Jana Winderen

Tone 78 Jana Winderen – ‘The Blue Beyond’

Vinyl LP with Fine Art Print – 2 tracks.
Release date: 4 August 2023. Buy ‘The Blue Beyond’ on Bandcamp.
Mastered and cut by Jason at Transition.
Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft.
Commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary.

Track listing:

A: The Art of Listening: Under Water
B: Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux

Edition of 1000 copies, the first 100 copies numbered and signed by the artist.

The record offers edits of two sound compositions for installations, ‘Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux’ (2019) and ‘The Art of Listening: Under Water’ (2019).

‘Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux’ was first presented at Art Basel in Basel from 13 to 16 June 2019. A live performance of the piece was given at HEK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) on 11 June 2019. ‘The Art of Listening: Under Water’ (2019) was first presented in the Rotunda, Collins Park, Miami Beach, in the context of Art Basel in Miami Beach, from 4 to 8 December 2019. ‘The Art of Listening: Under Water’ installation was made in collaboration with Tony Myatt. It travelled to the Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, from 3 to 13 February 2022.

Winderen’s practice focuses on sound and knowledge production. The artist seeks to raise awareness of the environmental issues we face as a society.

Audemars Piguet Contemporary collaborated with Winderen on two new sound installation compositions. The first, ‘Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux,’ was developed during two field trips to Le Brassus in the Vallée de Joux, at the heart of the Swiss Jura, where Audemars Piguet has been based since 1875. On these trips, Winderen captured sounds in the waters of the Lac de Joux and in the Risoud forest.

When Audemars Piguet Contemporary invited the artist to present a second composition for exhibition in Miami Beach, Winderen proposed a site-specific sound environment.  For ‘The Art of Listening: Under Water,’ Winderen used sounds recorded in the Atlantic Ocean in the Miami area, as well as sounds from the Barents Sea around the North Pole and the Tropical Oceans to expose the constant underwater presence of human-created sound today.

In both pieces, the artist offers a unique opportunity to listen closely to the underwater inhabitants of a specific region and to reflect on how human activity interacts and interferes with aquatic and also terrestrial life in a seemingly beautiful and visually calm environment.

Jana Winderen often draws the fish, amphibians and plankton she meets. This release also consists of a drawing of two fish that probably would never meet; the pike from the freshwater Lac de Joux in the Jura Mountains and the snapper from the saltwater environment by Miami.


a closer listen (USA):

While spinning The Blue Beyond, I couldn’t help but hope that Jana Winderen and Manja Ristić might one day meet and become friends, if they haven’t already.  The distance from Oslo to Belgrade is approximately 2500km, but the interests of these sound artists align.  They share a fascination with underwater sound, turning a keen ear to sounds occurring beneath the surface: brine shrimp, coral reefs, shifting seabeds but they also share a deep concern for the scourge of noise pollution: sand pumps, motors, industrial dumping.

If humans beings are incensed by the cacophony of construction, lawn work and traffic, why would we suspect sea creatures to be any different? The deep agitation caused by noise pollution affects feeding patterns, breeding and migration and while humans can at least complain, sea creatures can do nothing but endure.  A plane flying overhead may be a minor annoyance to us (and especially to most field recordists), but a constant parade of motorboats over a mating ground leads to fewer children and in some cases, extinction.

In The Blue Beyond, the intrusions are always near, but seldom dominant, like annoying neighbours who at least stay on their side of the fence.  Unfortunately, their noise becomes our noise, and in this case, we are the annoying neighbours.  Engines can be quieter (think of stealth submarines), if only the manufacturers might find the motivation.  On Side B, the biophany decreases every few minutes as the anthropophony increases, in the same way as all conversation ceases when a fire engine races by.  But whenever there is no human intrusion, the richness of the sonic tapestry is revealed.

‘Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux’ was recorded in the waters and forest of the Swiss Jura, the first of two commissioned pieces by by Audemars Piguet Contemporary.  The piece begins in innocence, with lapping waves, cawing birds and underwater crackle (sonically close to the sound of fire).  At times, the wind produces a drone; but what do ocean dwellers know of wind?  Only a minute in, the first motor arrives, and is noticed.  The local citizens react, as does the home listener.  On the LP, the sound is as soft as an old refrigerator hum; in real life, it may have been deafening.  Scant minutes later, the relatively benign sound of chimes precedes a louder engine, creating a stark contrast.  The forest creatures emerge in its wake.  Winderen’s composition highlights the pas de deux, the interaction noticed by only one party, the other impassive.

‘The Art of Listening: Under Water’ was recorded earlier, but appears here on Side A.  This piece combines recordings made in the Barents Sea and the Miami Beach area with ‘Tropical Oceans.’ Impressively, the piece was presented in Miami Beach, one of the most commercialised slices of real estate on the planet.  (Think spring break, Heat culture, an influx of tourists and Miami beats compilations.)  Will the local human beings, known for being anything but subtle, respond to such a warning?  They should, as their seemingly carefree mode of life has already been affected.  Only one week ago, the local water temperature hit a record 97 degrees (36C), affecting the local coral, algae and sweltering fish.  The sea mammals at the center of the composition seem to be crying, although we know we are anthropomorphising; if they are not boiling in Miami Beach, they are losing their glacial habitats at the North Pole.  Even Santa is sweating.

The last sounds on Side B are those of buzzing bees and a passing plane.  While the bees take the foreground, the plane has the final word.  There will be another plane; but one day, there may be no more bees. [Richard Allen]

Norman Records ALBUM OF THE WEEK

Bandcamp (USA):

Jana Winderen’s work is quite literally immersive: with a background in fish ecology, she records underwater environments to bring awareness to human impacts on aquatic wildlife. The Blue Beyond collects two pieces commissioned for Art Basel events in Basel, Switzerland, and Miami Beach, Florida. ‘Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux’ was recorded in the Risoud forest and the Lac de Joux in the Swiss Jura and combines terrestrial birdsong and insect chirps with the waves of the lake to create a calm, meditative soundscape. ‘The Art of Listening: Under Water,’ meanwhile, features recordings from the Atlantic Ocean around Miami, the Barents Sea near the North Pole, and tropical oceans. Ocean sounds, from the chittering of small sea creatures to the groaning calls of seals, interact with those of unknown origin—at times, there are mechanical clanks and hums; at others, persistent guitar-like buzzing. While sonically fascinating, this is also an alarming demonstration of the effects on marine animals’ ability to communicate as their habitats are filled with artificial noise. [Matthew Blackwell]

Bandcamp: Best Field Recordings of 2023

Jana Winderen’s subaquatic field recordings have already produced several classics in the genre, and The Blue Beyond adds to her impressive discography. Comprising two pieces commissioned for Art Basel events in Basel, Switzerland, and Miami, Florida, it features animal sounds taken from site-specific locations in the Alps and the Atlantic Ocean. ‘Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux’ begins on land with sounds captured in the Risoud forest before submerging into the Lac de Joux, where we hear strange insects along with the rumbling of a boat engine. ‘The Art of Listening: Under Water’ combines recordings from the Atlantic, the Barents Sea, and several tropical oceans. Amid the crackling of tiny sea creatures is a persistent buzzing like an EBow on a guitar—evidence of man-made mechanical interference. The Blue Beyond provides a startling glimpse into environments that none of us are likely to visit, but where humans nonetheless have an outsized impact. [Matthew Blackwell]

A Closer Listen (USA):

When diving below the surface, one is amazed at the wealth of sounds and the distance at which they travel.  For decades, Jana Winderen has been exposing these sounds to ears above water.  The two installation works on The Blue Beyond serve as a celebration of marine activity and a warning about sonic pollution; if the sound of motors is unwelcome to those listening to a record, imagine how threatening it might sound to a resident of the seas. [Richard Allen]

Tone 65 Jana Winderen – ‘Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone’

Reissued 28th February 2020

CD – 3 tracks – 77:49

Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone by Jana Winderen

Track listing:

1. Interview with Carlos Duarte 5:48
2. Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone – Headphones mix 37:00
3. Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone – Speakers mix 35:00

You can listen an extract here

The marginal ice zone is the dynamic border between the open sea and the sea ice, which is ecologically extremely vulnerable. The phytoplankton present in the sea produces half of the oxygen on the planet. During spring, this zone is the most important CO2 sink in our biosphere. In Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone the sounds of the living creatures become a voice in the current political debate concerning the official definition of the location of the ice edge.

The listener experiences the bloom of plankton, the shifting and crackling sea ice in the Barents Sea around Spitsbergen, towards the North Pole, and the underwater sounds made by bearded seals, migrating species such as humpbacks and orcas, and the sound made by hunting saithe, crustaceans and spawning cod, all depending on the spring bloom.

Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone is a Sonic Acts and Dark Ecology commission first shown as a 7 channel installation at the Sonic Acts festival (Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, 2017). It was supported by Art & Technology – Arts Council Norway, Fond for lyd og bilde, Tono stipendet, ARCEx research cruise on R/V Helmer Hanssen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Thanks to Paul Wassmann, Ingrid Wiedmann, Britt Kramvig, Berit Kristoffersen, Hilde Methi, Annette Wolfsberger, North Sailing, Arctic Encounters, Mamont Foundation & TBA21 Academy.

CARLOS M. DUARTE is Professor of Marine Science, Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology, Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division, and is a world-wide leader in multiple branches of biological oceanography and marine ecology.

PHILIPP ASSMY is a researcher at The Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway. Current activities include species-specific studies of planktonic and sympagic communities and primary productivity in the Arctic Ocean north of Svalbard. He is also studying the impact of changing sea ice conditions and associated effects (e.g. changes in light climate and surface stratification) on phytoplankton and ice algal communities.

Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Booklet photography by Philipp Assmy
Mastered by Denis Blackham, Skye


Rockerilla (Italy):

Ancora un esempio di soundscaping, essenziale e importante opera divulgativa. Jana Winderen è diplomata in Belle Arti con conoscenze approfondite in matematica, chimica ed ecologia marina. In questo lavoro si è occupata del fragile equilibrio cheesiste lungo la linea di confine che divide il mare aperto e ledistese di ghiaccio, un luogo che permette la creazione del vitale serbatoio di ossigeno della biosfera. Spring Bloom é un rilevante lavoro che unisce cultura ecologica ed espressività artistica grazie a due lunghi episodi immersivi nei quali è stata utilizzata tuttal’intensità e la drammaticità del field recording. NECESSARIO. [Mirco Salvadori]

Chain DLK (USA):

Layering high-latitude field recordings of the border between sea ice and the open sea into one found sound composition, this is an elegant work with a lot of fascinating detail. While there’s underwater seal and whale sounds (mostly faint), it’s never in danger of becoming a relaxation cliché, mainly thanks to the crisp and almost electronica-like noises of the ice itself, which are gentle but still slightly alienating, and which ebb alternatively with windier, quite barren sounds.

There’s a 37-minute ‘headphones mix’ and a 35-minute ‘speakers mix’. I didn’t compare or side-by-side them, instead being perfectly happy with a 72-minute listening experience that didn’t overstay its welcome.

It’s framed in terms of marine science and ecology rather than art, nevertheless it’s a beautiful thing to listen to, toeing an unusual line between emptiness and grandeur that really draws you in.

Toneshift (Italy):

With this record the acclaimed biologist (Really? – ed.) and sound artist Jana Winderen adds another valuable work to the continuum of her personal research. Differently enough from her previous output, Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone engages with the political aspects of climate change in a much stronger and direct way. A strong bond from both a scientific and an sensitive link to the catastrophic effects of global warming becoming everyday much more evident (I’m now sitting in my kitchen in Oslo, it’s mid-November and the temperature of 9°C is just insane for this period of the year). While on the other side new capitalism-led far right movements getting into power worldwide pretend nothing happens, Winderen frames out a specific picture, a well-defined endangered natural phenomenon that becomes an example of the possible consequences for our society’s behaviour.

Part of her statement comes from the first document contained in the record: an interview with the professor Carlos Duarte that explains in great detail how marine spring bloom in the marginal ice zone happens and how it is fundamental for the life cycle, not only of the creatures inhabiting the polar sea, but for the entire world.

The Marginal Ice zone is that belt in which the transition between the ocean and the sea ice happens – and where the algae that in the months right after the polar night accomplish their life cycle, not only represent the main food resource for plankton and other small sea creatures, which become food for other species in their turn, but also act as the biggest sink for carbon dioxide in our biosphere.

From a visual perspective this photosynthetic blast appears like a green wave that moves between spring and summer from the lowest latitudes to the highest ones.
 The album contains then two different renders of the same track, a headphone mix and a speaker mix. This was for me a very nice surprise that I considered a natural aesthetic consequence for a sound specialist, aware of the fact that more and more people around the world listen to music mainly over headphones. The sense of presence and immersiveness we gain from the binaural mix is a feature not to be overlooked. It contributes a lot to the experience of this ever-changing perfect orchestra that nature is.

No digital granulation process could possibly ever match the beauty and the richness of the granular sounds happening in nature. The sound materials in the record, all coming from field recordings of the environment and the species inhabiting the area around Spitsbergen in the Barents Sea, provide the feeling of being part of the ecosystem that we can’t then perceive as something away from us anymore. [Giuseppe Pisano]

Touching Extremes (Italy):

Jana Winderen belongs in my mnemonic list of trustworthy researchers. Spring Bloom In The Marginal Ice Zone confirms that the Norwegian is second to none as far as releasing materials of acoustic and learning relevance is concerned. That Winderen mostly focuses her investigations on the usually disguised characteristics of marine biology is a major plus for a person – yours truly – who considers the sea as his one and only teacher. What happens in there, and in the immediate surroundings, can’t possibly be rendered by words; perhaps not even by a detailed recording like this. Nevertheless, identifying the essence of our animateness in the absence of mind-poisoning ‘explanations’ is a motivation. All it takes is listening, leaving the narrative to the evolved segments of creation.

I didn’t pick the ‘evolved’ adjective casually. The two versions of this piece, originally born as a 7-channel installation for the 2017 edition of the Sonic Arts festival in Amsterdam, indicate the voices of whales, seals, crustaceans, pollock and whatever is imaginable underwater as the closest thing to a technically advanced, and inevitably efficient human instrument. In this case, ‘human’ means that – at the same time – we are kept responsive in spite of today’s sickening depreciation of anything which is really important, while remaining pitifully insufficient in regard to a multitude of bottomless meanings appearing to these ears as organic variations on hypothetical themes. The latter have to do with the inscrutable aspects of perception that, in the past, were brought out by the intuitions of genuine visionaries such as Tod Dockstader and Roland Kayn. The impact of this experience on the innermost self is often equivalent: just standing in quietness, surrounded by inexpressible beauty without dull-witted interrogatives about why, when, what comes after. Harmonic auroras speckled by a myriad of invisible lives, forever more consequential than the arid loquaciousness of many a deleterious nonsense huckster.

The music’s therapeutic effects are striking, especially in ‘full immersion’ mode (no pun intended). A brief explanatory interview with Professor Carlos Duarte, a renowned luminary of biological oceanography, represents a fitting preamble. However, what Winderen managed once again to extrapolate from the apparent obscurity is a current of awareness that defeats any activist’s speech. We keep witnessing natural disasters on a daily basis, but the energy of those creatures remains. Mute choirs that still sound marvellous, thanks to a woman who keeps reminding us of their lessons. The real ones. [Massimo Ricci]

Czech National Radio:

Hudební abstrakce může být někdy úzce spjatá s konkrétním a naléhavým tématem doby. Můžeme tomu říkat hudba, nebo zvukové umění, nebo jakkoli jinak: Na každý pád novou nahrávkou Norky Jany Winderen pokračuje její dlouhodobý průzkum podmořských zvuků. Album Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone (Jarní květ v marginální ledové zóně) lze zároveň poslouchat jako komentář k diskusi o budoucnu Země.

Posluchač tu vnímá zvuk kvetoucího planktonu, vlny a praskot ker v ledovém Barentsově moři kolem Špicberků směrem k severnímu pólu, a také podvodní zvuky tuleňů vousatých, migrujících keporkaků a kosatek, stejně jako zvuk táhnoucího hejna tresek. Všechno tohle dění podle Jany Winderen souvisí s jarem v moři, oním kvetoucím planktonem. Marginální ledová zóna je termín pro pohyblivou hranici mezi otevřeným a zmrzlým mořem, což je ekologicky velmi zranitelná zóna. Fytoplankton přítomný v moři produkuje polovinu, celou polovinu zemského kyslíku. A na jaře je tato sféra nejvýznamnějším likvidátorem oxidu uhličitého v naší biosféře. Takže zase: odposlech skutečného světa jako svědectví o prostředí, na kterém budoucnost země závisí těsněji, než si připouštíme. Jana Winderen píše: ‘Na nahrávce Jarní květ v marginální ledové zóně se stává zvuk živočichů hlasem v aktuální politické debatě na téma oficiální definice této zóny na pokraji ledovce.’ [Pavel Klusak]

Music Map (Italy):

‘There’s no way we can stop that.’ Queste sono le drammatiche parole di Carlos Duarte, ecologista esperto di vita marina e di biologia oceanografica, riferendosi allo scioglimento dei ghiacciai nell’Artico. Estratte da un’intervista, dove si parla di diossido di carbonio, ecosistema, neve che scompare, Duarte ci avverte che il processo del riscaldamento globale è ormai irreversibile, e quello che possiamo fare oggi è solo imparare a convivere con l’imminente cambiamento climatico. Questo si sposa con la filosofia della Dark Ecology, un movimento ecologista ‘decadentista’ fondato da Timothy Morton. Il suo approccio, più che razionale, vuole portare i propri lettori e seguaci ad una partecipazione emotiva, nell’affrontare il punto di vista ecologista. E fa qualcosa che va oltre (o accanto) l’attivismo concreto. Per questo scopo emozionale, la Dark Ecology assieme a Sonic Acts hanno commissionato questo lavoro di sound art a Jana Winderen, intitolato Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone ed appena uscito per Touch. La quale, già esperta di ambienti freddi (vedasi Interrupting the surface del 2014), si è diretta nel mare di Barents, che sta fra Norvegia e Russia, appena sotto il Polo Nord.

Ha posizionato i suoi microfoni sott’acqua, facendoci scoprire un mondo di suoni a noi sconosciuti. Per noi l’oceano è silenzioso, poiché percepiamo i suoni spostati dall’aria. Ma sott’acqua, gli animali comunicano con vibrazioni che ricevono nelle ossa. E così, grazie alla tecnologia acustica si apre un mondo di rumori sconosciuti, racchiusi in Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone, che è costituito da tre tracce. La prima è la sopracitata intervista a Carlos Duarte. Il succo sta nell’unica titletrack, sdoppiata per far sentire due differenti mix: ‘Headphone’, e ‘Speakers’. In totale si tratta di quasi 72 minuti in apnea, immersi nel mare, dove ascoltare il ghiaccio che gradualmente si rompe, l’acqua che gocciola o che trasporta i rimbombi, e le comunicazioni fra merluzzi, crostacei, balene ed orche. I pesci non arrivano a intervalli regolari, non c’è struttura musicale.

Quando passano vicino ce ne accorgiamo, altrimenti restiamo soli fra le onde. Se finora i ‘canti delle balene’ potevano essere una battuta ironica rivolta a certa ‘musica per installazioni’, ascoltando questa ci si può ricredere, e scoprire che gli oceani sono molto più rumorosi di quel che avessimo potuto pensare. E Jana, con il lavoro in post produzione, non snatura le peculiarità naturalistiche delle registrazioni, ma gioca con i rumori di fondo per renderli come fossero inquietanti drones. E così, rendendoli una sorta di minaccia verso questo vivace mondo blu, ci fa riflettere. [Gilberto Ongaro]

Bad Alchemy (Germany):

The Wire (UK):

CLOT Magazine (UK):

The marginal ice zone is the dynamic border between the open sea and the sea ice, which is ecologically extremely vulnerable. The phytoplankton present in the sea produces half of the oxygen on the planet. During spring, this zone is the most important CO2 sink in our biosphere. An algal bloom or algae bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in freshwater or marine water systems and is recognized by the discolouration in the water from their pigments. The proliferation of algal blooms likely result from a combination of environmental factors and the rise of temperatures in spring is one of the driving force.

Field recorder  Jana Winderen has been documenting the sounds of underwater life in our seas and oceans – from the warm waters in the Caribbean to the cold and nourishing waters around Greenland, Norway and Iceland, creating the most beautiful compositions out of them. She researches the hidden depths with the latest technology with her work revealing the complexity and strangeness of the unseen world beneath.

Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone is Winderen’s latest instalment in the series of works exploring these underwater sounds. A commission by Sonic Acts and Dark Ecology, it resulted in an installation for the ‘Sonic Acts Festival’ in 2017.  The listener or viewer experiences the bloom of plankton, the shifting and crackling sea ice in the Barents Sea around Spitsbergen, towards the North Pole, and the underwater sounds made by bearded seals, migrating species such as humpbacks and orcas, and the sound made by hunting seithe and spawning cod, all depending on the spring bloom.

The work was produced with help of  Carlos M. Duarte, a Professor of Marine Science, and a worldwide leader in multiple branches of biological oceanography and marine ecology. Philipp Assmy is a researcher at The Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway, currently studying the impact of changing sea ice conditions and associated effects on phytoplankton and ice algal communities.

In November 2018, an edit of the recordings was released on Touch. The album starts with an introductory interview with Carlos Duarte, where he explains with some scientific details the occurrence of the algae blooms in the region. The other 2 tracks are long meditative pieces, with the chirps, drips and squeaks of marine life and the shoosh of waves and wind. In this piece of work, a most timely release in view of the recent UN Climate Change report, Winderen is offering another compelling reflection on the fragility of these delicate marine ecosystems and somehow as well, the sounds of the living creatures become a voice in the current political debate concerning the official definition of the location of the ice edge.

Rockdelux (Spain):

Gonzo Circus (Belgium):

Nordische Musik (Norway):

Neural (Italy):

Neural (Italy):

The recordings Jana Winderen made here for Touch powerfully arrest the listener’s attention. They are an accurate sound reportage of plankton growth, of the waves refracting on the iced sea and its crackles. We are in Spitsbergen (Norway), the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago on the way to the North Pole, between bearded seals and other weird migratory species like humpback whales and killer whales. Most of what happens in that delicate geographical area depends on the results of the Spring growth. The definition of marginal zone, where the dynamic boundary is limited within the open sea and the sea ice, clearly explains how this land is ecologically vulnerable. The specialists explain that the phytoplankton in the sea produces more or less half of the oxygen of the planet and, during the Spring, this zone is the most important source of CO2 in our biosphere.

In Spring Bloom In The Marginal Ice Zone, these sounds, including the few ones the creatures who live there make, ideally become a warning for whoever focuses on these ecological themes. We shouldn’t be surprised, therefore, that the first track is an interview with Carlos Duarte, Professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, a world renowned figure in many branches of oceanography and sea ecology.

It is not the first time Jana Winderen has evoked the charm of underwater life. This is just the latest release in a series of works focusing on sea environments and ecosystems, a broad range of far-flung locations from the Caribbean to Greenland, from Norway to Iceland. The artist’s activist commitment is clear here, but the work also shows the artist’s engagement in the immateriality of sound and how her projects are focused on exploring hidden and unusual sources. These are places and sound landscapes that are hard to access and mostly unknown, but they hide a great variety of audio inspirations the artist uses as source material for live ambient compositions and to create immersive installations. Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone is a project commissioned by Sonic Acts and Dark Ecology, supported by Art & Technology – Arts Council Norway, Fond for lyd og bilde, Tono stipendet, ARCEx R / V Helmer Hanssen, by Tromsø Univesity and by Foundation Mamont. The elegant, colourful artwork and the interesting photo booklet are made by Jon Wozencroft. [Aurelio Cianciotta]

V33.10 Jana Winderen – ‘Pavikdalen’

Pasvikdalen (2014) was commissioned by Dark Ecology/Sonic Acts/Hilde Methi, performed at the Muziekgebouw, Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam and at Kurant, Tromsø (for the Dark Ecology and Arctic Encounter Forum), at NIBIO Svanhovd and at SALT, Oslo

Photo by Jana Winderen

Full programme here | the 2014 related field trip to Nikel, Russia

A stereo version was also played at Svanhovd, Norway, curated for Dark Ecology by Hilde Methi

Pasvikdalen by Jana Winderen

Track listing:

1. Pasvikdalen 37:58

Available here


Tone Glow (net):

Jana Winderen first presented Pasvikdalen in 2015, at the Dark Ecology and Arctic Encounters forum at the University of Tromsø – Arctic University of Norway. Dark Ecology is also the title of a book by philosopher Timothy Morton, a speaker at the forum. After a cursory Google search, I feel confident in marking his Dark Ecology project as another exhausting, pointless addition to the lineage of white artists and philosophers exploring the ‘posthuman’, inventing new strands of thought that ignore the fundamental realities of the world or treat these realities as boring or outdated. To these people, the problems of the world – problems that kill, displace, blight people on a daily basis – are simply linguistic and aesthetic playgrounds, territories in which capitalism or climate catastrophe can be mitigated with the right poetic framework and zany pop culture references. I think this sums it up: an 8000 word interview with Morton about Dark Ecologya book marketed as a radical reimagining of the ongoing climate catastrophe and how we can comprehend it –contains two instances of the word ‘capitalism’, and 33 instances of the word ‘weird’.

I begin with Morton’s Dark Ecology only because Winderen’s Pasvikdalen cuts through all the bullshit of Morton’s project, and in its 38 minutes manages to strike me in all the right emotional pressure points, summoning the feverish storm of anxieties I feel in the face of climate catastrophe while evoking the boundless beauty of our shared earth. Winderen has hinted in an interview that she sometimes manipulates her raw recordings, time-stretching and equalizing elements as she collages them together. Already, she breaks the unspoken rule of field recording, where practitioners often see themselves simply as archivists of various natural locales and phenomena. Winderen works on a deeper level, though the foundation of her work certainly lies in the crystalline purity of natural sounds, and she often goes to the furthest reaches of the earth in order to obtain them.

In this case: Nikel, Russia, near the Russian-Norwegian border, seemingly named after its Norilsk Nickel plant which spews so much sulphur dioxide that the Moscow Times described the area as ‘a moonscape of bald hills, barren of plant life for kilometres’. She still works as a musician interested in form and narrative, carefully sculpting waves of deep vibrations, respiring harmonics and clouds of blistering wind-noise that drift and collide like tectonic plates. This is not simply a documentary, but a totem, a living, breathing object imbued simultaneously with a sense of infinite scale and microscopic detail. When, twenty minutes in, the dogs start howling, it is easy to hear a lament – a cry for help from the earth. But this has no basis in reality. In occupying a middle ground between pure document and deliberate, artificial composition, Pasvikdalen does much more than vaguely ‘raise awareness’ of climate catastrophe: its sonic form and construction directly reflect the immensity and complexity of the issue itself, targeting with laser focus all of the emotional vulnerabilities felt in the face of ecological collapse, unfolding with a logic of its own and never offering clear answers. There is no easy retreat to nature in a burning world. [Sunik Kim]

Tone 51 – Thomas Köner & Jana Winderen ‘Cloître’

CD – 1 track – 44:24

Remastered by Thomas Köner
Photography by Jon Wozencroft

Recorded live from the cloisters at Evreux Cathedral, Normandy, France by Franck Dubois, 14th June 2014, as part of L’Ateliers. With thanks to Denis Boyer.

Track listing:

1. Cloître

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Tone 50D – Jana Winderen “Out of Range”

1 track – Digital Download – 40:00 – 668Mb zip file [inc wav, pdf booklet and pdf text files]
Performed, composed and recorded by Jana Winderen
Photography by Jon Wozencroft

A lower quality audio file will be available from all good download stores on 3rd March. However, we strongly recommend you obtain the version in TouchShop. It is better and cheaper…

Track listing:

1. Out of Range

“Out of Range” is an audio work based on ultrasound and echolocation used by bats, dolphins and other creatures who operate beyond the range of human hearing – ‘seeing’ with sound, or perhaps ‘hearing’ objects.

All sound is invisible; ultrasound is inaudible. Of course, many species have a greater range of hearing than us humans and also more specific and specialised with complex combinations of the different senses… Creatures on both land and under water produce and/or perceive very high sound frequencies. Some species of insects, birds, fish, and mammals can emit and hear ultrasound, used for communications, hunting and orientation. These creatures operate on a different level of perception to us, in an inaudible range above 20kHz…

Many animals also use the acoustic properties of a space; a bat for example can use the echo from a tower block wall to amplify their calls for mates in the autumn; a toadfish uses the shape of a cave to amplify their calls to protect their habitat. Whales use the different acoustic properties at different depths in the ocean at different pressure levels to send their long distance calls. An astonishing fact about moths is that they have a reflex action with their wings to shut down when they hear the bat echolocation calls… That we reckon that this is so astonishing says something about us….

The mix for the piece is based on ultrasound, hydrophone recordings below the water and also of echolocation sound within audible range. The recordings were made in various locations in Central Park and East River in New York, USA, a forest outside Kaliningrad in Russia, Regents Park in London, UK, and various locations in Madeira, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The ultrasound is time-stretched to bring it into a frequency range audible for human beings.

Recordings were made on a Pettersson Ultrasound Detector D1000X, Reson 4032 and DPA 8011 hydrophones and 4060 dpa microphones onto a Sound Devices 477T hard disk recorder.

Deutschlandradio Kultur, Redaktion Hörspiel / Klangkunst commissioned the piece for Elektroakustischer Salon: Art’s Birthday 2014, which was performed live at Berghain, Berlin, on Friday 17th January 2014. With thanks to Marcus Gammel.

The photographs mirror “the audible range” through a contrast between gateways, portals and sight lines, set against situations where the camera eye cannot make sense of the optical event it is confronted with.


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Tone 45.4F – Jana Winderen “Debris”

Track listing:

Track 1: Scuttling Around in the Shallows 11:25
Track 2: Drying Out in the Sun 16:01

The fourth in the series of limited edition vinyl (now deleted) in the Tone 45 series is now available as a high quality FLAC download, only available from the TouchShop.

“Scuttling Around in the Shallows” is from the quadrophonic installation of the same name showed at Galerie B-312, Montreal, Canada 8th January – 5th February 2011.

“Drying Out in the Sun” is from a four-speaker outdoor public installation at “Starfield Simulation #36”, Scaniaparken in Malmö, Sweden, 4th September – 2nd October 2011.

What they said about the vinyl release:

Norman Records: “What a beautiful unnerving organic cacophony this is, the rugged brutality of the oceans and uncharted icy crevices are captured in blistering fashion here, the enhanced low-end capabilities of the 12” vinyl format further exposing the sheer terrifying natural wonder of it all. Heartily recommended for fans of pure dark ambience and Chris Watson’s absorbing harnessing of the sound of nature.”

The Field Reporter: “The horizontal timeline narrative in ’Debris’ is strongly engaging and that is probably because it sounds very natural and organic but also reveals an intentionality behind it. To me ‘Debris’ works like some sort of cinematographic piece where the artist explores different sounds in a quest that seems more emotional and narrative than conceptual. We can hear recognizable sounds such as voices, bells and birds, that when combined with other sounds – whose causality is not so clear- build altogether a very effective composition.” [David Vélez]

Boomkat: “This piece reminds us strongly of works by Thomas Köner and Jim Haynes, juxtaposing bleak, perilous subaquatic ambient pressure with crystallising surface textures.”

Forced Exposure: “The two sides of Debris were both extracted from a couple of her sound installations, the longer of which is entitled “Drying Out In The Sun”, based on recordings made at / near / beneath the surface of the ocean, which plunge into the nether regions of the deep-sea trenches and alluvial plains, amassed into pressurized low-frequency drones. “Scuttling Around The Shallows” returns to her fascination with shrimp which she first displayed on her Tapeworm cassette The Noisiest Guys On The Planet, with erratic snaps, clicks, and crunches made by those small crustaceans amidst deep-ocean ambience.”

Tone 45.4 – Jana Winderen “Debris”

12″ White Label vinyl + 320 kbps MP3 download of the tracks
Cut by Jason @ Transition

Track listing:

Side A: Scuttling Around in the Shallows 11:25
Side B: Drying Out in the Sun 16:01

The fourth in the series of limited edition vinyl in the Tone 45 series. 100 copies only are available in the TouchShop…

Scuttling Around in the Shallows is from the quadrophonic installation of the same name showed at Galerie B-312, Montreal, Canada 8th January – 5th February 2011.

Drying Out in the Sun is from a four-speaker outdoor public installation at “Starfield Simulation #36”, Scaniaparken in Malmö, Sweden, 4th September – 2nd October 2011.

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T-Phone 3 – Jana Winderen “nightwater”

.m4v video for iPod/iPhone
Seoul, Korea
20th September 2010

Track listing:

1. nightwater 12:49

TO:73 – Jana Winderen “Energy Field”

CD – 3 tracks – 50m 11s
6-panel digipak
Photography by Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

1. Aquaculture 18:00
2. Isolation/Measurement 12:11
3. Sense of Latent Power 20:04

Armed with four 8011 DPA hydrophones, DPA 4060 omni mics, a Telinga parabolic reflector mic and a Sound Devices 744T digital hard disk recorder, Jana Winderen studies and records wild places which have a particular importance in our understanding of the complexity and fragility of marine ecosystems.

The recordings were made on field trips to the Barents Sea (north of Norway and Russia), Greenland and Norway, deep in crevasses of glaciers, in fjords and in the open ocean. These elements are then edited and layered into a powerful descriptive soundscape. The open spaces of Greenland, northern winds, ravens and dogs in an icy landscape provide the setting for these haunting but dynamic pieces. Sounds of crustaceans, fish such as cod, haddock, herring and pollock recorded as they are hunting, calling for a mate or orientating themselves in their environment, are all included in the mix. The result is a powerful, mesmeric journey into the unseen audio world of the frozen north.

Artist statement:

“I like the immateriality of a sound work and the openness it can have for both associative and direct experience and sensory perception. I have been occupied with finding sounds from unseen sources of sound, like blind field recordings. Over the last four years I have collected recordings made by hydrophones, from rivers, shores and the ocean, and more recently also from glaciers in Greenland, Iceland and Norway. In the depths of the oceans there are invisible but audible soundscapes, about which we are largely ignorant, even if the oceans cover 70% of our planet. I am also experimenting with different types of microphones to collect sounds which are not obviously recognisable, but give room for broader, more imaginative readings. I use these sounds as source material for composition in a live environment or to create installations, currently also for film, radio, CD and vinyl productions.”

Artist biography:

Jana Winderen is an artist educated in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in London, and with a background in mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology from the University in Oslo, Norway. She has since 1993 worked as an artist, curator and producer. She currently lives and works in Oslo, Norway. Her most recent sound works include “Evaporation” (2009) at TodaysArt festival in The Hague, Netherlands, “Sub Pelagic Voices”(2009) for ISCM World New Music Days, Sweden, “Colonisers of the undergrowth” at Botanic Sounds in Göteborg Botanic Gardens; “North Atlantic Drift” (2009) for JunKroom in Kyoto, Japan, based on hydrophone recordings in the Barents Sea; “freq_out 7” curated by CM von Hausswollf at the Happy New Ears festival in Belgium (2008); “Submerge” (2008) for Färgfabriken Norr, Sweden and the 6 channel sound installation “+4°C – from Folgefonna to the North Sea” (2007) at Sleppet during the centenary Greig07 in Norway.

She recently released the CD “Heated: Live in Japan” (2009) on Touch (UK), the audio cassette “The Noisiest Guys on the Planet”(2009) on Ash International (UK), the USB stick, “Ants”, the digital download “Submerged” (2009) on Touch and the 7 inch vinyl “Surface Runoff” (2008) on Autofact (USA). Future projects includes an audio commission for the AV festival and the Environmental Agency in Newcastle (UK) working with the river Coquet in Northumberland, the audio piece “The Land Between” for ‘The Morning Line’, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Istanbul 2010. Jana also works on a collaborating with ‘Mobile Homes’ for the performance ‘Passing Place’ in Norway and she is currently working on a commission for a permanent sound installation at the Knut Hamsun Centre in Hamarøy, Norway. Recently Jana’s underwater recording was played on BBC Radio 3’s “Late Junction”, and BBC Radio 4 followed Jana on her recording trip in the Barents Sea for the radio series “World on the Move”. Jana has exhibited and performed her work in Canada, Japan, USA, Spain, China, Thailand, France, Hungary, Italy, Denmark, England, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Sweden.

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Tone 36DS – Jana Winderen “Submerged”

1 Track digital download

Track list:

Submerged 6:35

Download-only. This release follows on from her debut solo album, Heated: Live in Japan [Touch # Tone 36, 2009]. Submerged was made for an installation for Darkness Descends: Norwegian Art Now in New York City, 5-8 March 2009.

Mastered by Denis Blackham @ Skye, February 2009.
Image by Jon Wozencroft.

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Tone 36 – Jana Winderen “Heated: Live in Japan”

2 tracks – CD – 27:54

Track list:

1. Tetsuro Yasunaga 1:25
2. Jana Winderen 26:29

Live performance at Super Deluxe, Tokyo, 24th October 2008. Source material recorded with 2 x 8011 DPA hydrophones, 2 x DolphinEAR/PRO hydrophones and 2 x 4060 DPA microphones on a Sound Devices 744T recorder in Greenland, Iceland and Norway.

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