjölgunar steinhúsa á Íslandi.
Sæluhúsið var áður í umsjá Vegagerðar ríkisins en hefur verið í húsasafni Þjóðminjasafns Íslands frá 1988. (*Þjóðminjasafn Íslands)
Upptakan hefst undir húsvegg sæluhússins þar sem vindurinn gælir við hrjúfa veggi. Einmana sólskríkja gefur tóninn út á eyðisandinn. Upptakan færist síðan hægt og rólega niður að árbakkanum á stað sem eflaust gæti sagt margar fornar raunasögur ef steinarnir gætu talað.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á þessa upptöku í góðum heyrnartólum og á lágum- til miðlungs hljóðstyrk.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 33,7Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH20 (AB40)
Pics: Canon EOS M (see more pictures)
Recording location: 65.638964, -16.224181
Weather: Cloudy, gusty, ca. 6°C.

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The 14th of September 2014 over 100 people met in a ceremony in Arnarholt, west of Iceland, to introduce the tree of the year. This tree is 105 years old European Larch (Larix decidua) so it is one of the oldest tree in Iceland .
The one hour ceremony included speeches, songs and valid measurements of the tree.
The tree was 15,2 meter high with 2 m circumference.
The following recording does not include the whole ceremony. The problem was that all the speeches were trough megaphone so the sound was awful. But the songs were ok and one speech about history of the tree too. The recording ends with another recording I made after the ceremony under the tree with binaural array and contact mics on the tree bole.

Tré ársins 2014

Í Arnarholti í Stafholtstungum var 105 ára Efrópulerki útnefnt tré ársins þann 14. september 2014. Hátt á annað hundarð manns mættu við hátíðlega athöfn og hlýddu þar á ræður og söng. Þá var tréð mælt með löggiltum hætti og reyndist það vera 15,2 metra hátt.
Meðfylgjandi upptaka er ekki lýsandi fyrir það sem gerðist við athöfnina enda upptakan talsvert styttri.
Menn töluðu þar óspart í afar slæmt hljóðkerfi sem ekki var áheyrilegt. Eftir stóð þó söngurinn og ein ræða þar sem stuttlega var sagt frá sögu trésins og þeim tveimur mönnum sem að gróðursetningu þess komu. Í enda upptökunar má heyra vindinn gæla við trjátoppana og hljóðin innan úr bol trésins tekin upp með „kontakt“ hljóðnemum.
Full lýsing á dagskránni þennan dag er annars ágætlega lýst í Laufblaðinu, Fréttablaði Skógræktarfélags Íslands.
Upptakan er birt með leyfi söngvara.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 31,2Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics: MKH30/NTG3 (MS config) & MKH20 (binaural) & Aquarian H2a-XLR
Pix. Canon EOS M
Rec. Location: 64.675469, -21.630393

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IMG_3337

Last summer was mainly wet, windy and cold in Iceland. It was no exception while I was recording birds in the nature reserve Flói, south of Iceland.
I was three weeks later than usual, so it was probably too late to record a reach bird chorus.
I spend two nights in the area and tried to record surrounding ambient through soaking wet windscreens. I stayed most of the time in a bird watching shelter to keep me dry. It was different from last tree years. Surroundings looked more like a swamp than grassland.
I kept one recorder in the field in a plastic box. The second one was in the bird watching shelter.
Just before I fell a sleep on the floor I started to record. The following recording is a short part of that moment while shower passes over.
Most windows on the shelter were open so birds surround are audible. Background noise is not a traffic, it is the surf at nearby south coast, about 3 km away.

Flói 2013. 1. hluti

Síðast sumar var kalt og blautt miðað við það sem maður hefur vanist síðustu ár. Alla vega elti óheppnin mig með leiðinda veðri á röndum hvert sem ég fór með upptökutækin. Hin árlega ferð í Flóann var þar enginn undantekning. Ég mætti á svæðið þremur vikum seinna enn vanalega. Ég mátti því búast við að fjöldasöngur fugla væri farinn að dvína. Vindasamt veður gerði svo erfitt um vik, hvað þá að hljóð gæti borist langar leiðir.
Að vanda tók ég upp í tvær nætur í flóanum. Í þetta sinn flaut allt í vatni og því ekki hægt að liggja úti í grasinu eins og vanalega, heldur var leitað skjóls inni í fuglaskoðunarskýlinu.
Fyrir utan var eitt upptökutæki að taka upp á hefðbundnum stað. Annað var aðgerðarlaust inni í skýlinu. Rétt áður en ég fékk mér lúr á gólfinu ræsti ég upptökutækið. Hér kemur partur af þeirri upptöku þegar skúr gekk yfir svæðið. Gluggar voru opnir svo það heyrist í fuglum í grennd. Suðið í bakgrunni kemur frá briminu suður við Ölfusárósa.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 34,5Mb)

Recorder Sound devices 744T
Mic: Rode NT1a
Pics: Canon EOSM (more pictures soon)

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IMG_6153

I have still lots of unpublished recordings from this midsummer nights in Flói 2012.
With a quick audition all this recordings sounds similar. But with closer attention it sounds all as a beautiful symphony. There is so much happening that it can blow your attention, at the same time it can easily be your lullaby. I think these recordings are too nice to be lost in some of my hard drives.
This recording was made 26th of June, around 2am and is a straight forward of part 5.
It contains many bird species. Red throat Loon and two snivel Loon eyes. Red- necked Phalarope, Common Snipe, Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Common Redshank, White Wagtail, Winter Wren, Northern Wheatear, Common Redpoll, Snow Bunting and maybe other birds I can not mention.
In distance there are some traffic noises, horses, sheeps and Whooper Swan.
Background noise is mostly surf along the south coast and „white noise“ is mic´s internal noise .
As usual for nature recordings as this one, don’t play it loud. Play it as you will hear nature sound trough open window.

Friðland í Flóa 2012. 6. hluti

Hér er á ferðinni beint framhald af 5. hluta, upptöku frá 26. júní. Klukkan er um tvö eftir miðnætti og fuglalífið á fullu á þessari björtu sumarnótt. Þeir fuglar sem heyrist mest í eru lómur og tveir ungar hans. Óðinshanar, stelkur og spói. Ýmsar aðrar tegundir eru svo í bakgrunni. Í bakgrunni má heyra í briminu meðfram suðurströndinni, einhverri umferð, hestum og kindum.
Það er vert að minna á að best er að hlusta á þessar náttúruupptökur á lágum styrk, svipað því að hlusta á fuglasöng um opin glugga.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 39,6Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS)
Pics: EOS 30D (see more pictures) (Where is nature reserve Flói)

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IMG_5783

Last autumn and winter I published some of my recordings from 25th of June 2012 in the nature reserve at Flói in the south of Iceland.
Day after, during the night and early morning at 26th I continued to record, but now I moved the microphones about 3-5 meter closer to nearby pond.
Something happened. There was a strange echo or reverb in some directions. It sounded strange because this area is very flat. But afterwards I thought it came from a ridge about 50cm high along the pond. This echo was sometimes very nice so it is worth to continue to put this recordings from Flói on the web, maybe in 2 to 4 parts.
I skip the first two hours of this night recording, mostly because of a high noise from the surf along the coast site, 3-4 km behind the microphones and some truck traffic 7 -14 km front of the microphones.
As usual this recording are made in virtually quiet environment. It starts around 1 am and lasts for 25 minutes. It is mostly very quiet, but in the end a choir of Red throated Diver gets very loud.

Friðlandið i Flóa 2012, 5. hluti

Síðastliðið haust og í vetur setti ég nokkrar upptökur úr friðlandinu í Flóa á vefinn. Voru það upptökur sem ég tók upp nóttina 25. júni 2012 .
Daginn eftir tók ég líka upp svo til á sama stað en færði hljóðnemana örlítið úr stað. Við það gerðist það undraverða að fuglar úr vissum áttum hljómuðu í einhverju bergmáli. Það er frekar óskiljanlegt nema að bakkar umhverfis nærliggjandi tjörn eru frekar brattir og u.þ.b. 50cm háir.
Það er því vel þess virði að halda áfram að setja á netið hljóðmyndir úr Flóanum.
Hér má heyra í fuglum s.s. óðinshana, hrossagauk, stelk, lómi, spóa, kríu, hettumáfi, músarindli og maríuerlu sem og mörgum öðrum fuglum. Bakgrunnssuð er helst frá briminu með suðuröndinni u.þ.b. 3-5 km fjarlægð fyrir aftan hljóðnemana og svo trukkaumferð eftir þjóðvegi nr.1 í 7-14 km fjarlægð. Upptakan er líklega frá því milli kl. 1 og 2 eftir miðnætti.

Download mp3 file (35Mb / 192kbps)

Recorder: Sound devices 744T
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS)
Pics: Canon 30D (see more pictures)
Older post from nature reserve in Flói 2012

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