We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.
  • Streaming + Download

    Purchasable with gift card



Stone Age Ice
Location: Earth (150 million km from the Sun)
Date: Ice core air: 200,000 years old

In this track we hear the sound of very compressed air bubbles escaping from an ancient ice core collected from beneath Antarctica by BAS scientists and subsequently recorded at the BAS HQ in Cambridge by Pete Bucktrout. The ice core chosen for this work is around 200,000 years old which means that the air within this sample comes from the distant past. The sounds were recorded in a polystyrene box, using a Sony ECM-77 microphone suspended in the centre of the box, as the ice melted. The box was also recorded in exactly the same configuration but without the ice and that sound was taken away from the ice recording, so what we hear are the noises coming from the ice as the captured and highly compressed atmosphere of the past cracks and fizzes out of the ice.

This is a very important sound to our society, and possibly towards our entire future as a species as it is these sounds that mark the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from an ice core, a process that is measured by BAS to provide exact data for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the rate of increase of CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere of the Earth over time.

The music responds to the beauty of the sound itself which has been significantly boosted, a sound that is almost glassy in nature. It is combined with a slow and caressing piano and the percussion of Australian percussion maestro Professor Vanessa Tomlinson, who plays knitting needles on traditional bowls to symbolise the freedom of the gasses, while the piano intones the gravity of our situation.

Artwork Inspirations: Shadows of the past, mystery, air bubbles. Ice core images gathered from Antarctica and beyond, imagined depth of blue from glaciers, an embedded talisman.

The track cover design is a layered digital collage created by Diana Scarborough. Some source material is from BAS.


from Celestial Incantations, released June 21, 2021
Kim Cunio piano
Vanessa Tomlinson percussion
Diana Scarborough track artwork
Nigel Meredith science and 'sound' curation
Sound of the ice provided courtesy of Pete Bucktrout (BAS)




Sounds of Space Project Cambridge, UK

Sounds of Space Project is a collaboration with space weather research scientist Nigel Meredith (BAS), multimedia artist Diana Scarborough, and ANU Head of Music and composer Kim Cunio. Our projects emerge through a shared process of creative engagement and cross-disciplinary collaboration inspired by the 'sounds of space' from Earth to beyond the galaxy. ... more

contact / help

Contact Sounds of Space Project

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this track or account

Sounds of Space Project recommends:

If you like Sounds of Space Project, you may also like: