Post Glacial Rebound


A soundwalk to encourage intimate connections with the island of Seili in the Archipelago Sea. Subtle resonances and disturbances, ecological transformations hovering on the edge of perception. The many sounds of flight. The signalling of plants and plankton. Listening as the biological time of generations intersects with the slow time of tectonic forces.


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A soundscape and a soundwalk that encourage intimate connections with the island. An invitation to attune to the vibrations of Seili's landscapes and inhabitants, to notice subtle resonances and disturbances emerging, then subsiding. Ecological transformations hovering on the edge of perception. Tiny fluctuations in the melody or pitch of birdsong. The many sounds of flight. The signalling of plants and plankton. The quieting after sunset, never becoming completely still, with the hum of human activity always present as background radiation. Abstract data and time-series collected by scientists over decades echo in sonic sensations at a human scale, beckoning rather than elucidating.

Whispering tales of an island that appears serene yet harbours hidden disturbances, spectral hostilities. Plagues of ticks and microplastics overlaid with psychic memories of the oppressed and abandoned. A haunted island covered by soft green mosses, lapped by gentle brackish waves. Whether invaded by crabs, humans or ticks, the island continues its slow and steady rise above the shallow waters, unperturbed. The biological time of generations intersects with the slow time of tectonic forces. Fluttering, struggling, change, fragility and adaptation in a micro-zone of intensity, amid its post glacial rebound. 

Sound walk released in August 2022, as part of Exercises in Attentiveness by the Contemporary Art Archipelago and the Archipelago Research Institute on the island of Seili, Finland.


Sound design and artwork by FoAM (Nik Gaffney & Maja Kuzmanovic)

Produced in collaboration with CAA Contemporary Art Archipelago (Taru Elfving and Lotta Petronella) and the Archipelago Research Institute (Katja Mäkinen, Ilppo Vuorinen, Jari Hänninen, and Jasmin Inkinen). Featuring plant recordings by Kalle Hamm and the Band of Weeds.

The soundscape is composed with FoAM's field recordings made on Seili during the spring of 2019 and sonification of time series data collected at The Archipelago Research Institute over several decades (See: Long Term Monitoring Data, collected around Seili Island, Archipelago Sea SW Finland and Baltic Herring Research Project). The time series used in the sound walk include oceanographic data (such as temperature, salinity, presence of chlorophyl, and oxygen levels) of the sea surrounding the island. The changes in data over time have been used as variables to modulate the field recordings and synthesized sounds (generated by a custom-made sonification program).

Recorded and resynthesised with the landscapes and inhabitants on Seili in the Archipelago Sea, with co-operation of a Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic (and Deadkitten), Zoom-H6, Sony PCM-D100, H2a hydrophone, miscellaneous mobile phones and computers for audio and data processing using Ardour, Audacity, SuperCollider, Tidal, LibreOffice, Emacs, with an adhoc collection of racket and python scripts. Thanks to their material substrate and the myriad invisible products of human effort and ingenuity.

Thanks to all the animate, inanimate and partially animate participants in the field recordings and time series. Thanks to the dawn and twilight choruses, to the insects near the viking garden and the mosses of Leper's rock. To the reeds and grasses, trees and pebbles. To the moth catcher and the dying fridge of Portti pääty. To the rain, dew and sea water. To the droning ships and airplanes, the background hum of the Eurovision Song Contest and other spectral disturbances. To the critters crawling through lichen and floating in the shallows, invisible to human eyes. To the ticks and herring, zooplankton and phytoplankton, and the changing levels of salt, oxygen and chlorophyl in the Archipelago Sea. To the birds and bats, and many others who walked and fluttered near or across our microphones. Thank you. This soundscape would not have been possible without you.

Supported by CAA and the Liminous Foundation.



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