Sonotopographic Study, N61 21 57.1 E8 14 24.9, 1387 AMSL (work in progress)

Sonotopographic Study is a 4 hours 45 min audiovisual installation prototype for the proposed «Big Ivan» project. It makes the conclusion of the first phase of the pilot project for «Big Ivan». This pilot project is to demonstrate feasibility on a smaller scale for the main project. During the first phase, the emphasis has been on the technical feasibility. In Jotunheimen mountain range, Norway, a terrain resembling qualities and challenges for «Big Ivan» was decided upon during summer and early autumn 2021. 13-15. October 2021 the first test-rig was setup by the technical crew, consiting of composer Knut Olaf Sunde, sound recording technician Cato Langnes, camera operator Morten Minothi Kristiansen and weather measurement engineer Hans Wilmers.

The test-rig as we left it (except for the work lamps) at 05:40 in the morning 15.10.2021. Photo: Knut Olaf Sunde

Although on a limited budget, we were able to put many challenges to the test. Some things went wrong, others worked quite well. We forgot certain tasks, learned how important others were, from the very practical tiny ones to broader artistic ones.

Copying and emptying of SD-cards under protective tarp in gale wind around 04:00 in the morning 15.10.2021. Photo: Knut Olaf Sunde

In addition to learning from the field work, the test should produce material to make an artistic outcome, functioning as a prototype. The material consists of soundscape recordings, video recordings and weather measurements. Of this, 4 hours 45 minutes video and audio material is selected for a four video channels and four audio channels installation. The weather data is used to procedurally govern some variables on an ARP 2600 synthesizer, which is in turn blended with the audio recordings to the combined auditory expression of the installation. This installation was planned for presentation by Ensemble Klanf on Musical Utopias in Den Haag in January 2022, but this had to be cancelled because the Netherlands at the time implemented hard lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A one video channel stereo audio version is also made. Lastly, a short excerpt documentation video will be made.

Hans Wilmers testing adapted AGM battery mounts at Notam 13.10.2021. Photo: Knut Olaf Sunde