The inspiring Alice Giles can now add ‘Antarctic Explorer’ to her extensive and varied resume. Alice is the recipient of an Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellowship to travel on the ‘Aurora’ to the Mawson Base in February and March 2011. Alice has the distinction of being the first Australian professional musician to perform in Antarctica (and as far as we know the first harpist!) and her musical presentation at the Mawson Base will celebrate the Centenary of the First Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

This project has a special personal connection for Alice as her grandfather Dr Cecil T. Madigan, was a member of the First Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1914.

Alice will be performing, videoing and recording music composed especially for this project by Australian composers, as well as music connected to her grandfather’s experience of Antarctica, such as well-loved hymns, gleaned from his 100 year old diaries.

You can follow Alice on her voyage as she is documenting this unique experience by blogging regularly from the ship. Her blog is interactive so you can ask her questions about her journey. We are interested to hear about how her electro-acoustic blue harp and her Andrew Thom lever harp, which the HCA team have nicknamed ‘Muddy Waters’ (because it’s also blue), hold up in the icy, sub-zero temperatures!

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