Melting Landscapes

by Institute of Landscape Architecture

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  • Marbled Vinyl LP + Photo Book
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    White Marbled Vinyl LP with a photo book of 12 analog large-format photographs of the glacier in winter and summer (B/W, 28 pages).

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"Rapid ice melt has been profoundly shaping the alpine region in recent years. It has become an omnipresent and tangible phenomenon, and an iconic symbol of ongoing climate change. Over the past three years, the Chair of Landscape Architecture of Professor Christophe Girot and architecture students of ETH Zurich have been documenting the melting landscapes of the Morteratsch Glacier region, using underwater and self made contact microphones, as well as large- and medium- format analog photography. The sounds of the moving ice mass contrast with the eerie silence of the black and white pictures. The selection of works in this publication turn the evanescent beauty of the glacier into a strong sensory experience; they thus become meaningful witnesses of the rapid changes to come
in the alpine landscape." – Christophe Girot

"Top 20 Albums of the Year", "Top Ten Field Recordings & Soundscape", "Best Winter Album of the Year" and "Best Packaging of the Year" 2018 (A Closer Listen), "Best Records of 2018" (Volume Morto), "Records of the year 2018" (Canti Illuminati), "Top 2018 Albums" (Ousadia & Descobertas), "Astonishing Release" / Best of 2019 (SoundOhm)

"Amazing, […] a triumph. Melting Landscapes is a success on all levels: concept, execution, presentation and sound. […] The Institute of Landscape Architecture is here to remind us of this potential catastrophe, inviting us to appreciate the value of ecological balance, and to fight for its preservation. […] This release would have been important whenever it appeared, but it’s especially relevant now." (Richard Allen, A Closer Listen)

"A release that crosses the boundaries of science, sound art and education on geomorphology and climate change." (Geosounds)

SIDE A — Winter
1. Freezing: Piezo microphones freezing into the glacier.
Collective student recording | Winter 2016
2. Accumulation: Hydrophones buried in deep snow while snowing.
Vasiliki Papadimitriou and Stephan Mauser | Winter 2017
3. Drone: Hydrophones inside glacier near river.
Aleksander Kongshaug and Marie Jacobsen | Winter 2017
4. Wind: Microphone frozen into glacier during a snowstorm.
Weilun Chen and Masahiro Gokita | Winter 2017
5. Bubbles: Piezo microphones on ice above water exit.
Benjamin Graber, Laura Schütz and Lloyd Broda | Winter 2016
6. Milk: Hydrophones on ice above stream.
Oliver Walter and Philipp Bosshart | Winter 2017

SIDE B — Summer
1. River: Omnimicrophone at glacier river.
Nadia Gaiarin | Summer 2016
2. Pond I: Hydrophones in melt pond.
Seonju Kim | Summer 2016
3. Pond II: Hydrophones in melt pond.
Seonju Kim | Summer 2016
4. Crevasse: Piezo microphones inside ice of a crevasse.
Nadia Gaiarin and Sonja Widmer | Summer 2016
5. Sand: Hydrophones under rock on sand river bed.
Collective student recording | Summer 2016
6. Ablation: Hydrophones in large melt pond.
Sonja Widmer | Summer 2016

All sounds recorded at Morteratsch Glacier


released May 14, 2018

Concept and teaching team: Ludwig Berger, Dennis Häusler, Johannes Rebsamen, Matthias Vollmer

Recording assistance, composition and mixing: Ludwig Berger
Sound Mastering Assistance: Stéphane Claude

Participating Students: Christina Akesson, Michael Beerli, Shalin Bhatt, Philipp Bosshart, Lloyd Broda, Altair Cerda Tirado, Weilun Chen, Jenyben Dave, Devashree Dvivedi, Camino Escosa García, Nadia Gaiarin, Masahiro Gokita, Andrea Gonzalez Palos, Camilla Gormsen, Benjamin Graber, Dennis Häusler, Yufei He, Anna Hermann, James horkulak, Marie Jacobsen, Seonju Kim, Aleksander Kongshaug, Bess Laaring, Jungwoo Lee, Xijie Ma, Viktoriya Maleva, Stephan Mauser, Marc Over, Vasiliki Papadimitriou, Bhoomi Parmar, Shailaja Patel, Thalia Poziou, Timon ritscher, Laura Schütz, Dhruvil Soni, Jean-Marc Stadelmann, Dharal Surelia, Tulsi Vadalia, Oliver Walter, Jan Westerheide, Sonja Widmer

Graphic: Jacques Borel. Print: ropress, Zürich. Vinyl: DMS, Berlin. Natural Copies: 300

Photographic assistance, Image editing: Matthias Vollmer, Johannes Rebsamen. Negative scan: TrICOLOr Bild Produktion.

Special Thanks: Laura Endres, Géraline Burger, Rebekka Hofmann, Giulia Cereghetti, Michael Beerli, Nancy Reuland, ALPA of Switzerland, Ralph Rosenbauer, Regula Schweizer, Nora Howald, Isabelle Fehlmann

© Chair of Christophe Girot
Institute of Landscape Architecture ILA
Network City and Landscape NSL
Departement of Architecture, ETH Zurich


all rights reserved



Institute of Landscape Architecture Zürich, Switzerland

Chair of Christophe Girot, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich.

We understand sound as a primary element of the spatial structure and aesthetic quality of a landscape. Combining experimental fieldwork with a 3D-sound laboratory setting, we analyze, remodel and recompose sonic spaces. ... more

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