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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last spring was cold and windy and 26th of May was no exception when I cycle downtown Reykjavik with my recording gear. It was a accordion day and members of the Accordion club of Reykjavik was playing in the city hall. When I arrive it was overcrowded and the sound quality was poor from the amplified monitors. So I decided to stay outside and listen instead to the birds on the pound, close to the hall.
This recording contain my walk beside the pond, from the southeast side (as seen on the picture) trough the city hall to the northwest side, into very different atmosphere.
Gengið í gegn um ráðhús Reykjavíkur
Þann 26 maí gerði ég mér ferð í ráðhúsið í norðankalda til að hlusta á Harmonikkufélag Reykjavíkur spila á hinum árvissa harmonikkudegi. Það átti ekki að koma á óvart að hljómburðurinn í Ráðhúsinu var handónýtur svo ég staldraði stutt við. Í staðinn fór ég að fylgjast með fuglum á tjörninni og hljóðrita það sem fyrir augu og eyru bar.