Abandoned Soviet Water-Tower: Estonia

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The sound of wind passing over this abandoned Soviet era water tank as caught by contact microphones. At times leaves and other debris clatter their way inside.

There is an incredible array of abandoned buildings and machines in Mooste. Their rusting bodies speak of another period that, for many Estonians, is best left in the past. Once the Soviet era finished in the 1990s many industrial structures were left to decay in the harsh Estonian elements. One such example is this water tower:

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The dark silhouette of the tower dominates the frozen landscape.

The water tower stands surrounded by frozen farming fields and sheds in a state of disrepair. From the vantage point of someone who didn’t live through the deprivations of Soviet annexation I can look at this tower through the privilege of a detached aesthetic sense. Nevertheless I can’t help but wonder how local residents view this same object.

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Recording the tank in the snowy blustery weather.

Socio-historical ruminations aside, how could any field recordist not be tempted to record this Soviet relic’s voice? Taping contact microphones onto its wet rusting frame proved to be quite difficult but with some perseverance the sound of the freezing wind passing over the metal body floated to the surface.

There in the hostile conditions low tones rose to higher whistles, the sound drawing a connection between the past and present. What histories did the wind communicate through the microphones, can they ever be deciphered?

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