NORD - POLAR SOUND TRACKS

NORD - POLAR SOUND TRACKS

NORD – POLAR SOUND TRACKS will open on February the 10th in Árdna.

NORD is featuring three sound pieces that are engaging with Arctic ecologies. Natural phenomena, ice, underwater creatures, myths and living memories come together and are revealed in the three works of the programme.

NORD is presented in the building of SALT called Árdna – a Sámi concept for a hidden and secret treasure. Árdna offers an intimate contemplative setting behind its glass-façade facing the corporate and signature architecture of the ‘new Oslo’.

During spring 2017, you can come to Árdna to experience NORD featuring the sound works Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone (Jana Winderen),  Living Land – Below as Above (Margrethe Pettersen) and  Polar Low (Biosphere).

Polar Low by Norwegian musician Biosphere

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A subtle and slightly disturbing composition which pinpoints a particular weather phenomenon of the Arctic, the ‘polar lows’. Polar low is a small-scale, often short term atmospheric low pressure (depression) that is found over the ocean areas in the Northern Hemisphere that is causing hurricanes. A recent scientific theory argues that since polar lows can’t form over sea ice, the decrease of sea ice extent opens up new areas of polar lows in the Arctic. In that sense, the sound piece becomes an ambient assemblage forecasting an increasingly bad weather.Geir Jenssen, the electronic producer behind Biosphere, comes form Troms in Northern Norway, and from here he has been composing his ambience since the early 1980s. He has performed extensively and released twelve alums, one of them, Substrata, was voted the greatest ambient albums of all time in 2001.

Living Land – below as above by Sámi-Norwegian artist Margrethe Pettersen

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The soundscape departs from a frozen lake during the polar night when snow has enfolded the landscape and life is hibernating. The spectre of what is visible and audible is scaled down and invites a deeper attention of our senses to nuances. Living Land – Below as Above explores positions of entering into new life forms and dimensions through that lake, underneath the ice, via the stone on the hill. It is narrated through living memories and local Sámi myths voiced by the artist and others, human and non-human. The work challenges the division of entities into nature and culture.

The languages in the piece are Norwegian and Sámi.

Margrethe Pettersen often use a place and plants as a starting point in her work. Sound is a central material in both her gallery installations and outdoor pieces such as soundwalks and interdisciplinary collaborative events. Pettersen is a florist and a visual artist based in Oslo.

Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone by Norwegian artist Jana Winderen

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The ‘ice edge’ is a controversial political concept – as it moves it opens up for new potential oilfields in the Norwegian-Arctic oceans. The melting of ice soon allows for shipping through the North East Passage. During the last years, Winderen has been interested in the life by the ‘ice edge’ – in the seasonal or marginal ice zone of the Barents Sea. How will the changes effect the biodiversity from phytoplankton to the largest spices of whale? The piece is based on underwater recordings in the ice zone during the bloom of plankton in 2016, and from the ocean ice of the North Pole and previous trips to the Barents Sea, by Greenland and Iceland. The piece reveals the complexity and strangeness of the unseen life of Arctic oceans.

Jana Winderen is an artist based in Oslo who through many years has explored the hidden depths with hydrophone recordings. Her immersive multichannel sound installations, performances and field recording are being presented in settings all over the globe.


Living Land – Below as Above by Margrethe Pettersen is commissioned by Dark Ecology (Sonic Acts and Hilde Methi) and Arctic Encounters 2014-2016. It was presented as a soundwalk on a frozen lake in Northeast of Norway in 2015. Christian Hollingsæter has composed the music, Siri Broch Johansen reads old Sami language, and Britt Kramvig, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, has contributed research material.

Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone by Jana Winderen is commissioned by Dark Ecology (Sonic Acts and Hilde Methi) and Arctic Encounters 2014-2016. The work has been developing along these two projects, staring with the artist’s visit to the Pasvik River Valley at the border between Northern Norway and Russia in 2014. The artists’ field research on ’the ice edge’ was further supported by Arts Council Norway: ‘The Audio Visual Fund’ and ‘Art and Technology’, and The TONO Grant. The Foundation Mamont and the ARCEx research trip on the R/V Helmer Hanssen made it possible for the artist to experience the Sea Ice.

Polar Low by Biosphere is commissioned for SALT Árdna and premiered at SALT in Sandhornøy in 2015.