Helsinki, deep in the grip of mid winter, yields treacherous hazards and inconveniences; but still we walk on in search of sounds a new.
Leaving the hustle and bustle of Helsinki's city center, the darkness grew heavier, the illuminating neon now behind me. More delicate sounds made themselves audible and I readied my gear. Gentle breezes creaked and twitched the naked trees of Kaiseniemi park, one-degree melt water dripped against the frozen soil. As the recorder recorded I hid my hands from the biting wind. The sky seemed to be ablaze with inviting energies of another world. It beckoned to me, inviting me, teasing with the possibility of unknown, sonic treasures. I pressed on towards the mass of water that I knew lay just beyond the tree line.
Before long I was stopped and forced to recall my memory of this place, for a river lay before me, perfectly still, reflecting the fiery orange sky. Tentatively I moved closer; revealing it to be merely an illusion of this magical city. The path had been frozen solid with mirror-like ice. A detour was needed...and I was thankful.
The detour eventually lead me to discover an amalgamation of ducks and other pond birds all amassed in one, unfrozen corner of Töölönlahti.
I stayed here for a long time, listening to the birds chatter amongst themselves, all the time documenting their speech with my recorder. Their leader kindly signed a release form granting me permission to use their conversations in the SoundShade app.
The ducks began to quieten down and go to sleep, and, so, it was time for me to head home, for the hour was late. However, I would not reach home without crossing paths with one more unexpected animal that evening.
I approached cautiously and began setting up my recorder; it seemed unconcerned. Once the tape was rolling I began a conversation with this mild mannered creature...Even though I persisted for some time, I failed to get any kind of response, and decided to make my way home.
It still concerns me as to why it never spoke back to me...
Maybe it felt ostrichized.