geofractions is a collection of soundscape compositions that grew out of a long term sonic and geographic survey of the Ida-Virumaa region in northeast Estonia. What started as a curious visit in 2008 developed into an extended investigation of an environment shaped by industrial scale mining, processing and energy generation. For just over a century, extractive mining has yielded significant reserves of oil shale, a strategic energy source for Estonia. This in turn has shaped and strongly defined both the land and culture of the region through extractivist legacies. Over an extended period, I gathered a significant amount of sound recordings, photographs and video material which has formed a growing body of work.
With this series of six tracks, I wished to explore the diversity of complex relations between human and non-human elements that comprise industrial scale extractivist processes at work. Through these mixes I wish to convey these relations as condensed impressionistic auditory experiences. Each track carries a theme related to a specific stage of the mining process from extraction through to consumption and residual waste. Boundaries here are not easily defined as is often the case with sound and I have taken the liberty to combine and layer various aspects of particular environments including everyday social spaces where many sounds can be heard on a daily basis. This also includes the natural habitats that are scattered across the region to highlight the interplay of human and non-human elements.
This ‘journey’ has been a long one, yet I feel there is always more territory to explore in trying to understand the extent to which the unstable nature of the Anthropocene impacts our lives. While there is much to contest in the geological frame of the Anthropocene, giving time to listen, geofractions invites us into a land based narrative that has shaped and continues to define fundamental aspects of our lives we often overlook.
Included in the purchase of geofractions is a PDF photo book with images connected to many of the locations where sounds were originally recorded.
released December 1, 2022
All sounds recorded in Ida-Virumaa region of northeast Estonia from 2008-2021.
Composed at maaheli studio from 2020-2022.
Special thanks: Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Eesti Kunstiakadeemia, Francisco Martinez, Evelyn Grzinich, and Taavi Tatsi.