19 Oct 2023 17:00 — 18:30
19 Oct 2023 19:00 — 20:30
The Fells – A Soundwalk through Timescapes of the Kilpisjärvi area
with Jacek Smolicki
at 17:00-18:30 & 19:00-20:30 on 19th October 2023
SOLU Space, Panimokatu 1 (3rd floor), Helsinki
Jacek Smolicki will conduct two guided soundwalks in Helsinki on 19th October. The soundwalks are built upon Smolicki's The North Escaping residency, which took place at the Kilpisjärvi Bilogical Station in August 2023. Participation is free of charge, but you need to pre-register for the walks.
The soundwalk composition guides its participants through a hybrid and multilayered space where distant sounds from the arctic fells converge with the immediate soundscapes of Helsinki. Within this sonic experience, seemingly ordinary elements of the city soundscape become gateways to both perceivable and imperceptible sonorities of the fells. Here, the clattering of reindeer hooves, accompanied by the ringing of their bells, the mournful chirps of golden plovers and the wavering calls of loons collide with the echoes of World War II, carried by the wind as it tirelessly brushes against the ruins of dugouts, barbed wire field prisons, and the rusty debris of a crashed airplane.
In the fells, the rhythmic splashes of lakes and ponds, which host a variety of imperceptible yet audible aquatic insects, meet the soothing hiss that follows each increasingly unpredictable arrival of rain. Also in the fells, the flickering strokes of lightning discharges intersect with the electric buzz that powers the network of research areas and scientific infrastructures scattered across the mountainsides, monitoring the condition of this part of the world. What histories and futures do these soundscapes reveal, and which ones do they obscure?
The soundwalk will last approximately 40 minutes. The groups will gather at SOLU Space (Panimokatu 1, Helsinki). Each participant will receive an audio receiver and a pair of headphones (though for added comfort, it is recommended to bring your own over-ear, wired headphones if possible). Following the walk, there will be an optional discussion session, accompanied by tea, for those interested at the SOLU Space. In case of rainy weather, bring water-proof clothing and boots. If the weather is too unfriendly, the listening experience will be conducted indoors.
If you want to join either of the walks, please send an email to email@example.com. In your message, please state your name / names of the people joining the walk and if you would like to partake on the first walking round (17:00-18:30) or the second walking round (19:00-20:30). The deadline for enrolling is 17th October.
This piece is the result of a two-week artistic research residency at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in August 2023. During this period, Smolicki conducted a series of soundwalks, listening sessions, and field recordings, experimenting with various listening positions from which to witness this unique, vulnerable, and historically disrupted. All sounds in this soundwalk composition originate from these locally conducted experiments. They are accompanied by a narrative drawn from field notes and interviews conducted by Smolicki during his stay. The narrative is woven together by Oula A. Valkeapää, a local reindeer herder, artist, and storyteller who graciously shared his reflections on the transforming soundscapes of Kilpisjärvi and beyond.
Jacek Smolicki would like to thank Hannu Autto, the staff at the Biological Station, the Bioart Society crew, Piritta Puhto, Milla Millasnoore, Yvonne Billimore, Lisa Kalkowski, Leena Valkeapää and her partner Oula for facilitating his stay at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station between July 31 and August 13, 2023. Many thanks also to Emil Kastehelmi, Aleksi Rikkinen, Onna Heinonen, Rasmus Hölsö and all other human and other-than-human entities and energies who he encountered there and who enriched his work and experience of the fells at the foot of Saana.