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The Independence Day, June 17, 2015, was a little different from what it usually is, on Austurvöllur. A few thousand people were supposed to attend a meeting there, to protest the government. So there was a lot of preparation by the police, to make a clear line, between the public, and the politicians and the representatives of foreign embassies, attending this formal ceremony, on Austurvöllur in front of the parliament.
After the banking collapse in 2008, it was clear that the nation was divided into two separate groups. Firstly those that had been badly affected by this banking system, that a few years back, had been privatized, into the ownership of the friends of corrupt right-wing politicians. Secondly those, about 30% of the nation that were making a profit of all the corruption or had not the intelligence to understand what had been going on, before the banking collapse in October 2008.
In 2009 the nation voted for a left-wing government, the first one for a very long time, but as it was a time of great crisis, for example the national bank was really bankrupt, this government made a few mistakes that the nation did not like. So it happened, by giving a whole lot of false promises and by owning a majority of the mass media, the right-wing „crash parties“ came back to power after the elections 2013.
Those two right-wing political parties have since coming to power, just tried to make the economic system into what it was like, before the banking collapse of 2008, like nothing had ever happened.
The opposition to the right-wing politics of the government, has constantly been increasing, not the least because the government has been systematically destroying the good things the left-wing government had done. With the increasing consciousness of the public, people are putting a lot of work, protesting in the streets. It can be said that the most magnificent protest, has been when the the prime minister of the right-wing government, did his zero cents speech during the festivities on June 17 in front of the parliament, that can be heard here below. As usual the representatives of different foreign embassies were there, attending a ceremony that has been formally festive for many decades and that the public could before participate in with a close presence. But now the police had put up a fence to hold the public outside of the festive area and away from politicians and other officials of the state. The protesters and the public still did let their voices and their message be heard, in a splendid accomplishment.
Those that can understand the murmur in the speech of the prime minister understand that the speech is in no way in coherence with reality. Those that remember his last years speech, realize that probably it is the same speech, read aloud a second time.
The sound quality in this recording is not good because of poor quality of the sound system in the ceremony

Mótmæli á þjóðhátíðardegi

Hátíðarhöldin 17. júni 2015 voru svolítið óvenjuleg á Austurvelli. Fjöldi fólks hafði boðað komu sína til að mótmæla. Eitt og sér var það ekki óvenjulegt, nema hvað mótmælin áttu að standa á meðan hátíðarhöldin stóðu yfir. Það var því nokkur viðbúnaður af hálfu lögreglu til að almenningur kæmist ekki í færi við stjórnmálamenn og fulltrúa sendiráða sem að venju mættu í ofur hefðbundna athöfn við Austurvöll framan við Alþingishúsið.
Eftir bankahrunið 2008 var það ljóst að þjóðin skiptist í tvær fylkingar. Fyrst má telja þá sem urðu grátt leiknir af bankakerfi sem nokkrum árum áður hafði verið einkavinavætt af spilltum hægrisinnuðum stjórnmálamönnum. Svo voru það hinir, sem eru u.þ.b. 30% þjóðarinnar, sem annað hvort þrifust á spillingunni eða höfðu ekki greind til að skilja hvað gerðist árin fyrir bankahrunið í október 2008.
Árið 2009 kaus þjóðin vinstri stjórn. Hún tók við skelfilegu búi og í óðagoti gerði sú stjórn ýmis mistök sem þjóðinni mislíkaði. Það fór því svo að með loforðaflaumi, lygum og eignarhaldi á flestum fjölmiðlum, að hægri sinnuðu „hrunflokkarnir“ komust aftur til valda í kostningum 2013.
Þessir tveir hægri flokkar hafa síðan leynt og ljóst reynt að endurvekja hagkerfið í þeirri mynd eins og það var fyrir bankahrun 2008 eins og ekkert hefði gerst.
Andstaðan við þessa hægri pólitík hefur sífellt verið að aukast, ekki síst vegna þess að hægri stjórnin hefur meira og minna verið að eyðileggja það góða sem þó hafðist í gegn í tíð vinstri stjórnarinnar. Með aukinni meðvitund almennings er svo komið að fólk er farið að leggja á sig talsverða vinnu til að mótmæla á götum úti. Segja má að glæsilegustu mótmælin hafi einmitt verið þegar forsætisráðherra hægri stjórnarinnar hélt ræðu sína við hátíðarhöldin 17. júní framan við Alþingishúsið og heyra má hér fyrir neðan. Að venju mættu þar fulltrúar ýmissa sendiráða við athöfn sem í áratugi hefur verið mjög hátíðleg og hefðbundin þar sem almenningur hefur geta tekið þátt með nærveru sinni. En nú var hins vegar búið að girða hátíðarsvæðið af undir lögregluvernd svo almenningur kæmist hvergi nærri pólitíkusum eða öðrum embættismönnum. Samt sem áður tókst almenningi með glæsibrag að láta í sér heyra og koma viðeigandi skilaboðum á framfæri.
Þeir sem ná að skilja muldrið í ræðu forsætisráðherra geta greinilega heyrt að ræðan er í engu samhengi við raunveruleikann. Þeir sem svo muna ræðu hanns frá því ári áður geta eflaust greint að hér er ræðan líklega lesin í annað sinn.
Hljómgæði þessara upptöku er ekki sérlega góð sem stafar af lélegu hljóðkerf á Austurvelli við þessa athöfn

Download mp3 file (46,8Mb / 192kbps)

Recorder: Sound devices 744+302
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 paralell ORTF
Pics: Canon EOS M
Recording location: 64.147257, -21.939484
Weather: gently gust, dry.

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Life has been difficult for some seabird species in some places around Iceland. Puffin colony with around 3 million birds has almost disappeared within few years from Vestmannaeyjar island south of Iceland. Change in the ecosystem is probably the main reason for this dramatically changes. But it is not only Puffins; many seagull species have also difficulties to survive. These gulls are in big flocks where ever scraps can be found. We have also several stories about them hunting BQ from hot outdoor grills.
Last week I was in Garðabær, south Reykjavik region, when I noticed some different behaviors of the birds around me. I went there with my gear later that day if there was something to record. I was lucky. Just when I arrived, hundreds of Arctic Tern and Black-Headed Gull was catching something on a manmade beach. Tide was getting lower so it was something trapped in a pool on the beach. I am still not sure what it was, but probably was it Pollock juveniles.
Some minutes after I started recording a flock of Lesser Black Backed Gull arrive with lot of noise until some photographer came too close and they all flew away (at 13 min).
Other birds like Great Black Backed Gull, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Common Eider, Raven and even Great Northern Diver was around, or not far away.
This recording is my contribution to World listening day 2014.

Matarveislan í Hraunsvík

Það var óvenju fjölskrúðugt fuglalíf á Arnarnesvoginum þegar ég átti þar leið um miðjan júlí. Mátti meira að segja heyra í himbrima úti á voginum. Ég ákvað því að koma þar við með upptökutækin um kvöldið og hljóðrita herlegheitin.
Ég kom svo til alveg á réttum tíma. Kría var í tuga ef ekki hundraða tali að steypa sér eftir einhverju æti í manngerðri vík í Hraunsvík. Stuttu eftir að upptaka hófst þá kom flokkur máfa sem reyndi að fá hlutdeild af ætinu sem líklega voru ufsaseiði.
Þegar mest gekk á voru þarna margar fuglategundir. Mest var af kríu, hettumáfi og sílamáfi, en inn á milli mátti sjá svartbak, æðarfugl, tjald og hrafn .
Þessi upptaka er framlag mitt til World Listening Day 2014.

Download mp3 file (192kmps / 38Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser 8040 (ORTF)
Pics. EOS-M (see more pictures)
Overview above the recording place

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In February I went to Geysir in Haukadal with my recording gear.  The plan was to record the sound in Geysir and other hot springs in the area with hydrophones. But when I arrived it was both windy and freezing cold so I did not make as many recordings as I expected.
Anyway, I got some recordings that I mixed together in one 20 minutes session.
It started with eruption in hot spring named Strokkur. It usually erupts every five to ten minutes and is one of the most attractive things in the area today.
Then, we dived down to the tube of Geysir. It is now some decade since it erupted automatically so now it is just a quiet deep hole in the ground full of hot water.
Then Strokkur erupted again before we dived into the “blue side” of the hot spring Blesi.
After several minutes Strokkur erupted again and we dived into the ”deep side” of Blesi.
Then we went to the surface and listened to two eruptions on Strokkur in a fellowship with two tourists.

Geysir, Blesi og Strokkur.

Í febrúar gerði ég mér ferð í uppsveitir Árnessýslu með upptökutækin. Var komið við á stöðum eins og á Geysi þar sem hljóðnemar voru brúkaðir bæði ofan jarðar og neðan. Vegna roks, kulda og myrkurs náðist ekki að hljóðrita allt það sem til stóð, en eftir stóðu þó upptökur sem hér hafa verið dregnar saman í stutta 20 mínutna langa hljóðmynd.

Download mp3 file (192Mbps / 29Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics: Aquarian H2a-XLR & Sennheiser MKH8040 (ORTF)
Pics: Canon EOS M (see more pictures)

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The summer 1978 I got a job at Sogsvirkjanir power stations, about 50 km east of Reykjavik capital. There are three power stations close to each other in the river Sog south of Þingvallavatn lake.
This place was familiar to me because my grandparents lived at a nearby farm, Efri Brú.
For me, as a tanager, this summer was very important. It was the time to decide what I would like to do for a living; a technician, farmer, engineer, or something else. I was not sure.
My job at Sogsvirkjanir was miscellaneous, gardening, cleaning and painting. But what interested me most was working in the power stations when generators were shut down for cleaning and overhauling. As a thin, lithe teenager I was used to go into and work inside places in the generators where older, fatter and stiffer engineers could not access or work. Afterwards I think it was very damaging environment for my health. Working almost every day with 1,1,1Trichloroethane and other toxic liquids with useless mask. But in these days nobody took care of it, and I did not take care of it either.
All this machineries fascinated me so I decided to start learning electrician in the autumn 1978.
The following recording is a combination of five recordings I made in and around Ljósafoss power station the summer 2013. This is the oldest power station in the river and was built on my grandfather’s land 1934. The birdsong in the recording is from a nearby county at Laugarvatn which is my grandmothers’ birthplace. It reminds me of my childhood at my grandparent’s farm, especially in the swamp behind the cowshed, so it is worth to keep it with this recording.
Even though all these sounds gives me some nice memories, they sound also far in my mind. It feels like a memory from my “last life”, not something that happened in my life about 40 years ago. Every thing has changed fast in this county. My grandparents are long gone and almost all farming in the county too. Land in many places has been broken up in peaces for cottages. Farming and animals have disappeared.
Instead of narrow gravel roads, all roads now have asphalt. Fast driving, noisy traffic, day and night seems to be the only human activity.
Sadly, in just thirty years, this beautiful countryside has changed into “American style suburb”
The following recording gives you a flight as a ghost, or a spirit from my grandparents farm to Ljósafoss power station. Your flight goes above and through water, concrete and steel. It starts over the reservoir, then trough the intake, penstock, power house, transformer and to the outflow canal.
The flight ends as it starts with “quiet bird song” far away from the nosy power station.

Miningar frá sumrinu 1978.

Sumarið 1978 fékk ég sumarvinnu við Sogsvirkjanir. Þetta sumar varð mér heldur örlagaríkt, en þá tók ég ákvörðun um að læra rafvirjun. Eftirarandi hljóðmynd var tekin upp sumarið 2013 í og við Ljósafossstöð. Segja má að það sé í raun minningabrot frá sumrinu 1978 og þremur næstu sumrum á meðan ég vann þar við ýmis störf.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 36,0Mb)

Recorder Sound devices 788
Mics. Sennheiser MKH8040 (ORTF setup)
Pics. Canon EOS-M (more pictures)
Rafn sigurbjörnsson’s picture gallery

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Around 4,000 people turned up to Austurvöllur square in front of the parliament 24th of February to protest the decision by the ruling Progressive and Independence Parties to put forward a resolution to withdraw from European Union talks.
Earlier this day police fenced off the parliament building with aluminum riot fence. It was great because in the bank crises five years ago people brought all kinds of “kitchen tools” to make noise during the protests. This time police brought the instrument, and the protesters played and kicked the fence. (More info)

Mótmælin í febrúar 2014

Fólk fjölmennti á Austurvöll framan við Alþingishúsið þann 24. febrúar sl. til að mótmæla slitum á aðildarviðræðum við ESB. Í raun átti að ganga svo frá hnútum að það væri allt eins ógjörningur að fara í slíkar viðræður í framtíðinni.
Fyrsti dagur þessara mótmæla var 24. febrúar og héldu þau svo áfram fram eftir vikunni eða þar til að stjórnarliðar sáu að sér og ákváðu að afgreiða málið með einhverjum öðrum hætti.
Meðfylgjandi upptaka var tekin upp á fyrsta degi mótmæla norðan við dómkirkjuna rétt fyrir kl. 16. Lögreglan hafði girt af Alþingishúsið með álgirðingu sem nýttist dásamlega vel til að koma óánægju almennings til skila inn í sali Alþingis.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 31MB)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser 8040 (ORTF setup)
Pix: Nokia N82

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Reykjavík Culture Night was held for the nineteenth time on 23rd of August 2014. As usual it normally ends with a big concert and a fireworks in Reykjavík downtown.
This year the weather was wet but warm.
I was soaked when the fireworks started, and I was probably not in the best place to record fireworks. But it was as interesting to listen to the joyful crowd during the show.
In just 9 minutes they blew up three tons of fireworks from several places around the concert stage.  More information about this dance project and Reykjavik culture nights.

Eldar, dansverk fyrir þrjú tonn af flugeldum

Upptaka frá flugedasýningu menningarnætur 24. ágúst 2013 í blautu en hlýju veðri. Því miður má heyra það á upptökunni að vindhlífin var, þegar þarna kom við sögu, orðin  gegnblaut. En engu að síður, stemmningi skilar sér bærilega.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 23,2Mb)

Recorder. Sound Devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8040 (ORTF)
Pix: Nokia N82. (see video of this fireworks)

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Early May I went into the Raufarhólshellir cave with a group of peoples. The tour was done to listen to the sound in the cave when water drops fall on ice on the floor. This sound can be really amazing when hundreds of drops fall in to all kinds of sizes and depths of holes in the ice.
But, most of the ice was gone, so the sound was not as expected.
Anyway, the experience and the sound was nice.

Hljóðin í Raufarhólshelli

Annan maí s.l. fór ég með ágætu fólki í Raufarhólshelli til að hlusta á vatnsdropa falla niður á ísinn á hellisgólfinu. Við viss skilyrði, þegar gólfið er ísi lagt, þá mynda vatnsdropar misdjúpar holur í ísinn. Þegar svo droparnir falla í þessar holur heyrist heil sinfónía af dropahljóðum sem er ákaflega gaman að hlusta á.
Því miður þá var mestallur ísinn horfinn þegar við mættum í hellinn. Hljóðin voru því ekki eins breytileg og vonast var til, en þó var ákaflega notalegt að gefa sér tíma til að setjast niður og hlusta.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 35Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devises 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8040 (ORTF)
Pix: Nokia N82

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