Part 2 of 4
Kaiku is an audio-visual project which was started in 2012. The project combines words, images, and video with original compositions and natural sound recordings from the Baltic Sea area. This is the second article in a four-part series documenting the work behind the project. The series consists of the following installments: Hunting for an Echo, Natural Light, Sonic Visualizations and Catching the Sound.
“A creeping spectrum of colours appeared from the southeast revealing a landscape shaped and dominated by ice. It seemed as if time had suddenly been stopped. The movement of rivers and streams had been cut. Majestic ice pillars hung over frozen lakes like organs upside down. In the middle of it all a lake stood still, holding her ground, surrounded by a densely grown, frozen forest.”
There is a great sense of peace in a winter forest. Only the occasional tap of woodpeckers drumming the trees interrupt the total silence. Stay still and you can feel time stopping around you. The only detectable movement comes from the slow sway of the canopy, heavy with snow above. Time can be measured by the snowflakes falling soundlessly down. Accelerated by the wind and slowed down by the lack of it they blend in to the surrounding mass of whiteness. You can imagine the animals hibernating under a layer of snow. Everywhere around you there is a sense of waiting.
In February, I flew to Finland to work on ‘Talviuni’ (Hibernation) the second short film from the Kaiku Series. As I landed in Helsinki-Vantaa airport I was greeted with drizzle and a black, snowless ground. Checking the forecast for the coming week did not make me feel confident. Anxiously I waited — what was to become of the winter shoot? Fortunately, after waiting for almost a week, winter arrived just in time. However due to the exceptionally mild weather I was forced to change the filming location. The original plan was to shoot in the southern archipelago in the Baltic Sea area, where the fictional story of Kaiku is located. In search of a snowier landscape I headed up to the lake district also known as lakeland. It is the largest lake district in Europe consisting of a hilly forest-covered landscape formed by glacial meltwaters at the end of the last Ice Age. Lakes cover over 50% of the lake district area and forests 80% of the land area.
I knew I wanted to film in the frozen forest. I had been working on the script for ‘Talviuni’ for the past three months focusing on the winter season and its affect on the pace of the natural world. What I set out to capture was the stillness and the silence of the Nordic winter. The journey in to the natural elements would dictate the tone of the film. In ‘Talviuni’ I wanted to capture the feeling of a wait. Everything appears white, frozen, even dead, but underneath life is bubbling, waiting to burst out with the appearance of light at the arrival of spring. ‘Talviuni’ will premier this summer at several European film festivals. Here is a list of upcoming events.
Kaiku is an ongoing project which will be completed in 2017. For news, events, new works, and to follow the progress of the project please visit the artist’s site. The Kaiku book is available for purchase here. You can also follow the project on Twitter.
Milla Koivisto is a photographer, filmmaker, writer, sound artist, environmentalist and the author of Kaiku. For more of her work please visit www.millakoivisto.com