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Records made from glacier ice

Submitted by on December 6, 2009 – 11:18 am 2 Comments

Katie Paterson is an artist who visited some glaciers in iceland and collected up 3 gallons of natural ice from them. She then took a recording of the ice, running water and other sounds from the glacier and took it all back home.

When she got home, she melted the ice and pressed 3 records out of the re-frozen ice with the audio from her recordings of the glacier.

She then played the records continuously on turntables until they completely melted and she recorded the results.

The turntables begin playing together, and for the first ten minutes as the needles trace their way around, the sounds from each glacier merge in and out with the sounds the ice itself creates. The needle catches on the last loop, and the records play for nearly two hours, until completely melted.

Although it took each record a full two hours of continuous play to melt, and here is short sample of what it sounded like:

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Pretty cool concept, eh? I was actually surprised by the quality of the sound of the recording of the water. You can find out more about Katie on her website.


  • Alan says:

    An article in Popular Science in the 1940’s describes a press at Harvard which produced pressures of over 100,000 atmospheres, and altered matter into various unique states, of which water has many.
    Press ice to 40,000 atmospheres and it remains a solid until it reaches above the temperature of solder. That fixes the problem of the melting records.

  • sw00p says:

    Melting over time, just like time itself. Genius.

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