Composing connections between continents: tracing the history of Australia’s engagement with Antarctica through music
Philpott, C, Composing connections between continents: tracing the history of Australia's engagement with Antarctica through music, Australian Historical Studies, 49, (1) pp. 63-82. ISSN 1031-461X (2018) [Refereed Article]
This article explores the history of Australia’s engagement with Antarctica through music, from the earliest songs and an opera created by the first Australian explorers to Antarctica, to the popular Antarctic-related classical music of Australian composer Nigel Westlake and the soundscape-based compositions of Australia-based sound artists Philip Samartzis and Lawrence English. Drawing on the field of musicology, but also the scholarly turn to the senses as part of the broadening reach of cultural history, the article argues that Australia’s musical engagement with Antarctica constitutes a significant, though understudied, aspect of our aural heritage. Further, deeper and critical appreciation of this music as cultural and aural heritage enhances our ability to reflect on the full extent of Australia’s relationship with, and contribution to knowledge about, its ‘Great Frozen Neighbour’ and its identity as a ‘gateway’ to the Antarctic region.
history, cultural heritage, music, composition, composing, Australia, Antarctica