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The 6-part Tears of the Antarctic, the final instalment, aired in December One drank excessively to smooth it off round the edges. But when you do them, it's so easy - freedom and a floor like Big Gloria's had been waiting there for years. On the beach I hid under an all-over singlet. As we sailed for the Panama Canal on a calm sea I began to vomit from nerves and tried to pass it off as seasickness. Physical references to myself always made me feel ill.

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The dose was massive and might have encouraged a little growth in height but failed to make me shaggy and broad-shouldered. The series began in with episodes from the Arctic, the Amazon and Africa. For such a place Vincent was exceptionally ethereal and he might well have become a priest. Devastated foster parents who took Parsons Green bomber in She heaved sacks of potatoes and boxes of oranges at a grocery shop and during the Second World War made bombs at the Fazakerly bomb factory.

This is how I got involved. Once I saw the film and because of the subject matter, I immediately accepted. The Whale Sanctuary track was inspired simply by what this sanctuary is - an open, calm, safe ocean place for fish and ocean mammals I had a lot information for every scene because the director of the film was on board the ship with Paul Watson for the duration of the protection expedition.

Dave Court is a Bath, U. It was originally written as a single minute ambient work but was split into movements to emphasise the thematic changes. There was also originally a short reprise after the third track, tentatively entitled The Flag but I cut this from the release version as I was unsure about the way it interrupted the flow of the other pieces.

The titles refer to the worsening weather conditions that the party encountered, with the exception of the final track, Respite , referring to the brave sacrifice of Captain Oates and the tragic death of the rest of the party over the next two weeks, being a release from the perceived burden of their obligations and inhospitality of the continent. That piece ends with a series of coherent major chords which are intended to draw a stark contrast to the consistently minor and atonal themes of the rest of the movements.

The work overall was written to evoke emotions of emptiness, isolation and helplessness, except the last track, which, ironically, was written to convey a feeling of hope. A motif is introduced halfway through the first movement and recurs in the second, third and fourth, but not in the fifth, in an effort to reinforce this. It seems to hold a powerful and menacing yet fragile beauty, which I find hard to explain.

Pietro told us about the piece in It is a State of fact, not recognized by U. I noticed that there was no national anthem and so I contacted the regent, proposing my music. He liked it and approved it as official national anthem. He also gave me the title of Ambassador as a sign of gratitude…I know it could sound like a joke but that is what happened. One day I hope to record the Ice Master with a real orchestra and a choir. Ben Richter is an American composer and accordionist from the New England area, whose work has been commissioned and performed by various ensembles and orchestras.

He has also composed scores for films and sound installations for international museum and gallery exhibitions. In Ben told us: It featured two dozen scientists and explorers from Alexander Graham Bell, one the founding principals of the Society to prominent scientific explorers of the day. The soundtrack music, never previously released, was composed by Lee Holdridge, an American composer whose early collaborations with Neil Diamond recordings led to the soundtrack for the popular Jonathan Livingston Seagull movie.

Holdridge has scored numerous other movies and television series, composed classical concert works and worked with many major recording artists.

Byrd became an American hero and led four later Antarctic Expeditions. In , Lee told us: Each cue I wrote was scoring whatever the visual sequence on screen at that moment. Sometimes what I compose for a score might be in response to a request by the director. In a way, the narration is the solo and you are the underscore around it. He has received many classical commissions for compositions and has performed as a jazz artist in numerous clubs and events worldwide.

The baritone is Elem Eley, with Laurie Altman at the piano. An instrumental Octet and a setting of three Antarctic poems of mine for Baritone and Piano. There were numerous other pieces that emerged as a result of that trip as well. Wide spacings; few clusters; a joining of some — ancient and new. The two outer pieces of the set, On Course and Does an Emperor Penguin Meditate are short and relatively straightforward in their presentation.

Within Limitless Space truly attempts to capture the emptiness and vastness to which I alluded earlier. On Course , the instrumental octet, is the most overtly programmatic work on the CD. It is to be heard with the breeze in your face, fourteen knots of speed underfoot, all attended by weather, ship motion and the natural elements of light, birds, ice and seals all around.

Structural content is almost song-like: It is for me a tone painting, a work of color and vibrancy, never wavering in both its intensity and relentlessness. Lyrics for On Course , about being in the Drake Passage: Pin pricks, crystals expanding, rolling, compressed, broken, blue, a Petrel in flight, seemingly, to nowhere.

Within limitless space, The weight of an iceberg, below itself, rolling, calving breaking apart, the eye sees beginning, limitless space to be filled a music score , the horizon. A Chinstrap Penguin, floating sideways, seemingly, to nowhere. In a turn a mountain broken off, something larger, before the sea, yielding to nothing but itself.

A lone Weddell Seal, asleep, awakens to space, limitless no less tomorrow than today. Warmed by the sun deep in a dive, seemingly, to nowhere. Lyrics for Does an Emperor Penguin Meditate? Determined, elemental proof of something so unique, a way of being.

Do you question As you wait. Do you Dear Penguin, ever Meditate? Founded in , the Cincinnati Boychoir, directed by Randall Wolfe, gives numerous local subscription concerts and has performed with the Vienna Boys Choir, symphony orchestras, and gives concerts for community organizations as well as touring internationally.

Gerald Doorly, a talented pianist and entertainer, and the chief engineer, J. More in the vein of Victorian parlour songs than sea shanties, the songs were published in , apparently in a very tame version of the originals. We ask the audience to close their eyes and imagine travelling underwater to Antarctica. The boys love this music! Ianne is a Ravenna, Italy-based composer of modern symphonic music, at times reminiscent of minimalism and a more pastoral Philip Glass.

It has the track Amundsen and we asked Stefano about it in His story is wonderful and his passing away, which happened in order to try to find Umberto Nobile in the North Pole, is truly mysterious. Many international search and rescue planes were used in the rescue operation.

Polar hero Amundsen was on one of planes, which disappeared and was never found. Gareth Farr is an award-winning New Zealand composer, percussionist and performer who has written music for orchestras, dance, theatre, musical comedies and TV. His music was also heard at the opening of the Sydney Olympic Games. It has our vote for one of the top pieces of classical Antarctic music for repeated listening.

The lyrics include passages written by Robert Scott on his fateful South Pole Expedition of and also include excerpts from the diary of Frank Debenham, a geologist on the Expedition. Poet Paul Horan collaborated on the overall lyrics and the final section of the work includes his Goodbye Larsen B , a global warming commentary about a large part of the West Antarctic Ice sheet that disintegrated in The concert was part of the Exploring Antarctica programme of the NZSO, which also presented other musical, scientific and film events, with videos by Mike Newman, which also accompanied Terra Incognita.

While the work has not been commercially recorded, it was available for listening on the Soundcloud Web site. He has also conducted his compositions in Hollywood-area studios and scored for independent movies, documentaries and other productions. Two of his school compositions for wind band include the 3-minute regal march Antarctica Saga Amundsen to the South Pole and the more playful 2-minute Penguin Promenade.

Mike told us in Antarctica Sag a was also an opportunity for young bands to sensibly use non-traditional instruments and sounds water glasses, etc. All of these are beautiful, lush, majestic pieces with rich symphonic strings. There are people drawn to Antarctica for reasons they do not understand; I am one of those people. Kerry Turner is an American composer, horn performer and music teacher, based in Luxemburg.

He has won many awards for compositions and has held principal horn positions with numerous symphony orchestras. He is a member of the internationally acclaimed chamber brass group, the American Horn quartet.

In , as captain of The Endurance, he and his crew were forced to abandon ship when it became trapped and pulverized in the Antarctic pack-ice. Unable to communicate with the rest of the world, Sir Ernest lead his men to a bleak, barren beach on Elephant Island. From there he and six of his men sailed a small lifeboat almost miles across stormy, frozen seas to South Georgia Island where he and two others scaled mountains in order to reach a tiny whaling station on the other side. He returned to Elephant Island aboard a self-chartered steamer to find all of his crew alive and well.

In the face of total catastrophe, Sir Ernest Shackleton risked all dangers to bring his entire crew back safely to England. Kerry explained to us in They wanted something which would celebrate great moments in aviation history. I chose Emilia Earhart as my subject, and therefore it is the finale of the work. But I decided that I wanted to add a couple more of my personal heroes, and luckily they were alright with that. Shortly after my work came out, a new biography about him appeared on the shelves in New York.

And then, there was this spectacular exhibit at the New York Museum of Natural History, including his famous boat which he sailed to Elephant Island. But I had actually written the music before this exhibit came out. Anyway, this is the reason I chose Shackleton as one of my heroes.

I have always been a huge fan of his and his adventures. The minute orchestral score from the LP seems to have never been officially issued on CD and the 24 minutes of excerpts included on this CD as Last Place on Earth — Suite may be the first commercial digital release of any of this music. This is the full orchestral soundtrack for the U. It was a sequel to the film The Land That Time Forgot , in which a German U-boat sinks a British vessel during WWI, picks up the survivors and ends up in the south polar seas at the continent of Caprona, populated by terrifying dinosaurs and apemen.

In this sequel, another expedition sets out in to rescue the colleagues who were previously lost and finds a tropical oasis in the middle of the Ice.

Both movies are based on the Caspak trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Scott is an internationally-known musician, composer and orchestra conductor whose first film soundtrack dates to Scott also wrote the soundtrack score for the William Kronick-produced, written and directed documentary film about The Transglobe Expedition, led by Ranulph Fiennes. This team circumnavigated the globe along its polar axis from North to South Poles, being the first to do so, finishing in Her classical and choral works have been recorded by the Bay Area Philharmonic and the Bay Area Chamber Works, which specialize in local area composers.

She is now a professor of International Economics. With over 20 CDs, her output has been prodigious, particularly in the last ten years. This CD is the last of three Planetary albums and consists of four long ambient tracks taking us into the mysterious fogs, ice and twilight of Antarctica.

From the liner notes: The landscape varies in its shades of grey and white and fog moves over the ice in a creeping fashion revealing magnificent towers of ice, vast caverns and glacier valleys.

Only icelight, a kind of half light in which all things appear grey; another shade of ice as it were. Small points of light drift through the overcast clouds, but it is only a halo; no real light or warmth.

Icelight gives way to new light; sunlight, warm light, life light. Only they break up the general sameness of the icescape. Cold winds huddle them together; the only source of warmth.

The guitar concerto was completed in and had its origin from his soundtrack to the IMAX film of the same name. The four movements, totalling 23 minutes on this CD, rework musical ideas from the film, as well as developing others not included in it. ABC Classics ; www. EMI 2 1; www. It has traveled internationally and is committed to commissioning works from Australian composers.

The inspiration of this piece was the albatross, a lone traveler soaring on the Antarctic winds, his destination wherever the currents may take him. I have always been in awe of these magnificent birds, and the text I have written in some way pays homage to their grace and determination. I will ride on the ocean air, I will travel across ice and foam, far from home.

Mary Doumany is a Victoria, Australia-based composer, harpist and singer who has performed with the Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras as well as internationally. With a repertoire covering music for opera, ballet, orchestra and jazz, she also has a great interest in improvised music.

Her harp playing was included in the soundtracks for the movies Shine and The Truman Story. Elemental was her first CD of original solo harp compositions and was written for a string lever harp.

One of the tracks is Ice. It is one of the oldest instruments and some have said that the first harp was created out of sinews across a turtle shell. For me, the act of playing striking strings made from animal gut, with my bare hands has a rawness and immediacy that belies the ethereal sound I create.

It looks magical, and yet it can wreak havoc, as it has done in the Northern Hemisphere this past winter. I believe that the harp invokes the sounds of the natural world most effectively. She is head of the Harp Area at the Australian National University, and according to her University Web pages, went on the Australian ship Aurora Australis to the Australian bases, Mawson and Davis Stations, to perform and record music especially written for the journey, as well as music that was heard in the Antarctic years ago.

As a composer, his music has been heard in many countries and he specializes in saxophone and other wind instrument works. While a melodic, operatic treatment of the history of the Expedition may not be quite the expected vehicle to portray the physical hardships encountered in Antarctica, it continues in the trend of contemporary historic opera and is a worthy addition to the Antarctic repertoire.

It would be interesting to imagine a stage performance or multi-media presentation of this work. I thought at the time that it would make a very moving set of songs, and years later I had the chance to try my hand at it when I was commissioned by the West Point Band to write a set of songs. One of the tracks in this visit to various landscapes of the earth is South to Antarctica , a sweeping orchestral theme portraying the icy mysteries of the continent.

Brian Bennett, in addition to having won many awards for his film and TV compositions, arrangements and productions, was awarded the OBE from the Queen of England in for his services to music. They became one of the most successful acts in Britain in the s and went on to great acclaim as an independent instrumental group with countless records. With singers between 6 and 18 years of age, it has traveled internationally and is committed to the performance of new Australian music. The piece is from his song cycle Turn on the Open Sea , which pays tribute to the adventurers of the sea.

Against all odds, Shackleton and his men survived a two-year ordeal, trapped without a ship, during a freezing winter in the most remote and unexplored region of the globe. Thanks to intuitive leadership and incredible persistence, Shackleton not only returned to Europe, but did so without losing a single crew member.

On returning to England, several of the crew enlisted to fight on the red fields of Flanders, and within weeks, two men perished in battle.

Oh many years ago, can you remember? The haunting cry of a ship that drowned, Beneath the ice floe of the Weddell Sea. Two years trapped in the southern sea, Far from our homeland, Roaring waves and wailing winds, May well defeat us, but hopes were high.

Why, why, did we have to come home to war? Try, try, tell me what are we fighting for? Then, on the red fields of Flanders, All men were fallen, A bloody war, fought on every shore, Brought pain and sorrow to a sailing man. Try, try tell me what are we fighting for? We made it over! It was formed in and is directed by Julie Christiansen. It has travelled internationally, won awards and promotes a variety of cultures, while promoting Australian composers. Elizabeth Brown, a New York Brooklyn -based composer and flautist, is a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and has composed for various commissions.

One of her pieces is Antarctica , a 7-minute alto flute solo with prerecorded sound accompaniment. While it has not been released on CD, Elizabeth provided a recorded copy of her performance of it. The flute seems an ideal instrument to convey ethereal Antarctic impressions and the background instruments, windscapes, breathing and vocalizations provide some great atmospherics.

In Elizabeth provided us with her program notes for her composition: Travels in Antarctica was my bedtime reading. I started to dream about Antarctica, and this music was born in those dreams. I chose alto flute because of its range and timbre, and the taped portion consists of natural sounds recorded in my Brooklyn studio. Whether a cynical marketing ploy or a desire for cultural adaptation, the English version of this French film has serious narration by Morgan Freeman and a studio orchestra playing a pleasant New Age soundtrack by composer Wurman.

The soundtrack sounds great with the film but as a self-contained listening experience is a bit too sweet to convey convincingly the harsh Antarctic home of the Emperor penguins. The film became a huge hit, particularly for a documentary and the English version won the Oscar for best documentary feature film of This compilation CD of tracks from various composers, played by the accomplished Dutch brass band, Provinciale Brassband Groningen, conducted by Siemen Hoekstra, includes Antarctica , by Carl Wittrock, a Dutch composer and conductor b.

This composition is a free impression of the spectacular scenery in the Antarctic. These melodies together with their simple harmonic accompaniments make this work pleasant for both the listener and the musician. The CD is named after the title track , Antarctica , by Carl Wittrock, which gets a more nuanced and subdued treatment than the brass band versions. Organ Music by Ohio Composers: Karel Paukert, Organ Her music has been performed internationally.

Erebus was written in as a tribute to her older brother, a geographer and mountaineer who passed away in November in the tragic crash of the Air New Zealand plane that was on a sightseeing flight over Antarctica. Erebus and his sister Nyx night were also said to be the parents of Eros, the god of love, and of Charon, the ferryman at the river Styx. The mountain rises directly from the sea to an astonishing altitude of 12, feet, where, on a clear day, a plume of smoke can be seen emanating from its summit.

My brother had both a professional interest in and a personal love of mountains. Also included are full tracks that did not make it to the final productions of other broadcast works.

Rushdie wrote the book as a fable and allegory after the well publicized fatwa that led to his life of escape underground. The story revolves around a professional story teller who loses his gift of gab. The music on the CD, for four singers soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and bass-baritone and piano accompaniment, was written by Charles Wuorinen, an acclaimed modernist composer, pianist and conductor who was the youngest composer to win the Pulitzer Prize in music in The lyrics are by English poet and journalist James Fenton.

One of the adventures is a polar trip with the short track To the South Pole. Before it was filthy! You can stop a cheque. You can stop a leak or three. To the South Pole. These are the seas of disgrace. Give me a year and I expect I could clean this place. In four movements, it reworks musical ideas from the film as well as developing others not included in it. Tall Poppies TP; www. Texts were by Bill Manhire a New Zealand university professor and poet , from the Book of Job and from the writings of Antarctic explorers Apsley Cherry-Garrard and Ernest Shackleton, with music composed by Carlton Young, an American professor, editor and composer of sacred music.

My recent interest in Antarctic explorers and explorations began in with my visit to the Antarctic Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. Cincinnati Boychoir programs had featured six of the continents , but not Antarctica.

I agreed to compose a setting, and Mr. The soundtrack to this miniseries television film, which is based on the Pulitzer prize-winning political Broadway play of the same name, includes the soothing orchestral instrumental track Mauve Antarctica. The performance by choir and piano is especially enriched by the accompaniment of a string section. The commemorative CD Japan Version contains some very melodic orchestral tracks, accompanied by various exotic Oriental musical instruments plus a jazzy solo guitar track, conducted by Yoko Matsuo.

Other Antarctic compositions by Chris include Circulus Antarcticus , a dance commission with Bronwyn Judge, a choreographer who went down to The Ice as part of the Artists to Antarctica programme and Antarctic Heart , music to go with a video by the sculptor Virginia King, who was the other artist to travel to Antarctica in under the Artists to Antarctica programme.

The Scottish National Antarctic Expedition under William Bruce was a successful, but today under heralded, two-year voyage of discovery during which Coats Land, along the Weddell Sea, was discovered.

The expedition was also the first to use a motion picture camera in Antarctica as well as the first to document the use of bagpipes to serenade emperor penguins by Gilbert Kerr. It was commissioned by the orchestra, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and supported by the Scottish Arts Council and has now been performed internationally. From an appropriately windy opening through some jangly, icy dissonances, this performance can take a proud place amongst the very few recorded orchestral pieces that have attempted to portray the moody, icy seventh continent.

The present hearty and robust recording was undertaken as a Discovery centennial project and the Chorus contains all the adult male descendants of Gerald Doorly, along with professional colleagues and interested friends. The CD booklet includes the lyrics and words of the spoken passages between songs.

Shackleton was a pupil at Dulwich College from He was left in charge of the group of men who were stranded on Elephant Island when Shackleton made his famous crossing to South Georgia for rescue. Laura Karpman, the Los Angeles-based composer of the music, has won four Emmy awards during her career, including two for episodes of The Living Edens series. She has scored for many other films and television programs, has won additional awards and has also composed for opera, classical and other concert music.

This music was from the episode South Georgia Island: Paradise of Ice and the production crew spent eight months of filming around the island, spread over two years. It is a dramatic and undulating score, portraying the rough and tumble of the seas the ship must have sailed through in its long voyages. Although the piece has not apparently been released commercially on CD, we are grateful to John Hearne and Scottish Music Centre for making it available to us.

The composer-orchestrator, Martin Kiszko, told us: For the first time many of the images that Anne had created in the poem were experienced first hand: Other sections of the score aim to emulate the pattern of the landscape — the textures of snow and ice, the sky and changing light — these images assisted the interpretation of the text. Sea Star is a journey of even greater proportions than my Antarctic expedition.

It travels from the depths of the oceans with its nascent aquatic life-forms, through land and sky to the far reaches of space where other waterworlds exist in the icecaps of Mars and ice-belts of Saturn. As the characters in the text ascend these levels, it is as if they are on a quest to understand their destiny. Cowled in darkness, Uttermost depth of sleep. Ice built of water — water built into solids, Condensed to crystal, unique in all the moving worlds, Yet cousin to other constellations: Ice moons, ice planets, plunging comets.

You do not wake…Cowled in darkness, Uttermost depth of sleep. On the surface, a dazzling whiteness; Journeying inward, multiple rings of ice terrains; Floes and hummocks, pinnacles, bastions, Fractured and folded. Cardon is an American Emmy award-winning composer, who also worked on a Winter Olympics project. The film score, played by the Northwest Sinfonia, conducted by Kurt Bestor, provides a variety of music: Although said to be thoroughly researched, the film received some criticism for spending too long on the pre-Expedition details and not nearly enough time on The Ice, Elephant Island, South Georgia or the final rescue.

Channel 4 Music C4M Sir Peter conducted the London Philharmonia Orchestra at the performance. In turn we at BAS very much look forward to learning more about the world of serious music. It can be heard at: Terror and the virtuoso work was recorded in by the U. This minute piece, with Simon Rattle conducting, was commissioned by the School for the opening of its new Music Centre.

The subject of the symphony, Port Lockroy, on Wiencke Island on the Antarctic Peninsula, is a natural harbour and was used as the site of a British base for Operation Tabarin during the years of World War II and was staffed up to The now-restored base building is maintained as an historic site and is a very popular landing site for Antarctic tourist ships.

The quiet music on this CD, by Australian composer Ricky Edwards, is performed by a small chamber orchestra and includes the tracks Albatross Flight , Antarctic Pack Ice and Penguin Walk, all too-brief, majestic musical vignettes of their southern latitude subjects. ABC Music 2 5. One of the movements is entitled South Pole. Recorded at Carnegie Hall, the performance is narrated by Sam Waterston and the musicians include the Orchestra of St.

This CD is hard to miss with the colourful iceberg, emperor penguins and humpback whales on the cover. Produced in co-operation with UNICEF and Icebridge, a forum of scientists and educators dedicated to the promotion of knowledge about the polar regions and the oceans.

Sony Classical SK This Finnish classical composer has become well known to North American audiences in recent years, particularly for his haunting Cantus Arcticus , an ode to the land of the Arctic Circle.

Published in , this novella about Pym and a group of sailors marooned on a tropical island at the South Pole with a race of savages is considered to be seminal in Antarctic fiction and has spawned numerous like-minded stories. As Rautavaara approached his 70 th year, he took the book's closing plot and developed his own rich musical themes of imagined lands not yet explored. BBC Music 2 3. An international consortium of television broadcasters commissioned this dynamic musical mosaic for a millennium satellite transmission.

Included is the percussive Antarctica. The CD title is somewhat misleading as this music was recorded in the Czech Republic; however, the liner notes indicate that classical guitarist Brabec performed these works on his trip to Antarctica on board a Greenpeace ship and at one of the bases.

I think there are certain parallels: It was to the greater glory of this principle, God, that Bach wrote this music. Brabec may be on to something here, as we await someone to lug a grand piano or bring a brass band to the shores of Antarctica for what might truly be the first professional recording of a musical performance on the continent.

Supraphon SU Westlake wrote the score for the IMAX film Antarctica and later reworked it into this longer guitar concerto in four movements. Highlights are the stately Wooden Ships and a shimmering piece called Penguin Ballet , which captures emperor penguins frolicking beneath the ice.

Sony Classical SK53 One of the tracks played by the J. Kapel is Antarctica by Carl Wittrock, a Dutch composer and conductor b. This CD is a compilation by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of existing older, non-Antarctic classical music, interspersed with the actual sounds of Antarctic wildlife and human activities on The Ice, in an effort to evoke a feeling of Antarctica.

Perhaps Australians are more aware; Antarctica is closer to us, though still very inaccessible. Many of us will know someone who has been there, maybe even someone whose life was changed by spending time there. The race to the South Pole, lost to Amundsen by Scott and his party, the drawn out suffering and human loss as they tried to return — these are among the Australian epics, tales to children and remembered by adults.

For us, the sound effects were the introduction to the Antarctic world. As on the previous discs in this series, the idea is to appeal to the aural imagination, stimulating it with music and natural sounds, together and side by side.

The first paradox we found was that Antarctica seemed to demand the inclusion of some human sounds. In our other wildernesses, bush and sea, music provided the humanising element.

We have introduced human voices for the first time, so that we can wonder that people are there at all. The sounds, rather than the music in this series, evoke the landscape, but it is no accident that music which can live with Antarctica was composed close to the northern, Arctic wastes…. The minute CD of the score of the IMAX film Antarctica has thirteen mostly short orchestral tracks of various themes portrayed in the movie, four of which were developed into the previously mentioned guitar concerto.

The CD is well played and recorded and the music, conducted by Carl Vine, conveys the dramatics of its theme titles. This is the soundtrack for the William Kronick-produced, written and directed documentary film about The Transglobe Expedition, led by Ranulph Fiennes. Over a three-year period ending in , the team circumnavigated the globe along its polar axis from North to South Poles, being the first to do so. The grand orchestral music was composed and conducted by Trevor Jones, a British-based TV and film composer.

The full soundtrack does not appear to have ever been officially issued in CD format. In he began the libretto for the opera to be based on his play, with music by German atonalist Winfried Zillig. The operatic work was revived in West Germany in and presentations included penguins as a Greek chorus to the dissonant score, which is still in print and available for purchase through music publishers on the Internet.

Non-Classical, all Antarctic or with significant Antarctic content: His first short film, as director, is the minute End of Summer , for which he also composed the soundtrack. This is haunting, ambient music with instruments, electronics and vocalizations. Forming a soundscape as broad as the view it was inspired by yet equally heartwarming, devotion to the music will slow down time and provide a moment of harmony within times of change.

Filmed as a series of mostly static tableaux over a period of 20 days during the waning days of the Antarctic Summer, the film is a startling look at life at the edge of the world. The film is shot on very slow 35mm stock normally used for filming title cards, which was cut down to super 8 format. The varying use of cello, voice, synthesizer and electronics creates a listening experience that reflects both the vast beauty of the quiet scenery and the necessary cautiousness of its inhabitants.

As if gliding through the steep ice, its rough edges and the harmonious water movements, organic arrangements are patiently devolving into voice and electronic based ambience that adds warmth to the icy, artefact laden environment.

In an interview in the Montreal Gazette on Nov. Katya Sourikova, raised in St. Petersburg, Russia and London, England and now based in Berlin, Germany, is a jazz pianist who has recorded and played internationally. It is now part of the current Antarctic Treaty System and was one of the last Antarctic areas to be explored due its isolation and difficult access from the coast.

Vilensky encouraged Sourikova to at first create arrangements of some of her earlier music and then later compose directly for chamber ensemble. He assembled an amazing group of musicians together in his hometown of Riga, Latvia, to make a recording over the New Year. So came the idea for a narrative to be woven around the music, which could ultimately be performed not just as chamber music, but in a theatre setting. The names and order of tracks on this album outline the narrative: Robert Scott and his wife spend time together in Christchurch, NZ before his departure to Antarctica.

Arrival on the frozen continent. Perils of Antarctic landscapes. Journey to the Other World: Loss of hope, and the realisation that death is imminent. In the Dark and Glaciers. A stage script has already been written for this purpose, which uses excerpts of the letters Robert Scott wrote to his wife during his mission.

Perhaps the most powerful is his very last, written as he lay freezing to death, unknowingly just a few miles from relative safety, To My Widow. No information found on the artist or recording.

Antarctic Circles was an exhibition of songs, photographs and sculptural books about Antarctica, held during October at the Barbican Library in London, U. In addition to being an artist and arts development manager, Adele has been an Antarctic expedition photographer.

In the tourist season, she will be one of four people running the Port Lockroy visitor centre and post office in the Antarctic Peninsula, one of the most visited sites in Antarctica. Lucy Bergman is a visual artist and project manager in film and graphic arts, particularly for creative skill development. As part of the overall Antarctic Circles project, Lucy composed and sang on her similarly titled 5-song EP.

She told us about the tracks: The songs are part of a body of work called Antarctic Circles, a collaboration between artists Adele Jackson and Lucy Bergman. He strives to write unique music and believes that music should tell stories. In his debut album, The Shackleton Experience , he shows just how that can be done… The Shackleton Experience is a concept album that drops the listener back over years to embark on a journey with Sir Ernest Shackleton aboard the Endurance and experience first-hand one of the most legendary stories of survival.

As each stage of the journey progresses the music adapts to the mood and complements the atmosphere of the voyage. Karl further explained the project for us: So I spent a long time studying the story and wrote a script that encompassed the whole journey, then put that over the top of some rock music that fit the energy and emotions of the journey.

Lawrence English is a Brisbane, Australia-based media artist, live performance artist and composer, with many recordings to his credit. This current album, including a limited vinyl issue of discs of two soundscapes from field recordings, includes the minute Patagonia and minute Antarctica. In , Lawrence was a guest visitor to Antarctica with the Argentine Antarctic Division, which included a stormy and windy stopover of several days in Rio Gallegos in the Patagonian region of Argentina.

Lawrence told us about his trip: I am a huge admirer of the environment and animals that exist on that great continent. I dearly hope that they can persist with the same vigour as they have the past few hundred years in light of all the climatic shifts happening down there. The blizzard at Esperanza was mild by comparison, but still strong enough to coat penguins in layers of snow as they huddled together during the worst of the wind storm.

Listening back to these recordings I am struck by the sheer physicality of the wind. A small speck of organic dust in a howling storm. The music was composed by Brian Hughes, who also features prominently on the Uilleann pipes and whistles, with narration by John MacKenna. The Irishness of the music is pervasive in the use of plaintive pipes, whistles, violin, piano, harp, percussion and the backing of the Monasterevin Gospel Choir on the last track.

Shackleton was born in Ireland, though he lived most of his life in England, and the liner notes point out that half the crew of six that sailed in the readapted lifeboat, James Caird, from Elephant Island to South Georgia in the iconic rescue mission, was Irish. Directed by Simon J. After a flashback to the Antarctic origins of these penguins, voiced by Werner Herzog, director of the Antarctic documentary Encounters at the End of the World , the birds encounter the evil scheming plans and mutation ray of the octopus, Dr.

Octavius Brine, miffed at losing his prominent position to penguins. Drawing from references to James Bond films and set in locations around the world, the film engages with witty dialogue and plenty of action. The soundtrack was composed and produced by Lorne Balfe, a Scottish composer who has worked on many Hollywood and U.

He won a Grammy Award in for film soundtrack production for The Dark Knight and has been nominated for many other awards. The music on this soundtrack is performed by a large studio orchestra and big band brass, as well as by the Bratislava Symphony Choir. Think rockabilly circus with ties to the Shackleton exploration, danger, true love, danger, teenage make-out sessions, danger, Paul Simon with a sprinkling of danger.

Additionally, and regardless of direct connection to the theme of individual songs, we felt the age of exploration was a fitting theme for a band like us. We are misfits, we rarely are together, and great risks are taken at every show.

It is both specific and vague, but we all felt strongly about the Antarctic explorer vibe and are very happy with the results of our efforts. Please continue to enjoy the record and spread the word to your music loving friends and fellow Antarctic enthusiasts. Simon Slator is a Tamworth, U. K-based electronic musician who specializes in long conceptual ambient pieces.

The music was both grand and powerful, but also barren and windswept. To this day, the album remains among the most popular and acclaimed of my early ambient compositions. In doing so, I aimed to capture his first landing, his approach and his goal all in one piece. Steve Stearns is a Seattle, Washington-based musician, composer and sound designer who has composed music for independent films and commercials.

This story of a Byrd-era Antarctic expedition has become a classic. The expeditioners discover the remains of a subterranean ancient civilization and meet the horrors of its still-existing monsters. This is the soundtrack for New Zealand filmmaker Anthony B. It follows the lives of people on their assignments and jobs over a year on McMurdo Station and Scott Base and the time-lapse scenic cinematography is stunning. Anthony has worked in Antarctica since and the project took him ten years to complete.

They have worked together since the s and formed Plan 9 in The award-winning group has contributed music for the Lord of the Ring films, The Hobbit , as well as for other film, television and theatrical productions. We thought the use of folk instruments and style was in keeping with the tone of the film and the history of Antarctic exploration. We have quite a good collection of folk instruments from around the world that we can play in our own way. It seemed the perfect job to use them on.

We used a smallish string and horn section to fill out the music for the bigger visual scenes. It worked really well. Since he has contributed soundtracks to over 30 films and documentaries.

A photo exhibition was presented in Sydney in , followed in London and New York. This is big music with a large sonic palette that includes big reverberant drums and percussion, synthesizers, guitar, operatic vocals and Carmina Burana -like choirs. This is the soundtrack for a series of five video films by Dutch multi-media artist Esther Kokmeijer who visited Greenland and the Antarctic Peninsula in Her videos depict the majesty and solitude of the frozen oceans and landscapes. The accompanying peaceful, ambient soundtracks by Machinefabriek aka Rotterdam, Netherlands-based graphic designer and electronic musician Rutger Zuydervelt perfectly match the powerful visuals.

The video was released as a limited edition USB flash drive with a separate downloadable CD of the music. Esther told us about the project: I work in the expedition team as an expedition photographer to document the journey, give lectures, but also have to give a hand with landings and tours on Antarctica - for me a unique chance to see this incredible nature.

Cheryl Leonard is an award-winning California-based composer, performer and instrument builder, specializing in natural object instruments and performances. This current disc, in a hand-crafted cover, is a CD of recordings made with naturally occurring marine objects and incorporating marine sounds from the Arctic Ocean and from the Antarctic Peninsula. Sonance is an Australia-based multi-media performing group, formed in , which consists of established artists Karena Wynn-Moylan, composer , arranger and narrator for this album, Ken Naughton, violinist acoustic and electric , Cye Wood, violist and violinist, and Grayson Cooke, digital imagery in performance.

Using programmed studio composition, live instrumental performance, spoken word and live mix visual projections, the audience is enveloped in a multi layered audio visual experience. Karena told us about the project in We can only perform it at festivals or special events because of its theme but those familiar with the Antarctic or the story of Scott have been overwhelmingly positive about it.

Because Ken and Cye work by improvising within boundaries in live performance, each show is a little different - Grayson, also does a live visual mix of the digital images… Our violinist Ken found his violin de-tuned itself slightly as we got to the end of our performance - we think due to the rather aggressive air conditioning in the theatre!

In December , they made history by becoming the only band to perform concerts on all the continents in the same year. The group, their equipment and their Latin American contest-winning fans, sponsored by Coca-Cola Zero, were transported to the base by the Dutch-managed expedition vessel Ortelius.

In order to conform to sound control regulations, the concert had no amplification and apart from live drums and was transmitted to the listeners via headphones. The music combines lots of drones with country roots and plenty of slide guitars and violins. David Lindley is an iconic award-winning American string multi-instrumentalist who has recorded as a sideman with the cream of California and other American rock artists from the early s to the present.

He is arguably best known for his guitar and vocals on the track Stay, with Jackson Browne on the Running on Empty album, a 3 charting Billboard record in Henry Kaiser is a prominent and prodigiously recorded California-based improvisational avant-garde guitarist who first went to Antarctica in on a U.

Bond Street Bridge is an Auckland, New Zealand-based alternative folk band started in by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Sam Prebble. An interest in piracy and exploration stories led to a more focused obsession with Antarctic exploration of the Edwardian era.

Inspired by the incredible stories of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, songwriter Sam Prebble has recruited a band of seasoned folk musicians from the Auckland underground and produced a series of stirring vignettes drawn from the diaries and letters of these stalwart adventurers. Tales of shipwreck, frostbite, and stiff-upper-lip survival in the snow are presented in a combination of spoken-word storytelling and original folk songs.

Performances range from ethereal to foot-stomping; arrangements run the gamut from delicate vocal harmonies to dramatic percussive explosions. The performances are fortified by projected heritage photographs, taken by the explorers themselves nearly a century ago, and now used here with the kind permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library. Combined with original mixed-media illustrations from Auckland artist Emily Cater, these images bring these legendary characters and stories of early 20 th Century Antarctic exploration to life.

With a band of road-hardened troubadours, rousing stories of icy adventure, stunning heritage photographs and beautiful original illustrations, audiences can expect to be transported back to a time when the ice was unforgiving, the pole was untouched, and if the worst came to the worst, one could always eat the dogs.

A minute, 5-track EP of the songs was made available via download in July and the full CD was issued in October The group described the EP on its Web site as follows: These songs, based on the diaries and letters of Scott and his men, tell the tale of their final doomed effort to return to the safety of Hut Point.

The full minute studio album is described as: This is an Awful Place , Oates: Sam explained his interest in Antarctica to us: My parents were mountain climbers and wilderness guides in the 70s, and I grew up learning to sail wooden boats on Wellington Harbour with my friends, so these stories were all around. Between the writing and the photographs that are held in collections here in NZ, I had a treasure trove of material to draw on when I wrote the songs.

I also went into the poetry that Scott and Shackleton were reading out there on the ice - Browning, Tennyson, Kipling and of course, your own Robert Service - and that gave me some more angles on what these explorers may have experienced. Her CD, with added percussion and accompaniment, contains Antarctic Wings, a perkier sounding reprise of Flight of the Albatross from her disc, as well as Snow Bird , a vocal version of the same piece.

It includes the re-arranged track Ancient Albatross and Antarctica , which has a North American Hopi drum accompaniment. Fiona Joy told us in about her recent trip to Antarctica and its influence on her music: I believe that less than six boats go there each year — we went to the lowest latitude you can sail to. The boat was fantastic and had two pianos on board — thus I could write as I looked out the window. As I am a conceptual writer, I need subject matter, and Antarctica is perfect to write music about.

This exhibit combines interactive ride technologies with views of the lives of penguins and their recreated Antarctic habitats, including foot glaciers and thousands of glass icicles. To mark the opening, young award-winning country singer Lauren Alaina recorded the perky, anthemic new theme song, Antarctica: One world, One Family.

Crystal and silent, night fills the skies, Lost in the mist as the snow lies. Beyond an icy chill, Time stands still, One world together.

Together we will thrive, Our dreams survive, One world forever. Alaina was the runner-up on the tenth season of the long-running television talent showcase, American Idol. The song was available for free download from the SeaWorld Web site. Her current album publicity describes Antarctica as: The land where day can last for a half-year, and night too.

Endless white realms, as open as mysterious. Come make your own discoveries with these graceful tunes. Kidron Cool told us about the record in I was fascinated at how desolate Antarctica is, and what it must feel like to be in peace at the bottom of the world.

I wanted to create a mood of wonder and awe, and peaceful serenity that one would expect to feel when down there. Miller is a New York, N. Miller's large-scale multimedia work Sinfonia Antarctica. The violin, cello, sound effects, hypnotic rhythms and electronics showcase some very hot music for a warming polar climate.

In Paul D. Miller went to Antarctica to shoot a film and make a large scale multimedia performance work that will be an acoustic portrait of a rapidly changing continent called Terra Nova: The symphonic and electronic music was an interpretation of both environments of the Arctic and Antarctic. Deep Chill Network is the electronic ambient music project of Maryland, U. He is a multi-instrumentalist who has been recording as Deep Chill Network since as a solo project and with occasional collaborators.

Over the year she has produced countless CDs of ambient, relaxation and drone music on various themes. These two CDs of minimal drone music have individual tracks named after various places and geographic features in Antarctica and the subantarctic. He began his work in with industrial electromusic and has since toned down the styles.

Kirill told us about the music in This is because northern nature and Antarctic, too has left a deep impression for me. For the main part of my life, I lived in Murmansk one of the northern cities in the deep North of Russia. Since childhood, I have seen all the beauty of northern nature, listening to stories of polar explorers. Once was at the North Pole itself - vast expanses of snow and ice, the northern lights, severe frosts. This has pleased me since childhood.

Now it often finds place in my music. I love everything that has to do with the extreme north and the extreme south Antarctica. It was fortunate that after school the staff would inspect all the air-raid shelters because often they would discover me inside one, tied down to a bunk. It wasn't so dreadful being tied on one's back.

But being tied face downwards left ugly red marks across one's cheeks from the bare bunk springs. Once a gang held me to the ground while several more jumped rapidly up and down on my feet. This meant another term missed, more piggy-back rides to hospital, and Roddy and Freddie wheeling me about in a box. In an attempt to freshen up my life, Miss Filben - an eager young Canadian teacher with large expensive teeth - decided to make me class monitor with responsibility for distributing books.

As I came by with the decomposing red textbooks I can't remember what they were, Miss Filben never managed to get very far into instruction , the urchins lashed out with their iron-clad clogs. After a fortnight of being rendered black and blue by my privilege, I had had enough and the next time that breezy Canadian accent came lilting over the desks - 'The books please, Jamieson' - I froze.

Miss Filben tried again. I was paralysed and she slapped me in the face. I slapped her back. We were all flabbergasted. Her pretty eyes filled with tears but I lost the job. Anything else in the academic line? What do you want to be when you grow up? One was supposed to say 'train driver' or 'priest'. Eventually they awarded me a bronze medal for life- saving. Vincent Patterson was my only friend at school. He was dark and pale like me but bigger.

He didn't enjoy fighting but was good at it if somebody insisted. We were very religious together and decided not to swear. For such a place Vincent was exceptionally ethereal and he might well have become a priest. One day he went on an outing to Bromborough in Cheshire and drank from a polluted stream. Three days later he was dead. I was thirteen years old, very shaken, and committed the mortal sin of missing Sunday Mass.

During Confession the priest said, 'Why weren't you in church on Sunday? Get out of this church! A by-product of my loss of faith was a loss of guilt over poaching. These were about half-an-hour's walk into the countryside from Norris Green, dreamy spots on a sunny afternoon, but the arrival of myxomatosis put an end to it.

Not long after Vincent's death, Mother had Father evicted from the house, which therefore ceased to be home for me too. Long voyages at sea, and when he was home getting plastered in pubs on rum with beer chasers, he would go Absent Without Leave.

There would be fights, Father coming off worse. Besides, Mother was now getting on very well with Bernie Cartmell. After Father's eviction, she and Bernie lived as man and wife. Father was eventually invalided out of the Royal Navy with shrapnel wounds in his stomach and legs which refused to heal. He worked briefly as a bus driver, then tramped round Liverpool on a tiny pension. Just before my fourteenth birthday I had another terrible shock. The school leaving age went up to fifteen.

The most intelligent course of action was to ignore it - until the authorities threatened Mother with prosecution. One day the Headmaster came into the classroom. We stood up in uneasy silence. While talking to the teacher, he suddenly span round. It came from over there. Hurt and angry, I yelled, 'You horrible man, I told you it wasn't me! Mother barged straight in. The Headmaster made the mistake of trying to patronise her.

You bloody Roman Catholic, I'll kill you if you touch one of my kids again! She was jumping up and down, hitting him. I didn't want my kids brought up bloody Catholics anyway, I'm sick to death of them spendin' half their bloody life on their knees prayin'! The word went round about Raving Ada of Teynham Crescent and my final months at school were largely untroubled.

What a hard life it is for mothers and head-masters in the slums. If I have given the impression that home life and school life, though brutish, were continuous, I shall correct that now.

From the age of ten I started moving out. John's brother was briefly engaged to my sister Theresa goodness, the times Tess was 'engaged' as she called it. When I began to drift away from home it was towards them. They employed me as errand boy at their shop, which was famous for bacon. I hauled sides of it which were much larger than myself. Half-a-crown a day plus tips, 8a. This was at weekends and during the holidays.

Later, whenever I chose to ditch school, which was often every other day. John was large, fair and given to mirth. I tried to imitate it and in doing so fell between two stools, as far as accents go, so that later when I moved to London it became easy for me to speak with no accent at all.

John and Edna turned into surrogate parents and I lived for long periods in their warm flat. For the first time I encountered wine and uncracked crockery and could sneak slugs of whisky from the bulbous cocktail cabinet with a musical cigarette-box on top. Edna became pregnant, a business one vaguely understood in a creepy way.

Something about it had been indicated to us at school via readings from the Bible, but on the whole the nuns and priests, celibate themselves, circumnavigated the problem by filing it en bloc under 'Sin' and trying to pass their sense of revulsion on to us. At home, where we were frightened even to put our arms round each other, the entire subject was taboo.

But one cannot live long in a town like Liverpool and remain ignorant of the facts of life. The red-light district in the port was Sodom and Gomorrah with flick-knives. From one's earliest memory the prostitutes were a city sight. It was said that if ever a virgin walked down Lime Street the lions outside St George's Hall would roar. Each Friday evening the girls would gather on Lime Street Station, wearing red lips and red shoes, to meet trains bringing in the G. We would follow, making grabs at the sprays of chewing gum which went flying across the platform as the carriage doors crashed open.

If any girlfriends were there to greet their beaux, the tarts would flay them with handbags: If this sounds melodramatic, be assured that scarcely a day passed when I was not subjected to some barbarism by the local tough boys, so that early on there was forced upon me a sense of my own uniqueness.

Thank God, through cutting so much school to work in the Market, I was rich. As a bonus John would push a bunch of tea coupons into my hand rationing still prevailed. With my wealth I bought Mother presents - scarves, stockings, cheap jewellery. After he was turned out of the house, Father would hang around the Market or the school gates and ask me for a few bob.

I gave him what I had, knowing he would make for the nearest pub. When at the age of fourteen I made my first court appearance - Prince had returned to his old ways, been caught biting the head off a cat, and the outraged owners prosecuted me - I was able to pay the fine of ten shillings. Funnily enough, I hardly ever bought anything for myself. The bliss of those first shoes. It was like walking in bed.

My hair grew out of its embarrassing pudding bowl and, with all the bicycling, I developed slight roses in my cheeks. I came to work one morning, put on my white coat and was about to nip under the counter to collect the orders, when Edna said, 'Why, Nugget, you're quite beautiful. Physical references to myself always made me feel ill. I assumed I was ugly, a belief most others seemed happy to confirm. Later I checked up in the mirror. Thin and stunted for my age.

Eyes dark, greenish brown, eyelashes very long and eyebrows finely arched. This part of my face was always held in a deep frown, except when it lifted into bewilderment. No spots - I never went through that ordeal. A bit of red in an otherwise gruesome pallor. So what was new? Soon after, returning from the Pierhead on the No. Unexpectedly he knocked me in the ribs. In comparison many of my contemporaries were hulking brutes covered with fluff. Although I neither wanted to play with dolls nor dress up in Mother's clothes, I was constantly taunted for being like a girl and yes, I wanted to be one.

Until my loss of faith I would have long conversations with God each night, asking Him to make me wake up normal, wake up a girl, wake up whatever it was proper for me to be. Instinctively, without knowing why, we all knew me to be a misfit. Therefore I decided to take myself in hand. It was no longer any good wanting to be a girl. I wanted to be a man.

When nobody was around I croaked away in the lower registers until my voice was forcibly broken or at least roughened up. I couldn't speak for five days and the Indian doctor told Mother I had 'done something mental' to my voice. Far more important, I privately determined to go to sea. All the other men in my family did, even little Ivor in the end.

It seemed to be one of the things that made you a man. My grocery deliveries took me to the smartest districts of Liverpool. Since these were a long way from the town centre, I would be given cups of tea when I arrived. One of my favourite destinations was the house of Mrs Rossiter. To me she was a creature from outer space, with her hair-dos and long fingernails, her Tradesmen's Entrance and sprinkler on the lawn.

Mr Rossiter was an important man with Cunard and when I confided in his wife she arranged for him to interview me in the Cunard Building itself. I was fifteen and looked about eleven years old. It cut through all the red tape such as medical tests and parental consent, which was a boon because I had told none of my family or friends about this - not even John and Edna who were more important than anyone - in case they raised obstructions. The night before departure I came home from work and said, 'Mum, I'm leaving tomorrow to join a cadet ship.

On a damp November morning I found myself at Lime Street Station with a small brown cardboard suitcase, waiting for the train to Bristol and the cadet ship S. My only personal memento - rosary beads. The course was very intense - six weeks long. I never could do them. I did bows instead.

The first three weeks were spent in nissen huts. There were about two dozen of us. We were issued with blue serge trousers and a boiler jacket, thick woolly socks, square-bashing boots and a beret to be worn at a jaunty angle.

There were no fittings. Everything simply came at you out of a big cupboard. All mine were far too large. I looked like a vaudeville act. Up before dawn, ablutions, tidy the bed and locker, polish buttons and boots, clean the washroom, marching, breakfast, formal classes, lunch, potato-peeling and floor-scrubbing, physical jerks, dinner, lights out at 9p.

There was no time for conversation. The second three weeks were more romantic. We moved on to the S. Vindicatrix herself, a three-masted hulk slurping up and down alongside the River Severn, where one was taught the practical skills of seamanship. I dashed up the rigging, out along the yard, and shouted 'Land ahoy!

We're putting you in charge of the yacht. The Captain shouted 'Nor' Nor' East! Every order on the Bridge had to be repeated to ensure there were no errors of communication. At night we fell asleep exhausted, soothed by the creaking of the ship and the sound of water. I loved it all, especially this new experience 'companionship', even when the others bragged about girls and I went peculiar inside.

My only reservation was in having to occupy a bunk when most of the class were swinging glamorously in hammocks. Shore leave came at Christmas but those unable to afford the fare home were allowed to stay on board. It promised to be glum until an extravagant food parcel arrived from John and Edna. Included was a huge fruit cake. I cut myself a slice and passed the rest on. In return, back came a hunk of haggis which I tasted for the first time and found not unpalatable.

We shared everything, cracked jokes, and in the evening ambled over to the Mission House where the tea ladies in flimsy paper hats made a sense of occasion out of lemonade and buns. On Boxing Day three of us slipped away to the Bristol pubs and got tiddly: It was the most delightful Christmas I've ever had.

By and large I loathe Christmas, bolt the doors, and watch television until it goes away. My final report was creditable, apart from knots, which were disastrous.

We signed each other's group photograph, pledged eternal friendship, vowed to meet up in Cairo or Rio or Tokyo, and all went home. If you want it. It slowed up for a moment when on a cold February night in I found myself with Colin at the entrance to the vast blackness of Manchester docks. In fact my heart almost stopped. It was so dreadfully silent - apart from the squeaking of rats and the ominous ripple of unseen water. Black lines of cranes and sheds fell away into pools of ink.

It started to sleet again, softening the smell of resin and old fibre. A policeman checked our papers from his little sentry-box and let us pass. I screwed up my eyes, stuck my head forward, and stumbled after him into the murk, trying to avoid coils of rope and long cables mooring dead ships to the wharfside.

Suddenly the black hull of the Pacific Fortune hung over us. Except for half-a-dozen hurricane lamps the ship was in darkness. The sailors were ashore. I followed Colin up the gangplank. At the top a man stepped out from the shadows. He was about fifty and cube-shaped. Swinging me into the lamplight he looked me up and down, then said over his shoulder in a thick Glaswegian accent, 'Och, Colin, I thought we was gettin' a laddie! This was Mr Macdonald, my boss, the Bo's'n. We crossed the deck, went down the gangway, flicked on a light, along passages, down again, along more passages, down, down, to the aft of the ship where the sea crew had their quarters.

An iron door was opened and I was shown into a small cabin. Danny will be back soon - he'll explain everything. Sign the list tomorrow at 9a. There were three bunks in the cabin. The two lower ones had already been taken. I clambered up into mine and sat there nervously swinging my legs. An hour later the door opened and Danny came in. He was about nineteen or twenty, skinny with an unexpectedly studious air. Danny had a crisp tongue which I later discovered enabled him to hold his own among the bigger, rougher sailors.

Robby, a junior like myself but a couple of years older, followed. Robby was amiable enough but overweight and afflicted with boils and indelicate odours. I was the youngest crew member, the only one who had never before been to sea. Danny showed me where to hang up my toothbrush, all that sort of thing, and said, 'I'm bollocked so it's lights out.

Suddenly there was a rumpus outside the door. Drunken sailors crashing back from the bars, a sound which was to panic me often in the future. The door sprang open and a light went on. Three young mariners were hooting round the cabin. They weaved across to my bunk and started to tug at the bedclothes. The ringleader, a heavy leathery crewman about twenty- five years old, was bellowing in a Scots slum voice, 'C'mon, let's have a look!

Ooh, 'e's wearing pyjamas! Danny was shouting, Fuck off, Jock! We want our sleep if you want your breakfast! Robby was giggling uneasily and playing with a boil on his neck.

The alarm shook me rigid. Robby was already pulling on his trousers and saying, 'Get a move on, we've got to get the mess going before the sailors turn up, I'll show you the routine. We were the first up. Robby led the way along brilliant red decks and into the sailors' mess, which was spotless and had to be kept that way by us. He showed me how to make the tea, set the table for the crew, trot along - everything was done at a trot - to the Petty Officers' Mess and set it up for the Bo's'n, Colin and the Ship's Electrician known as 'Sparks' , then along more corridors to meet Chief Ship's Cook Heywood who resembled a barrel of lard.

His face opened in a grin and he said, 'Well I'll be blowed, whatever next! They lived amidships with their own mess and waited on the officers and passengers. There was a sharp distinction between the sea crew, who actually moved the vessel, and the stewards, who provided service for the elect. The sailors dismissed them as a 'bunch of fairies'. Most of the stewards were English and all the sailors seemed to be Scotsmen called Jock, coarse-grained types yet good at heart.

The passengers were even further away, somewhere in heaven - the Pacific Fortune was a 9, ton freighter carrying general cargo but with room for a dozen or so banana-boat travellers. One never saw them unless 'scruberising' their decks or painting the scuppers where the water ran off.

Captain Perry one saw only when he chose to make the ship's round like Matron in a hospital. Having been introduced to the hot, steaming galley it was time to trot back to the sailors' mess to clear up the tea and ashtrays. The crew would work until about 8a. Afterwards Robby and I had to dash away to serve the Petty Officers. Colin said I had a choice - to call the Bo's'n 'Sir' or 'Bo's'n'.

I chose the latter because it sounded so nautical. When all this had been set in motion one was permitted to eat too, for about five minutes, before the clearing up had to be done. My duties were divided into one week in the mess, one week on deck, plus serving tea and breakfast daily. Mess duty was no joy.

Waiting on the sailors, cleaning out their quarters, scrubbing floors, polishing brass, waxing teak, lunch, tea - after which many of the sailors would finish for the day - dinner, collapse. Our part of the ship was usually silent by 9p. Scrubbing in the fresh air is more entertaining than scrubbing in the bowels so I preferred deck work, especially when entering or leaving a port. My overseer on deck was a taciturn Scot.

I can't remember his name but presume it was Jock. Since he had no regard for words I learnt as I went along. The first voyage began. The stevedores came on duty and cast us off at dawn. Winding the steel hawsers on to the bollards made my palms bleed. Jock said, 'Put these on', and my hands disappeared up to the elbows in deck gloves. But I lost some of my excruciating shyness and began asking questions which Jock ignored with a friendly smile.

At Liverpool the ship floated past the green bronze birds on top of the Liver Building. Father said that if one saw them flapping it was a premonition of tragedy at sea. First week out of port: In the mornings I ran up to the fo'c's'lehead to retrieve the flying fish which had inadvertently suicided there. First come, first served, delicious for breakfast. And at the end of the day, while the crew were gambling or unwinding in their bunks, I climbed to a secret place on the poop deck and sat on a pile of ropes in my oilskin.

Out in the Atlantic after dark the world is eerily bright. I wondered many things - and especially: The sailors began to take off their clothes, which was very disconcerting. I clung on to my jumper and black trousers. We worked without shoes or socks unless the steel decks became too hot. We put up a canvas swimming-pool for the passengers.

About two weeks out: I was running along the deck in the early morning when a remarkable smell hit me. The relentlessness of salt had abated, and a heavy scent was in the air. Even the old hands were growing frolicsome on it. Eight hours later - land! On the horizon a low green island wobbled between the blue water and the sky.

My first palm trees. I had never been anywhere in my entire life and now - whack! I kept rushing the sides of the ship and shouting, 'Can't we get off now?

The ship rode at anchor all day in the Bay of Kingston, waiting for a berth. I asked if we might swim ashore like the sailors do in films with a Polynesian setting. Cook Heywood said, 'Ever seen sharks, laddie? An old salt had become very agitated. Apparently the saying goes: Ours disappeared on the second night and the old salt lived to sleep again. Cook Heywood picked up a bucket of bones and offal and tipped it over the side.

At once, and I mean at once, the water convulsed in paroxysms of pink foam and teeth. It was absolutely mesmerising. The ship was overrun by hawkers in jazzy clothes with whom the crew bartered furiously. Last to arrive was a black woman of enormous size. She wore a peppermint-green blouse which couldn't have been cut lower, a blue skirt daubed with flowers, and a flamingo scarf tied round her head. She flapped on board in sandals. When she moved everything moved because she wore no undergarments.

This was Cynthia, the washerwoman, who had come to take the sailors' laundry ashore. Obviously she was very popular and knew all the men by name. They were phenomenal, and running down them was an unstoppable exudation of sweat. I emerged damp and red with the promise that 'One night, darlin, I's gonna show you der reeeel Kingston. They looked incongruous, seedy even, in that tropical landscape.

Officially the party was in honour of a Royal Navy battleship moored in the bay. A group of young matelots moved towards me and I overheard 'Look at that skin! Only minutes before, I had discovered Coca-Cola, an invention of genius. So Coca-Colas started to arrive. For the first but not the last time I was horribly sozzled. They had fixed the Cokes with rum. The next morning I made another discovery. Double agony, because our cabin was at the bottom of the ship, just over the screws, where the heat is at its most aggressive.

True, there was a porthole. But this could not be opened in harbour because of rats. In fact it couldn't be opened at sea either because we should have been drowned. But when Cynthia, smoking a cigar, turned up to take me along the Kingston Waterfront, I knew exactly what to order. In and out of the little wooden bars we went, where three-piece tin-can bands make the sound of thirty, and smiles leer at you out of clouds of marijuana smoke - eventually I ordered so many rum and Cokes that I went quite off them.

Cristobal, where South America begins. We went ashore across a solid red carpet of cockroaches the size of sparrows. Here the issue of salt tablets was added to my chores.

I hardly needed them myself, being a salt addict. Salt over everything, even over anchovies, even today when I'm supposed to be on a sodium-restricted diet. Sliding out of the Canal into the boundless blue clarity of the Pacific Ocean, we almost bumped into a whale. The idea was to avoid ramming it. The whale rose out of the sea like a cathedral, waved and gracefully disappeared. This went on for twelve hours because the animal had adopted our ship as a playmate.

If you ram them you drive right into a mass of blubber and it sticks, forcing the ship to put into port to have the corpse removed. Usually I wouldn't press myself on Danny and Robby when ashore. In public they were embarrassed by my effeminacy, I think. But the older sailors didn't give a damn. They were amused by the sight of a young thing groping pathetically into the mysteries of alcohol and adult life. But in San Francisco all the sailors had their special banging parlours to visit, so I went into the city alone.

From the docks I caught the bus uptown past the gingerbread houses to Union Square where you have to press your face against the bus windows to see the tops of the skyscrapers. I gravitated towards Chinatown. We had one in Liverpool but San Francisco's exploded all over me in a dazzle of Chinese neon.

Too young to enter the bars, I walked agog for hours and hours and formed a lifelong friendship with the American hamburger. After the lights, the most noticeable feature of the district was the number of drunks vomiting in doorways.

Then it went very quiet. It must have been the early hours of the morning. I had to return to ship and grew apprehensive between Fisherman's Wharf and dockland. No bright lights here. Out of the gloom, wailing and flashing, a cop car flew at me. Two uniformed immensities jumped out, an entire hardware store hanging from their belts.

I hadn't known there could be so many different instruments of persuasion. Hands up, against the wall, frisk; I knew the routine from James Cagney. They clanked around for a few minutes, checking my papers, expressing surprise at my being at sea 'aweady', and told me to hop in.

I was treated to a motor tour of the city before being dropped back at the ship. Their surprise returned when I shook hands and said thank you.

Americans, I've since realised, are always impressed by civility. They don't quite know how to cope with it. If ever you find yourself the victim of aggression in the U. As we sailed out under the Golden Gate Bridge I very much hoped Seattle would be as stimulating - one was so inexperienced. But we did see a body float by with a bullet through its head, so even Seattle must have its moments.

Our northernmost call was Woodfibre, an isolated lumberjack settlement with one coffee bar, where, surprise, we took on timber. It was in Canada that I gave my first interview. Colin had something to do with it because the radio people were allowed to come on board. They introduced me to the listeners as 'the youngest person to go to sea since child labour was abolished'. Now the voyage reversed itself. Haiti was on the horizon for a while.

My seventeenth birthday came and went like a piece of flotsam. Then only the sea. Whenever I could I retreated to my secret place on the poop deck. While we were in and out of port, everybody had plenty to occupy his attention but now, back in the small claustrophobic world of a ship in mid-Atlantic, my anxieties proliferated. At meal times the sailors flaunted their sexual conquests, while I sat in silence and became increasingly choked.

With all the toil I should have been developing male muscles but I remained puppyish. Most of the men showered in the evening after work. Always secretive about bathing, I was now so ashamed of my body that I crept out to shower in the middle of the night so that no one would see me unclothed.

My behaviour of course only made them more curious. It was always a huge relief when the weather changed to wind and rain, so that everyone was covered in oilskins and there was no pressure for me to take off my top. I was phobic about anyone seeing my chest.

Instead of the hard pectoral muscles which all the other sailors loved to display as one of the bonuses of physical labour, there was a pulpiness around my nipples which I took to be rudimentary breasts. The ragging of that first night was repeated, usually at the instigation of the same young bullying Jock who now frightened me very much.

There was always a great commotion. Objectively nothing catastrophic happened - a few bruises in the scuffles - and the older men prevented matters getting out of hand.

But it made me wretched. Sometimes they blew kisses and said 'Hullo, ducks' or 'girlie'. They would wink, slap my bottom, slip an arm round my waist. What was one supposed to do back? All my wires were tangled up inside because, you see, I was excited by it as well as afraid. Had I been among the stewards, possibly it would have been easier. But I was at the Men's End of the ship, in the throes of a profound identity crisis brought on by puberty but not explained by it I never completed the proper physical cycle of male adolescence.

Why did I have this curvaceous body? After three months of voyaging, the ship was in a filthy condition. If one wasn't asked to join up again all the fears about not being good enough were confirmed. I had made the grade as far as they were concerned. I couldn't wait to return to the ship. When I did, it was a comfort to see that the seamen were by and large the same as on the first voyage. At least I knew where I stood with them. And one - tall, too handsome, blond, a friend of the young bully - thrilled me strangely.

This could not be openly admitted, especially not to myself, but nor could it be disregarded because I went groggy every time we met. Half-way along the Ship Canal my overseer knocked me to the deck with one clout. A whirring noise passed overhead, terminated by a violent whipcrack. One of the hawsers securing the ship in the lock had snapped and would have gone through me like a wire through butter.

It wasn't a good start. Passing out into the Mersey I scrutinised the Liver Birds. A light flashed from them but did they move? Or was my mind wandering? Life on board settled down to its jittery routine.

One of the stewards I met in the galley presented himself as a suitor but I didn't respond, having adopted the condescension of the sailors with regard to these lesser mortals.

Besides, the rejection of all advances had become automatic. Touching people is a very healthy activity. The absence of it made me morbidly sensitive. Nor could I accept my feeling for the Blond Sailor who caused such an upheaval in my prudish breast.

I stared at him working on deck. He would look up, wink, and I'd turn away hot and confused. I was convinced a monstrous mistake had been made and only my being a woman would correct it. There were no fantasies about dressing in such and such a way. I merely wanted to be whole. One night the Blond Sailor opened my cabin door, unbuttoned his shirt and started to kiss me. Two of his friends burst in to see how far he'd got. The Blond Sailor laughed and went off with them. But I was engulfed by shame and driven closer still to paranoia.

In Kingston Cynthia said, 'Why, honey, you sure is gettin' prettier every time I sees yooo. Cynthia, all Earth Mother and soothing powers. Yet really she could do no more than she already did. Which was my washing, free of charge.

Colin took me up into the Blue Mountains for a drink. We sat on a terrace overlooking a misty valley. The alcohol churned and threw up the conviction that not only should I never be normal but that instead of getting better it was going to get worse which it did.

I experienced an acute attack of panic which suddenly began to break me up from within, the eruption of intolerable pressures, and a compulsion to jump. Reason played no part in it. The compulsion emanated directly from the body. As we sailed for the Panama Canal on a calm sea I began to vomit from nerves and tried to pass it off as seasickness. The Blond Sailor knew he had broken down my reserve. He appeared to swagger with extra self-assurance.

The battle raged on inside me. In the Pacific the Bo's'n began to realise I was in a pretty bad way. He gave me work which was either alone or with older men but he couldn't isolate me.

Knots, always my torture, now I had them in chest, stomach and head and they were getting tighter and tighter. The sailors must have thought me a very odd kettle of fish.

I was over-polite with them through fear of involvement. Physically I had deteriorated, eating little, working feverishly in an attempt to block my thoughts - so much so that the Bo's'n took me aside and told me to take it easy.

But I was under excessive emotional strain. The upshot was that, walking down the street in San Pedro, I saw a sign saying 'Doctor' and went in. After an initial reticence I burst, ending up with 'I want to be a woman! I mean, you'll grow out of it. He gave me two sorts of pills, anti-depressant amphetamines and barbiturate sleepers, and told me to visit a psychiatrist as soon as I arrived back in England.

He added that he would waive his fee. Well, I hadn't a clue what a psychiatrist was. It was a new word. The amphetamines shrivelled up what remained of my appetite and shredded what remained of my nerves.

The sleeping pills made me dizzier than I already was. By the time we reached Los Angeles I was totally screwed up. After clearing away the dinner I stayed on board and when my two cabin mates returned I pretended to be asleep. At about 3 a.

They were laughing and stank of drink. I fought like a tiger. As usual the old men broke it up and I was left on the floor with a nosebleed. Later I relaxed sufficiently to weep. But I'd had enough. My mind went cool and I decided to kill myself. On this resolve I fell sound asleep for the first time in weeks.

Next day I worked dispassionately through the schedule and after the last job, which was to clear up when Colin, Sparks and the Bo's'n had dined, I shut myself in the Petty Officers' Mess. No one would return there until the following day. Picture me looking androgynous under a mop of black hair, with a tall glass of water on my right and on a tabletop to my left two piles of pills, one pink, one yellow. It was common knowledge that the way to kill oneself was to swallow an overdose of pills.

To hedge my bets I decided to swallow both, first a pink, then a yellow, then a pink, then a yellow, until they had all gone. I'd got half-way through when I began to shake, tingle and sweat.

My vision flashed on and off. It went into black and white. My final thought was 'This is wrong but so is everything else I do - hope Mum forgives me. Strange to say, I didn't blame the sailors. They didn't mean to be unkind and were only being their raunchy selves. Certainly if they'd realised what was really happening they would have done anything to make life easier. But there was no way of getting it across. How could they be expected to understand what I couldn't understand myself?

Actually their attempts to make contact with me, however rough and ready, were in fact an example not of their meanness but of their generosity of spirit. Sea people are wonderfully generous.

They have simplicity and depth because dealing with the elements is their business. And because of this simplicity they are also touched by romance. I have always admired and loved them. Later on, when I became well-known, I received many letters from sailors and from whole messes. Dear Miss Ashley - When you first appeared in the papers we have been collecting your photos and pinning them on our locker doors.

Not long ago we decided to form a fan club and all the Mess wholeheartedly agreed. We thought that if you could send us a few autographed pictures Excellent , Monday Tot Time.

Dear Miss Ashley - It is with hearts full of hope that we write this our first letter to you, an ex-mariner and now a beautiful woman. In our mess deck we have forty-one pin-ups of various young, good-looking women but nowhere among these can be found one such as you. We would willingly tear these down if we could replace them with portraits of yourself We write this letter in the belief that you will treat it as a sincere one, and it is you know.

Dear Miss Ashley - I wish to thank you on behalf of all the lads for the photographs you very kindly sent. They now occupy a place of honour in the mess, where no matter where we look we can see them, not that we would want it any other way Take good care of yourself and the very best of luck and happiness in all you do.

Sirens rang in my head. I came to and passed out, over and over again. On the third day I came to and managed to focus on the cheerful face of a middle-aged American nurse in a pale-blue and white uniform. And I was furious!

The nurse was saying, 'Oh darling, you've got your whole life in front of you, how can you be so silly, it's a wonderful, wonderful world! She gave me something outlandish to eat called an avocado pear.

The Pear was followed by a priest, blue-eyed American-Irish with a spine-chilling smile. He prefaced all his remarks with 'my child', which drove me up the wall. Eventually I had to say, 'Will you please leave me alone! A faintly embarrassed representative of Furness Withy said that the Pacific Fortune had left and I should not be allowed to rejoin it. I must say, Furness Withy's conduct was exemplary through all this. But paradoxically the news saddened me.

Despite everything the ship was my only home and contained my only friends. He added that I was being transferred to the Seamen's Mission, San Pedro, to convalesce and should be issued with meal vouchers to the value of three dollars per day. These could be cashed in unofficially so there was pocket money for bus rides out to the beach. The local Samaritans from the Norwegian Seamen's Church introduced me to teenage American voluntary workers who took me to Hollywood, to ball games, to the desert, to the Biggest Big Dipper in the World.

With their help my toehold on life returned amazingly quickly. One is so pliable when young. After months of playing around, I was told without warning to pack my bags for a midnight flight to New York City.

I'd never been up before and was treated like God. The New York mission was grim and in a sinister part of town. Again I managed to cash in my vouchers, lived on hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries, and went into the head of the Statue of Liberty the arm was closed.

The representative told me to pack again. I was on stand-by for the S. America , which held the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing. It was a case of having to take whatever berth was going. This turned out to be a luxury stateroom on U deck with yards and yards of panoramic windows. The menu was an astonishment.

Here began my love affair with caviar but I baulked at using the First Class dining-room because my trousers were ragged and my thin freezing Californian shirts frayed to death. However this get-up was perfect for the fancy-dress ball on the last night at sea. I went as Robinson Crusoe. Squaring my shoulders, opened the front door of Teynham Crescent. They were sitting round the wireless drinking tea. Stop all this shit about wanting to be a woman. You'll grow out of it. You've got it up here, that's what counts.

If God had intended the genitals to be as important as the brain He'd have put a skull round them. The second thing was to fix up work with John and Edna. And the third was to try and learn to live with the word 'freak', an embarrassment now to my family as well as myself.

In this, a positive element had entered my life which was crucial: Slightly built, with a strikingly red face and a pot of green eyeshadow on each eye, he had come to work on one of the stalls in the Market. His forehead was very high with a mass of ginger hair piled precariously above it in oily quiffs.

When he was excited they dislodged themselves and wound down over his face, in the centre of which was the foulest mouth I'd ever encountered. From this nervously jerking orifice, night and day, issued a flow of abuse and wisecracks. For Roxy it was a condition of existence, like breathing or the circulation of the blood. And his hands - when they weren't involved in the reconstitution of his coiffure , his hands jumped about in unpredictable staccato, perhaps coming together for a second under the chin like a stunned madonna before shooting off in independent directions, one to the hip, the other to interfere with an earlobe, explore an itchiness in the lumbar-region, or simply gouge the air, then they would meet up again behind his neck in a desperate attempt to knot an imaginary turban.

I never saw him, one might say, in repose. The animated effect was enhanced by the comparative sobriety of his dress. Roxy was a new type for me. And in case you imagine him to be of a simpering disposition, I should emphasise that he was as tough as boots.

Liverpool can be a mean town for those who stick out like thumbs. But under threat Roxy was at his wildest. At first he frightened me too. But the discovery of Roxy's throwaway attitude towards all that was considered reprehensible, well, I simply talked and talked, it was like a bowel movement in my soul.

He invited me to meet his friends in the gay bars. Whenever the doors opened everyone inside would stop talking, turn round to check out who was coming in, and then return to the business of letting off steam among themselves. There were two main haunts:

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