SONG: Frozen Atmospheres


“Frozen Atmospheres” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE:Record-shattering 2.7-million-year-old ice core reveals start of the ice ages,” Science, 15 Aug 2017, as used in the post “2.7 million-year-old ice shatters records, reveals ancient atmospheres – and ice ages.

I kinda knew I would be writing about this when I read the story. I just had that image of tiny bubbles trapped under compressed ice for an unimaginable span of time – effervescence stopped in its tracks, lightness under weight.

I still wonder if people understand the science behind all these long-range climate studies, and how exactly we get these little spheres of atmosphere out of long-buried Antarctic ice that show us, like, what the mammoths were breathing.

This was all done very last minute, but seemed to come together pretty darn well. I went backwards – instead of painstakingly making an instrumental track and writing words to almost fit it, I wrote some words (really quickly, with short lines) and then figured a short-lined progression to make them fit in.

I knew it would have a celesta, because that has an icy and effervescent sound. I kind of wrote the progression on the bass in my head, then made it even simpler when I sat down to do it, and then made it even simpler than that. Originally, I was thinking of doing layer upon on layer, getting that shoegazey/My Bloody Valentine sea of voices and guitars and whatever. But then I took away from that.

I’ve been doing this for just about 10 years now, and I’m still learning how to take things away.


We would breathe
The brittle air
In tiny globes
Before the ice came

We would breathe
Two million years
In tiny globes
Until the ice came

Frozen atmospheres (X3)

We have seen
The brilliant blue
That trapped the spring
When the ice came

We will feel
The ancient wind
Left by the spring
When the ice came

Frozen atmospheres (X3)
(Potassium and argon)