FrostbYte

FrostbYte

FrostbYte is Daniel Blinkhorn and artist who has worked in a variety of creative, academic, research and teaching contexts, and is an ardent location field recordist, where he has embarked upon a growing number of recording expeditions throughout Africa, Alaska, Amazon, West Indies, Northern Europe, Middle East, Australia and the high Arctic/ North Pole. He is self-taught in electroacoustic’s, however has formally studied composition and the creative arts at a number of Australian universities.

'Winner of both categories of '>SYNC.2015’, Russia, a ‘Giga- Hertz-Preis für elektronische Musik | Giga-Hertz- Award’ – Germany, the ‘International Computer Music Association’ – ‘Asia Oceania Award’ – 2013, the ‘9th International Composition Competition – Città di Udine’, Italy the ‘12th as well as the 9th (2011 - 2009) International Electroacoustic Composition Competitions, 'Música Viva', Portugal, and the ‘Luc Ferrari’ 8th International concours d'art Radiophonique Pour Sons Fixés et Instrument – LA MUSE EN CIRCUIT, Centre National de Création Musicale, France.’

One Dog Night

One dog night’ refers to an adage once used to describe how cold the temperature could drop at night. If it was a particularly cold night, it may have been appropriate to have one, two, even three of your dogs on the bed with you to help keep you warm as you slept!

The ‘frostbYte cycle’, a collection of ongoing pieces central to which are location- based field recordings I made whilst on expedition throughout the Arctic region of Svalbard (Spitsbergen). Positioned at 79° north, 10° East (situated above Norway) the archipelago of Spitsbergen is a truly remarkable part of the world that continues to inspire awe and fascination, and is often at the heart of our collective consciousness for its ecological and climatic sensitivity. It’s renowned for its visual and cinematic beauty, yet it’s also no surprise to find that sound plays an integral role in the uniqueness of its appeal. There’s a great deal of sonic activity within the archipelago, both animal and aqueous and the frostbYte cycle of works seeks to portray some of these sonorities in a highly abstracted, yet clearly discernible way.

The album is available in stereo WAV and two high quality surround sound formats. The PDF press release can be downloaded here.

 

AB065 | November 2015

 

Reviews

  1. A Closer Listen

    Field recording artist Daniel Blinkhorn (Terra Subfónica) returns as FrostbYte to present a crisp soundscape of Arctic recordings.  His four pieces evoke thoughts of a cold winter, surrounded by ice and snow, and warmed by the company of a dog ~ but just one dog.  Many may remember the famous 70s pop band Three Dog Night; Blinkhorn’s night is not as cold.

    The sounds of pinging ice are as crisp as sleet on aluminum, and come across as sedate, non-linear electronic peeps.  Triangles enhance the enchantment.  Soft rushes of drone enter like tiny wind gusts.  The volume stays in the low range, offering the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the white before it becomes too threatening, to enjoy the crisp advance of the Svalbard (Spitsbergen) air.

    The archipelago (just above Norway) is home to a variety of species, and is a travel destination for researchers and tourists.  Blinkhorn is an atypical visitor, as his interest lies more in sound than in sight.  His ears are keenly attuned to the nuances of his particular environment, and his presentation captures the uniqueness of his habitat.  Ice fragments “chatter” and melt in blue-draped fjords; ships sluice through dangerous seas.  Blinkhorn re-arranges them into “families of sound shapes”, a process he likens to ice sculpture.  In doing so, he reminds us that it’s always winter somewhere, but that it need not be feared.  The cold offers a peculiar and alluring beauty, in this case frostbyte rather than frostbite.  (Richard Allen)

  2. A Closer Listen (The Years Best Winter Music Feature)

    Daniel Blinkhorn’s Arctic recordings offer a glimpse of soundscapes few will ever hear in person.  The wind, crackle and ice melt are as sharp as newly-formed icicles.  The addition of percussive triangles offers a subtle human element, a welcome timbre that meshes perfectly with the natural sounds.

  3. Headphone Commute

    Surreal and strange FrostbYte’s “One Dog Night” explores uncharted worlds. Neatly combining elements of electro-acoustic music with field recordings the songs are full of unexpected twists and turns. At times the pieces become so tactile they become nearly alive. Throughout these many pieces FrostbYte turns a microscope on the small gestures letting tiny things like falling snow and wildflowers make sizable noises. With a similar take to fields recordings as Russell Haswell’s “Wild Tracks” album, the pieces ruminate over the small sounds in life. 

    On the opening piece the song veers from the microscopic detail to more expressive sounds. Kept to the absolute essentials the piece manages to truly sync itself deep into the mind with features best suited for large spaces. Towards the end of the piece the sounds become nearly ghosts. Stranger still is the amorphous unusual work of “cHatTer” whose sound is impossible to pin down: at times documenting its surroundings and at times trying to rise above its reality-based origins. Deeply beautiful is the tender “wildflower”. Full of fascinating bulbous sounds the piece positively teems with life. Every sound is felt in full with even little microcosms of life seeping into the mix. Bringing the album to a close is the hushed work of “anthozoa”. Letting itself use silence as a way to create tension, the piece hovers about playing with space and expectations. 

    Immaculate in its attention to detail, FrostbYte’s “One Dog Night” is an adventure through seas of sound. 

  4. Ambient Blog

    One look on his website is enough to know that Daniel Blinkhorn (Australia) is an avid collector of ‘ecoacoustic’  fieldrecordings: you’ll find sounds and photos from the Arctic, Africa, Alaska, Amazon, the West Indies and miscellaneous other countries.

    Environmental sounds and ecoacoustic composition are his prime medium – but the resulting soundscapes are way beyond ‘manipulated fieldrecordings: ‘Through the use of varied digital sound manipulation environments, I strive to sculpt a language extant within perception, alteration and diffusion of environmental sound, and the inextricable, organic bonding of place and space within its origins.’

    For One Dog Nightthe basic material was recorded throughout the Arctic Region of Svalbard (Spitsbergen) – one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas up north between the mainland of Norway and the Northpole. And, yes, it’s cold up there: the title One Dog Night‘ refers to an adage once used to describe how cold the temperature could drop at night. If it was a particularly cold night, it may have been appropriate to have one, two, even three of your dogs on the bed with you to help keep you warm as you slept!’

    The area ‘is renowned for its visual and cinematic beauty’, but also ‘there’s a great deal of sonic activity, both animal and aqueous, and the FrostbYte cycle of works seeks to portray some of there sonorities in a highly abstracted, yet clearly discernable way.’ The result is highly acousmatic: the sounds are so detached from their origins that they seem to represent an entirely different world.

    The FrostbYte Cycle consists of four different pieces: Red Sound (recordings taken from a day at the hut and its surrounds), Chatter (created with open air and hydrophone recordings of iceberg and iceberg fragments as they melt, collide and dissolve), Wildflower (field recordings from the high arctic recordings)and Anthozoa (for prepared piano and a composite recording of coral – the latter recorded in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and off the coast of Barbados in the West Indies).

    It’s worth noting that this Audiobulb release is available in different formats: apart from the Bandcamp (stereo) version, which you can hear below, Audiobulb also offers AC3 and PCM high resolution surround versions.
    If you have the possibility to listen to the surround versions, I highly recommend choosing these, because Blinkhorn delivers his compositions as full (discrete channel) surround compositions – with amazing sonic result!

    You’re definitely a lucky person if you have the possibility to enjoy the surround versions, but that doesn’t mean the stereo versions aren’t worth checking out too! Just listen for yourself, and discover new, hitherto unexplored, sonic areas!  

  5. Chain D.L.K.

    This new Audiobulb's release is from Daniel Blinkhorn, an Australian sound artist whose creative works seems unnoticed even if he has received various recognitions. As the title suggests, it's inspired by the cold temperatures in the night and it's an except from the 'frostbYte cycle', a collection of tracks based location-based field recordings in the Arctic region of Svalbard. The result is an astonishing sound quality whose clearness let every resonance appears in a precise place in the aural field so it's one of the best release in this field that I've heard.


    "Red sound" opens this release with a mise en scène of a bunch of small sounds whose dynamics create a sense of tension while the movement is space is best observed with headphones; during the development of the track there's a constant progression to sparse sounds to a filled space with their juxtaposition. "cHatTer" is focused instead on the exploration of the details of the source samples so the result seems a quiet track but the noises of object under the effect of low temperature is frightening. "Wildflower" is sequence of bright sounds moved in space to generate a sense of immersion in a wide space. "Anthozoa" closes this release using a wide dynamics obtained with elements at the threshold of audibility to evoke that sense, at night, that everything ruins that thing called silence.


    This is an aurally extreme release that is fully enjoyed with headphones or in a surround hi-fi environment so it's mainly a release for fans of sound art and for them is a truly recommended release. I wonder how the casual listener could rate this release as it lacks a proper narrative element but who cares? This release is a reminder about why there's the concept of hi-fi.

  6. Music Won't Save You

    Per molti artisti sperimentali, l’estremo Nord rappresenta non solo una fonte inesauribile di ispirazione ma anche una concreta matrice di suoni naturali. In tale novero si inscrive a pieno titolo Daniel Blinkhorn, che per il suo progetto FrostbYte ha impiegato field recordings raccolti nel corso di una spedizione nell’arcipelago artico delle Svalbard.

    “One Dog Night” (espressione riferita al gelo notturno) offre quattro lunghe cartoline della spedizione dell’artista australiano in quei luoghi remoti e inospitali, immortalati nei loro suoni naturali (vento, uccelli, crepiti ghiacciati), presentati nella loro essenza pura o appena sottoposti a manipolazione, come frammenti di una mappa auditiva polare.

  7. So What

    Una scarna, a tratti essenziale, restituzione delle memorie sonore raccolte durante una spedizione nella fredda regione artica nell’arcipelago di Spitsbergendi , a nord della Norvegia, è la materia che compone “One dog night” di FrostbYte, pseudonimo sotto il quale si cela il musicista australiano Daniel Blinkhorn.

    Quattro istantanee costituite soprattutto da field recordings che testimoniano l’affascinante universo sonoro che queste desolate ed estreme terre del nord sono in grado di offrire e che sono parte integrante di un paesaggio dall’immensa potenza visiva. Ogni traccia è elaborata a partire dalla precisa intenzione di narrare particolari elementi del paesaggio, così ad esempio alla base di “Chatter” troviamo la varietà di suoni prodotti dal movimento dei frammenti degli icebergs che entrano in contatto tra di loro e ciò che produce la loro interazione con le navi che attraversano la regione. Ogni elemento non direttamente prelevato dal vero è aggiunto soltanto per accentuare il senso di ciò che viene narrato.

    Il risultato è un viaggio attraverso sonorità fortemente materiche capaci di restituire le sensazioni vivide che un paesaggio così unico è in grado di trasmettere a chi lo attraversa.