In this blog post I look at three different pieces of underwater audio art. Each with their own unique styles and methods for creating immersive sounds, natural and artificial. I continue my research into hydrophone artwork as it inspire my own artwork for the short film I am creating.
The first art piece is by Jonsi and Carl Michael von Hausswolff from their journey on a marine life research vessel, the Dardanella. Their project is based on underwater recordings of the Pacific Ocean. The audio is manipulated heavily to transform them into individual “instruments” which was then composed into a single piece.
The audio is certainly otherworldly with not relatable audio of which we would consider the Pacific Ocean. The only thing I could think it would be related to is the audio clips from astronomers researching planets as shown with ‘Sun Sonification’ below the first audio. The underwater audio creates a tense feeling, as if constantly waiting for something to happen but never does, the continuous drone reverberating within our heads.
Robertina Sebjanic’s “quest for serenity” touches apon the sonic impact on underwater habitats and marine life, raising awareness on the importance of maintaining safe sound environments for the marine life. ‘Aquatocene’ a play on Anthropocene, investigates underwater noise pollution created by mankind in multiple seas and oceans.
The sounds heard throughout the tracks are hypnotic, a deep throbbing sound from a potential freighter engine above, or a strange static noise approaching in the distance. It provides an insight into the very strange audio that we rarely hear. It is not stated whether the audio has been manipulated at all, but it is overlaid with different sounds from marine life, aquatic acoustics and human generated noises. Unlike the first art piece above, this has relatable sounds in mechanical or sonar nature but the overlay of additional audio creates a otherworldly effect.
Generally I have come to the conclusion so far that all audio must be edited in some format to create something otherworldly. With waterfalls at least, the audio is simple static noise and is continuous except for the occasional rock carried by water crashing into the ground. Having a voice over takes the focus away from the unnatural audio but I will test once I have the audio composed. Making sure that it is relevant to what is being shown though is vital in creating a immersive short film, having something unnatural whilst a natural scene is present will contradict each other.
So far I am focusing on the photo side of things and making sure that they are ready for the FMP deadline. The short film I will be happy to present at a later date as it is turning out to be a lot harder, audio wise to create something I would be happy to show and is immersive.