Networked_Music_Review

Fish On Air – Marine Life in the Gulf Islands [ca Gabriola Island, BC]

sailboat2.jpgFor those of you on the left coast in Canada, you might want to check out the happenings in Gabriola Island. For the rest of us, the recordings at the site below are all underwater recordings of different points around Gabriola Island. Go here, click on “Artist Projects”, and then click on Fish On Air.

Fish On Air, by Darren Copeland, and Andreas Kahre is at The Elements a Festival of Nature in Performance. Based on a series of underwater recordings from various locations on Gabriola, Fish on Air is an installation that explores sound as the poetic nexus between the human and non-human world.

Five locations were chosen for recording underwater soundscapes in order to create a live “mix” of the marine and human soundscape that surrounds Gabriola. Recordings were made between March and July 2008, using a “Dolphin Ear” commercial hydrophone system and then processed digitally, and used as raw material for a series of acoustic portraits.

In July 2008, radio expert Bobbi Kozinuk helped a community workshop to create low-powered FM transmitters based on a design by Media activist Tetsuo Kogawa, which were then kindly lent to the project for the duration of the installation.

Each “station” transmits a continuous loop of that site’s underwater soundscape, which can be accessed by any FM radio, in a frequency range between 88.3 and 89.7 MHz. Frequencies vary slightly with each transmitter, and with the conditions of the site. Audiences are able to “tune in” to the underwater soundscape anywhere within the effective range of the transmitters; approximately a kilometer from the source, opening a window into the acoustic ecology of marine life in the Gulf islands.

Gabriola is sometimes referred to as the “Isle of the Arts” because so many artists live there year round. Gabriola is also known as “Petroglyph Island” because more than 50 Aboriginal rock carvings have been discovered there. Petroglyph Park, at the southeast end of the island, contains most of them. No one is sure exactly how old the petroglyphs are but it’s thought that the oldest were carved at least 2,000 years ago. Some might have been carved as recently as 100 year ago.


Aug 22, 2008
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One Response

  1. Dustin Wiebe:

    I am absolutely fascinated by the communicative possibilities of underwater “music.” I love to know more on the topic. If anyone can suggest some further literature on the topic I’d be much obliged.


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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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