Somehow the sound gives form to the utter silence.
I feel the depths of my heart beginning to crack like thick ice, and the faintest stirrings of memory.
My attention is gripped by the simplicity of the screen image. Aeons of frozen tears almost obliterate a distant icy landscape. I am frozen in time, and the landscape is out of reach. There appears to be a rope, or maybe it is barbed wire, stretching across the foreground of this image. Then I lose interest and drift away.
Now that it is all over, the familiar sounds of my room have taken on a living presence. There is the computer… and there is another low sound, that I have never noticed before, and I cannot quite place where it is coming from – yet it must have been there all along.
I came across Novaya Zemlya quite recently on “Some Landscapes”, the wonderful blog about landscapes and the arts, by Plinius (Andrew Ray). The complete album is available through Touch (www.touchmusic.org.uk), and there are also a number of Thomas Köner’s tracks on Youtube.
I read quite a bit about the work after hearing it for the first time (there are actually three tracks in all), and found it well worth the enquiry. Novaya Zemlya, I discovered, is a bleak and desolate area of Northern Siberia, close to the Arctic wastes. And there is a very interesting review in The Liminal of this evocative and profoundly chilling piece.