Artistic collaboration to evoke Antarctica

Friday 28 September 2012, 12:54PM
By Massey University


collaboration of music, poetry and images from leading New Zealand artists evoking Antarctica will be presented at four Wellington performances on October 6-7.

Images taken by Professor Anne Noble from Massey’s School of Fine Arts with music by Associate Professor Norman Meehan, from the New Zealand School of Music, and poems by Professor Bill Manhire from Victoria University are part of the song cycle These Rough Notes, which also features vocals by NZSM graduate Hannah Griffin.

It will then be performed at the Frankfurt Book Fair where New Zealand is this year’s guest country of honour.

Named for some of the last words written in polar explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s diary from 100 years ago, the musical setting of Professor’s Manhire’s words supported by Professor Noble’s photographs, also acknowledges other Antarctic tragedies like the crash of NZ901 into Mt Erebus in 1979.

Associate Professor Meehan, who is head of jazz at NZSM, says Professor Manhire, who has recently retired as head of the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, and Professor Noble had both visited Antarctica and experienced its harsh, unforgiving environment for themselves.

“They each, through their own art forms, expressed that relationship and these poems and images were the inspiration and source behind my songs.”

Te Koki, New Zealand School of Music, is a joint initiative of Victoria University and Massey University.

Victoria University Press has also published the poems, images and CD of the songs for These Rough Notes as a book/CD under the same title.

‘I hope that, through these concert performances, the audience will participate in this extraordinary power of art to transmute personal experience into shared perspectives that take us beyond physical realities into the realm of human sprit and endeavour,” Associate Professor Meehan says.

These Rough Notes: Saturday October 6 at 4pm and 7pm, Sunday October 7 at 2pm and 7pm.
Soundings Theatre, Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington.