Free icy multimedia performance

IMAGINE yourself in the icy wilderness of Antarctica as the doomed explorer Robert Scott would have seen it before his expedition's tragic end in 1912.

An evocation of that scenario in sound and vision is to be performed in a multimedia performance by the ensemble co-sonance, at Southern Cross University tonight.

With digital music and spoken word by composer Karena Wynn-Moylan, violins and keyboards and digital imagery by co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Media degree, Dr Grayson Cooke, the hour-long performance is called the Ice Suite.

Dr Cooke combined his photographs with the black and white images captured by the photographer on Scott's original Terra Nova expedition, Herbert Ponting and NASA Landsat images of Antarctica.

Dr Cooke said he had taken hundreds of photographs of ice - surreal and beautiful ice textures and landscapes.

"I've wanted to do something with my ice images in terms of live performance for a long time," he said.

"This project enabled me to use the photos to construct a kind of expressionistic experience of an icy world."

Ms Wynn-Moylan first started having thoughts of icy soundscapes more than 10 years ago when she composed some fragments of music after reading a story of how Captain Scott had finally arrived in death at the destination that had eluded him in life.

"Scott and three of his men perished on the way back from Antarctica," she told The Northern Star.

"They were in terrible shape by the time they set up the camp where they were to die.

"Nobody could reach their camp as winter descended; but when a search party finally found it, they marked the spot with a cross and left the men beneath the ice.

"Over the ensuing years, due to the natural movement of the glacial ice sheet, the men's bodies moved at about a kilometre a year to within reach of the hut at One Ton Camp that would have saved their lives had they been able to reach it in time."

Ms Wynn-Moylan had set aside the music she wrote, unfinished. Two years ago she revived it in collaboration with musician Ken Naughton, who provides the violin and keyboard accompaniment to the piece with former SCU student Cye Wood, also on violin.

Tonight's SCU performance is open free to the public. It starts at 6pm in Studio 129, D Block and is a dress rehearsal for the world premiere of the Ice Suite to be held at the MONA in Hobart, Tasmania on March 29 - exactly 100 years after Scott's death.

For more details, go the ice suite website.

Topics:  performance, robert scott



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