January 11th and deadlines approaching

I can’t believe how fast the time has gone since my last Diary post. It has hardly been a ‘holiday season’, as I juggle all the different things to organise and prepare. I remind myself what a wonderful reward is ahead of me as I battle with cleaning out my harp trunk to free it of artificial and natural contaminants! I am afraid Quarrantine will see it and have a fit – it’s over 20 years old and been around the world a few times, and mostly lives in my shed with the rats and hay seeds. I had to scrape out the old yukky foam lining (with a lot of help from my daughter Lara) and seal it with platic sheets and gaffa tape, making sure there are no tiny seeds left inside. My speaker boxes (KRK RP6s) needed to have rubber padding instead of styrofoam packaging, and I am hoping that all the extra things I want to pack inside the harp trunk are going to fit – digital modulating footswitch, two tripods, folding chair, strings, stand, loop pedal, tuner and spare batteries. It will be funny to see everyone’s faces as I open this up at the Base…

The cargo leaves on Thursday to arrive in Hobart in time, and after that I won’t have my Camac Blue or be able to use my effects until I arrive at the Mawson Base. I am worried about the battery on my Ensoniq DP4 effects processor as it probably won’t like the brief time during transfer from the ship to land. But I have a Sysex Dump on the laptop and hope it will work if all the memory fails – Alistair helped me work this out one nervous afternoon.

The best thing has been all the support here – just like a true Antarctic adventure, it’s all done with team work. Niven at the ANU has been training me on using the video, H4n Zoom recorder (and super field recording microphone) and trouble shooting if any unexpected hums occur in my electro-acoustic equipment etc; Lea talked me through positions for my power amps and monitoring myself for levels and acoustics; Pro Musica in Canberra have fixed my Behringer foot pedal which I dropped whilst planning how to fit it into the harp trunk; and the friendly guy at Better Music suggested how to pack my speakers without spending a fortune. Julie helped me put up this blog site (I’ve never used one before) and Kirsty is behind the scenes making it look good and will be posting the entries up when I have limited email access on the Aurora Australis. Josh has been the one to research all the fancy video, recording and laptop equipment I am taking with me, supplied by the ANU School of Music. He has insisted I have back-ups for all that equipment, but this will be impossible for harp or effects processor! And last but not least, husband Arnan has been looking after everything while I try and manage practice and logistics – besides running around all yesterday morning finding the right length leads for my equipment.

All this and I haven’t even mentioned the composers who have been working hard to creat new pieces especially for the performance there. More on that next time…some exciting new things and I am enjoying reconnecting with my first memories of singing and playing the harp.

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