Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Sounds like Antarctica

Sounds like Antarctica

Imagine a vast canvas of silence painted with sound bytes. Take the pristine wind-dominated sonic landscape of the Antarctica as the canvas and paint in the snorts and bellows of a seal, the squabble of a penguin rookery and of mukluks trudging on snow. And the sound bytes of human intrusion.

Surreal? Very. Electroacoustic artist, Dr Chris Cree Brown says the tranquillity in Antarctica can be unfamiliar and, as a consequence, marginally disturbing, "especially when exacerbated by the absence of ambient sound".

And if one can displace the near-constant whine (or howl, if it is up) of the wind, the sonic landscape is largely pips and squeaks of the fauna, the alien hum of human intrusion and some over-loud renditions of one's body sounds.

The tranquillity can also be variously disturbed by ice cracking, breaking and rumbling on the Erebus ice tongue, tapping ice crystals, ice crystals shattering, and the various types of wind (polar, Antarctic white out, katabatic) whistling over the continent.

That is the sonic ecology of the harsh continent, as experienced, Dr Cree Brown, composer, lecturer and sonic artist who says no other place on Earth can offer such a heightened sense of sound as that of Antarctica.

Dr Cree Brown's Under Erebus composition is presently playing at Our City O-Tautahi in conjunction with the Antarctica The Big Ice - Exploration.Science.Inspiration exhibition. In November 1999 Chris Cree Brown travelled to Antarctica as part of the Antarctica New Zealand's Artists in Antarctica programme.

While on the ice, he recorded various sounds, many of which are included in the piece Under Erebus which plays in the exhibition's Artists' gallery at Our City O-Tautahi. "I would dump these recordings into my computer, and use these sounds as source material for an electro-acoustic composition.

"My goal would be to create an expressive work of sonic art that would reflect my personal interpretation of the environment of Antarctica and my experiences in Antarctica," he says. The massive, majestic icescapes and graceful, sweeping glaciers evoke a music that embodies grand, slow moving, dense and interweaving textures, he adds.

For Dr Cree Brown, Under Erebus is an attempt to create an expressive work of 'sonic art' that reflected his personal interpretation of the environment of Antarctica and his experiences there.

"My Antarctic experience is one of the most significant and important experiences of my life. The various moods, expansive grandeur and majestic icescapes of Antarctica have left a deep and enduring impression." The Antarctic sounds incorporated into the work are the sounds of walking on the snow, skuas, polar wind, radio communications, Weddell seals, an Adele penguin rookery, and Antarctic white-out.

Dr. Cree Brown (b1953) is an associate professor at the School of Music, University of Canterbury. His main interests include conventional instrumental composition, electro-acoustic and computer music, and inter-media art. He has twice been awarded the Mozart Fellowship at the University of Otago, has twice been appointed Composer-in-Schools, has won two prizes in the Wellington Youth Orchestra's Young Composers Competition, and has written a number of film scores.

Antarctica The Big Ice - Exploration. Science. Inspiration also considers New Zealand's historical, scientific and political focus on Ross Dependency, voyages of discovery, Terra Nova Expeditions and the Erebus disaster. It examines the role of protecting Antarctica's history and the presence of well known New Zealanders on the ice including Sir Edmund Hillary and explores The Antarctic Treaty and International Polar Year in 2007 - 2008. The exhibition continues until noon Saturday 27 October 2007 at Our City O-Tautahi, cnr Oxford Tce and Worcester Blvd. Admission Free


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Canada’s Election, And The AUKUS Defence Pact

Yesterday, Canada held an election in which everyone lost, including the voters. After holding its most expensive ( $C600 million) election campaign ever, the result was Groundhog Day, with the five main parties getting almost exactly the same number of seats as they did last time around, in 2019. Same overall result too: Liberals leader and PM Justin Trudeau will once again be leading a minority government... More>>

Covid-19, 24/9: 1,131 Overall Cases, 4,900,000+ Vaccine Doses

9 new cases have been discovered in Auckland, currently at Level 3. 886 of the Auckland cases have recovered alongside all of the Wellington cases... More>>



Government: Next Steps To Improve Safety In Wake Of Whakaari White Island Tragedy
The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities... More>>

Government: Expert Group Appointed To Lead New Zealand’s Future Health System
An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says... More>>


Green Party: Kiwis Overseas Must Be Allowed To Vote Next Year
New Zealanders stranded overseas should be allowed to vote in next year’s local government elections and the 2023 general election, the Green Party said today. “The reality of this pandemic is lots of people cannot renew their voting rights when they are home as they normally would... More>>

Power: Bill Changes Bring Fairness To Charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

Government: Parks expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

Child Poverty Action Group: Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown

The current lockdown has triggered the largest weekly increase in benefit recipient numbers since the first lockdown last year, and Child Poverty Action Group is concerned the Government isn't doing enough to assist affected families... More>>




InfoPages News Channels