Deison e Mingle – Tiliaventum

Sediment flux is central to geomorphology - the amount and rate at which material is moved by water, ice and wind can tell us information about how landscapes function. In the Anthropocene increasing human disturbance can increase erosion rates and therefore sediment flux. Deison e Mingle provide an unusual example of this by including a... Continue Reading →

Seismic GLOFs and an ecological flood warning system

A Science article (Cook et al., 2018) reports the first seismic recordings of a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF), a flood caused by the sudden drainage of either a moraine or glacier dammed lake. The flood occurred in the Bhotekoshi River (Himalayas). Kristen Cook and her research team demonstrate how seismometers and geophones placed along the... Continue Reading →

Metaphonics and Anthropophony

Last week, as part of MSc teaching on Holocene palaeoclimate, my students debated whether it was appropriate to ratify the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch. Key arguments in favour include humans altering the composition of the atmosphere, triggering biosphere collapse, and causing increased rates of sediment movement across the planet’s surface.  Through land use... Continue Reading →

Manu Delago – Parasol Peak

On Manu Delago’s Parasol Peak the landscape becomes more than just an inspiration – it is the performance space. Seven musicians set off from basecamp to record at seven locations on the path to Parasol Peak. I say path, but ropes and climbing gear are the order of the day on some of the exposed... Continue Reading →

Badass Geomorphology

      In 2015, American geomorphologist Jonathan D. Phillips published a peer-reviewed journal article entitled Badass Geomorphology, a manifesto for geoscientists to engage in a research style receptive to contraventional wisdom, and an approach to studying landforms and landscapes that can be appreciated both artistically and scientifically. Central to Phillips’ thesis is that landforms... Continue Reading →

Bouschet & Hilbert – Metamorphic Earth

A sunny, cold Thursday afternoon, late December 2016, Charleroi, Province de Hainaut, Belgium. We have travelled to see the Metamorphic Earth exhibition by Gast Bouschet and Nadine Hilbert, with a music score by Stephen O’Malley, whose work in minimalist drone, and curation of the Ideologic Organ record label, I’ve followed closely for a decade or... Continue Reading →

Land of Singing Waters

Conceptually the idea for these recordings was to trace the River Till from its watershed on the Border Ridge downstream to the Till gorge and its confluence with the River Tweed - taking in the step-pool stream flowing through Hen Hole, steep gravel-bed rivers, the Hethpool Linn waterfall and the large alluvial floodplain of the... Continue Reading →

Johannes Malfatti – Surge

A surge is a phase of rapid ice flow triggered by changes in conditions at the bed of a glacier. Time between surge events is termed the quiescent phase by glaciologists – an apt inspiration for ambient, minimalist composition. Time is central to Surge. The music is composed of one long piece - 57:39 minutes... Continue Reading →


Geosounds is the blog of Dr Varyl Thorndycraft, a geomorphologist and geography lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London. The blog aims to explore different ways of thinking about, and experiencing, landscape through science, music, sound recording and landscape art. A list of Varyl's scientific publications can be found here and his field recordings can be... Continue Reading →

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