Peter Batchelor: composer, sound designer

Kathryn und Peter durchquerung die Antarktis

by Michael Wolters and Marcus Droß • Sound editing by Peter Batchelor • April 2004, 52'55




At the beginning of the 20th century the British Polar explorer Robert Scott attempted to be the first man to reach the South Pole. He failed. The Norwegian Roald Amundsen beat him in a dramatic race. Scott and his four companions died on their return journey.

Now, almost a hundred years after Scott's tragic expedition, the English-Australian recorder duo Kathryn Bennetts and Peter Bowman are trying to cross Antarctica. A map published by the Scott Polar Research Institute shows a cross-section diagram of the Antarctic. Like in the side view of a pie piece one can see the different layers of the continent clearly: the relief of the bedrock at the bottom and above it the thick layer of ice. The two recorder players move along this cross section through 5064 km of Antarctica. Starting at the west coast and moving eastwards Kathryn follows the course of the ice line at the top while Peter traces the bedrock line at the bottom.

Tim is the 17 year old son of Kathryn and Peter. Currently, he is sitting in the bar of the Amundsen Scott South Pole station, a scientific centre close to the South Pole. Tim is waiting for his parents to reach the Pole on their journey. Together with them he wants to recreate the historic photo that Scott took of himself and his four companions at the Pole on 18 January 1912.

The soprano Linda Hurley and the pianist Carl Smith are also in the bar of the South Pole station. They both will accompany Tim on his trip to the Pole. On their way Linda will sing excerpts from the song cycle 'Scott's Last Expedition'. Carl Smith is playing on the old piano that Robert Scott took with him on his last expedition. The lyrics of this song cycle are selected sections from Robert Scott's diaries.

- Notes by Michael Wolters



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