Friday, 13 January 2012

Close your eyes and be transported to a Magical Frozen Planet - Chris Watson's Evocative Antarctic Soundscapes

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Nature: Soundings from Antarctica, BBC Radio 4

I've just been to the Antarctic... well audually speaking, transported by 30 minutes of evocative soundscapes courtesy of one of the worlds top sound recordists, Chris Watson. Nature: Soundings from Antarctica was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last week. If you havent taken the journey yet then I urge you to lay back, close your eyes, and float away to a magical frozen world. Listen on BBC iPlayer

(Photo: Chris Watson)

The Sound of Geology

"[Antarctica] is so quiet; its the only place in the world that you can actually hear Geology happening; all these processes that you're schooled to think take thousands and thousands of years, the movement of glaciers and the shifting of rocks ... And that's an amazing experience that process of the landscape changing"
 -  Jeff Wilson, Frozen Planet.

Engulf yourself in the deep and powerful sounds of geology, from the grinding and creaking of glaciers calving to the buckling of ice sheets under unfathomable pressure. But these guttural sounds are only a small part of what this programme reveals to be an audibly diverse place. The delicate sounds of water lapping under thin sheets of sea ice, and the tinkling produced when fine needle-like ice crystals move in a breeze of volcanic gases - sounds from the heart of Mount Erebus, Antarctica's most active volcano.

This is "a landscape completely in flux" Chris Watson whispers in reverence. There were moments that stunned even him. A minke whale came to the surface of the water a few metres away from him to breathe. "Wow," he said at the epic, engulfing noise. "Wow."

The Journey South

Chris Watson travelled to the South Pole for the “Frozen Planet” and you can also hear his report from this fascinating journey.

Download the audio report HERE (50:21)

(Photo: Chris Watson)

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