“Blinding White”

To top a magical day, last night the half moon shone on the shining shelf ice with a warm golden glow in the half dark creating an image that remained with me as I went to sleep. This morning while doing my practice warm-up exercises I thought about how one can see with the heart rather than the eyes, and how I felt that image and the huge quiet iceberg scene within me as a feeling rather than a picture. This is how I hope the Antarctic Adventure affects my playing: rather than the idea of programatic pieces to perform or compose, my world is concerned with how to express beauty from the heart. The perfection of nature I saw yesterday, not mechanical, ever changing, but uncompromisingly clear, leads me to seek perfection of expression and sound in every note with serenity.
Today we are going three steps forward and two steps back – icebreaking mode means backing up a couple hundred meters and then forging ahead. The Aurora Australis is built as an icebreaker, which means her hull is shaped round to rise up over the ice and crush it down while pushing it back and out. After managing about a ship’s length in new ice we slow to a halt, back up and do the same all over again. The sun is shining and the ice is shiny and crisp , breaking off like the hard sand you get at the beach sometimes. It is very cold today – when I got up for sunrise at 4 am it was -15 and now at noon it is still only -10 degrees. The ice is dotted with single penguin tracks, looking very much like a neatly sewn stitching – the single line where they slide or I suppose the tail drags in the middle is quite etched, with the little neat footsteps either side.
The light on the the white shiny ice is blinding, and much as I hate it, sunglasses are now a necessity.


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