Final Preparations

What a week it has been, with final preparations and new pieces to learn all at once. Tomorrow we leave for an 8 day holiday in Tasmania so that the family can farewell me on the Aurora Australis on Feb 8th. There will be a few days in Hobart of fitting gear and safety training, as well as radio interviews and so on. In the meantime the car is packed to the gills. At the last minute we decided it might just be possible to fit my (acoustic) pedal harp in as well, so that I can keep my fingers in shape at least until the ship leaves.

Of course there have also been last minute dramas with our trial downloading the video clips to the new laptop, but this has, touch wood, been resolved today. The lever harp fitted perfectly in a garment bag I had, shoulder strap and all, with extra sleeping bag padding inside. So sewing skills remain luckily untested.

Jim’s piece is beautiful, with repeated patterns suggesting sea and snow. It’s called “On Not Dancing with Penguins”. I have worked out a program with brief reading’s from my grandfather’s diaries inbetween pieces, and it comes to almost an hour. It has turned into something I would like to present back in Australia during the Australian Antarctic Expedition Centenary years.



11 responses to “Final Preparations

  • Aunty Podean

    I know you have learned so much music, but remember, the Great Harpist once told me, “Sleep is mental practice”. This is true even in epic preparations for intercontinental expeditions.

    This is so exciting! Enjoy Tasmania!
    -Lowly Footsoldier

    • alicegiles

      Hi Kit – well that’s good news because the seasickness tablets make me very sleepy! I had to take another one this morning just in case, so spent the afternoon doing my practice in dreamworld. The rhythm of the sea is starting to get inside me, so that is changing in itself. love, Alice

  • Esther W

    Hi Alice!! Everything sounds so exciting. I will be following your blog!

    (although I’m missing harp lessons. 😀 I might be having a lesson with Liena soon.)


    • alicegiles

      Thanks Esther. I am sure you will be working hard even without me there. You can see you never know where harp playing will lead you! love, Alice

  • Tully

    Hey Alice, good luck on your amazing journey. All the very best, i’ll be reading the blog closely. Tully.

  • kate

    Fare thee well. I have just become aware of your adventure. Yoohoo!! I am excited and REALLY looking forward to hearing the concert, particularly the world premiere of Señor Cotter’s piece.

    kind regards for an awesome journey

    • alicegiles

      Hi Kate, Thanks for your wishes. Jim’s piece is great, and the repeated patterns are also keeping my fingers in shape while I only have access to the 23 string harp. It is very sea-like, with a sonority that builds up beyond the notes played in a mysterious way. cheers, Alice

  • Mairi Nicolson

    Hi Alice,
    Following your adventure with great interest. Any chance of an interview for my MUSIC MAKERS program before the conference in June? Travel safe, Mairi.

  • dianarowan

    Can’t wait to hear the latest installment! I’ve been trundling around Bulgaria, Cyprus and Turkey, mostly with harp in tow, thinking about you on the bottom of the world (from my perspective) with yours!

    • alicegiles

      Hi Diana, I’ve started writing up the diary now we are underway. You are also used to travelling anywhere with your harp. At least you keep it a bit more simple than I do! If we can’t move the harp and equipment from the ship to the Station at Mawson because of the ice that is blocking the harbour, I may end up doing the performance on the ship instead. love, Alice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: