Live Sounds: Listen To Ice Crack Apart In A Frozen Lake

We didn't expect these thunderous booms. Recording by Frank Bry/The Recordist.  
Frozen Lake Ice
Photo: Phillip Grondin/ Flickr/ Creative Commons ( This photograph is used for illustrative purposes only.

What does water sound like? Most of us identify the element with a trickling or gentle lapping or sloshing sound, but that’s only in its liquid form. When water freezes into ice, it becomes a lot louder. There are cracks and creaks and crashes as large chunks of ice break up; the best example being the thunderous sounds heard as enormous blocks fall off glaciers. Frank Bry, operating as The Recordist, went out on North Idaho’s Round Lake in February 2012 to pick up these unique sounds.

Here’s what he had to say: “I’m obsessed with getting some wicked cool, ultimate insane over-the-top ice cracks and today was a good day. The last few nights, the weather has been 20 degrees [Fahrenheit] or lower and this makes for some ice to grow on the lakes around North Idaho. At 8a.m., I dragged myself out of bed and suited up for a cold recording session out in the middle of Round Lake. The sun was in and out of the clouds and the lake was rockin’ as I stood quietly next to the Sennheiser MKG-8040ST. After a hour or so of deeper cracks, a few big ones let go. One of them was right under my feet, as you can hear in the demo. It startled me a little but I had my ice shoes on, so I did not fall over.”


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