Sonic Acts and Inversia release two records as part of Murmansk Prospekt, an ongoing artistic research project to reveal the hidden histories and lost identities of Murmansk: the largest city above the Arctic Circle. Transients I/O by Andreas Kühne and Settlers by Sergey Kostyrko both result from extensive research trips and field recordings in the region. Though each very different sonically and conceptually, together they present a vivid, complex portrait of a region in flux, and a city at the end of the earth.
Settlers, by Sergey Kostyrko (RU) from nearby Nikel, presents two very different windows into the region. Sounds of Migration on Side B turns data flows into sound with an automated noise composition that viscerally expresses the region’s dramatic decline in population. Side A, Murmansk Soundscape, presents an uninterrupted field recording marked by the sounds of trains, ships, harbour cranes and howling wind: a soundscape capturing the beating infrastructural heart of a city still buzzing with insistent activity, even as it slowly drains away.
For Transients I/O, Andreas Kühne (NL) recorded site-specific musical improvisations with objects that are visibly present in the city but not audible. A nuclear submarine, abandoned vehicles, decaying harbours, factories and bridges – all resonate and tell their own stories. And the multiformat release expresses these in two very different ways: rough-hewn, explosive textures on a four-track digital release, versus the yawning, slow billowing natural overtones of ‘Carrier’ Parts I and II on vinyl. Listened to in any order, this cycle takes unexpected turns, presenting listeners with a vivid tour through a dynamic, distant landscape.