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Posts Tagged ‘Jökulsárlón’

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Recording Icelandic glaciers aims to be my main passion for the coming years.
Unfortunately, I feel I’m starting too late because the sounds have changed significantly over the last 20-30 years. It is because they have lost a lot of mass, especially on the edges of the glaciers where they mainly produce sound.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to get to places where a glacier is crawling because there are no roads or tracks near the places that are considered suitable for recording today.
Not enough. Most of the glaciers are within national parks and protected areas today. Therefore, I need to apply for a permit to go to various places within the national park to record.
Once in place, it is not a given that it is possible to record exactly where it would be best to get an interesting sound. It must be taken into account that glaciers are not playgrounds and they can be dangerous. Glacier lagoons’ coastline are also dangerous when large pieces of ice fall from glaciers and large icebergs flip over and break down in pieces.
Weather conditions are also important. I am used to record continuously for many hours, even days, so calm and dry weather most of the time is always on the wish list.  
Last summer Jökulsárlón lagoon and Breiðamerkurjökul glacier were my main targets. It was slightly more difficult than I thought in the beginning, mainly because I did not have a clue what microphones worked best for this project so I brought with me microphones for all kinds of situations which is a hell a lot of stuff. In the end it was my parallel MKH8020/8040 rig which worked best for this glacier project last summer. Mainly because glaciers are not so quiet and therefore microphones with the lowest noise floor are not so important . 
It takes me almost two hours to sail on pedal Kayak with all luggage to the location near the glacier. I started immediately to record with two recorders after arriving. Then it takes me almost a day to find the best location for the microphones. It was not the best place to get the highest quality of sound recording. But they were sheltered from the wind and in safe distance from big waves or tsunami from the lagoon.
This following recording is a part of a 20 hour recording on this location. 
WARNING. This recording has a wide dynamic range. It includes several blasts (especially at 6:34) which are very loud that can damage speakers, headphones or your hearing if played too loud.
As usual for nature recordings it has not got any process in post. Just add gain about 20dB. Therefore is clipping inevitable in the „blast“ at 6:34.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps / 56,3Mb)
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Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 in Parallel AB40. Mixed50/50%
Pix: Canon EOS R

Location: 64.109285, -16.243593
Weather: 4°C 2-4m/sek, cloudy

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I got a grant to record nature sounds in the Vatnajökull national park from the association “Friends of Vatnajökull”. It was not a trouble free trip, but anyway it was very instructive and I recorded many hours of very interesting and lovely sounds. Most of the recordings are long and unbroken. Some of them are up to 6 to 10 hours long so they contains many things I have never heard until now when I am registering the collection and searching for material to publish.
In 22nd of May I spent most of the day near Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. I recorded around three hours in the lagoon with hydrophones. I was located close to the ejection because there it was most likely to catch some wild life activity.
When I started following recording the current was flowing out of the lagoon. Three or five seals were diving nearby between the icebergs which slowly were moving towards the ejection.
It was stunning when I put the hydrophones in the lagoon.
What a sound! It was much louder than I thought and was both stunning and frighten.
The several thousand years old ice was melting with cracks, screeches and scratching the bottom of the lake. Sometimes I could detect a deep rumble sound in a distance, probably when icebergs were scratching the bottom of the 200 meters deep lake. Comparing to all those loud sounds, everything was peaceful above the surface.

Hljóðin í Jökulsárlóni. 1. hluti

Ég fékk styrk s.l. vetur til að hljóðrita hljóðvist Vatnajökulsþjóðgarðs frá samtökunum  Vinum Vatnajökuls. Það gekk á ýmsu á meðan á því stóð en á endanum var ég komin með mikið af áhugaverðu og skemmtilegu efni. Mikið af þessum upptökum eru langar og ósltitnar eða 6-10 klst langar svo ég hef ekkert hlustað á fyrr en nú þegar ég stend í því að skrásetja upptökurnar.
Þann 22. maí var ég staddur við útfallið við Jökulsárlón og hljóðritaði undir yfirborði lónsins með vatnahljóðnemum. Bæði hljóð og hljóðstyrkur kom verulega á óvart. Þarna var aldagamall ísinn að bráðna með hvellum og ískri um leið og hann skrapaði botninn á leið sinni að útfallinu. Öðru hverju mátti heyra drunur einhvers staðar utan úr djúpi lónsins og stöku sinnum mátti heyra hljóð sem hugsanlega komu frá 3-5 selum sem syntu ekki langt frá upptökustaðnum.
Það var óneitanlega mun háværara niðri lóninu en á yfirborði þess.

Download MP3 file (192kbps / 34,4Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics: Aquarian H2a XLR
Pics: Canon Eos M (see more pictures)

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