s e a l e d
composed, performed, and produced by hauman for the Polar Sound Project 2023
This composition is created around the sounds of Weddell seals recorded in Antarctica, as part of the Polar Sound Project, a collaboration between Cities & Memory and AWI Expedition.
This unique project seeks to reimagine some of the little-heard sounds of the Arctic and Antarctic regions, reflecting on climate change and the evolving sounds of the polar seascapes.
Original sound recorded by: Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
About the original recording:
The Weddell seal lives in fast ice areas, close to the Antarctic ice shelf edge. At PALAOA we can hear its vocalizations almost year-round (few/no calls in February). Weddell seals have a large vocal repertoire, of which 14 call types were recorded at PALAOA. Their repertoire is known to differ between breeding populations. Some of these sounds are thought to be produced by males to defend underwater territories. The most typical calls are the 'Falling chirp sequence' (well visible in the snippet) and the trill. The sound examples also contain distant calls of leopard seals.
About the compostion:
The seals have determined the development of the composition in terms of tempo, pace, key, rhythmic and melodic phrasings, and thematic content in the lyrics. Part of this process was a desire to “morph”, from human to seal, from land into water, from reality into dreams.
"I was fascinated by the fact that seals need to breathe, but on land their bodies are awkward and vulnerable, whereas they can fully express themselves as soon as they submerge underwater. The shift between these two very different elements is crucial in the piece, and it explores many fundamental contrasts that the environment and living conditions of the seals inspire to."
Read more about the Polar Sound Project here: https://citiesandmemory.com/polar-sounds/