Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Arctic Residency/Expedition Underway!

Wow, what an honour and privilege it is to be in this special and unique corner of our planet….welcome to Longyearbyen! Along with other international artists, educators and innovators, this is where I begin a 3-week journey living and composing on-board a Tall Ship while sailing the waters of the international territory of Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago just 10 degrees latitude from the North Pole.

I just had a chance to walk around a bit…it’s magical, and its truly remarkable, both the beauty of the nature and the fact a small bunch of humans (and visitors) can inhabit this place.

We start the sailing portion tomorrow.

Coordinated by The Arctic Circle Expeditionary Residency Program, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to see firsthand an awe-inspiring part of our planet while learning more about the ravages of climate change.

My hope is that this trip will inspire me to compose a variety of works, including a large-scale piece for chamber group and fixed electronics inspired by perspectives of the Arctic and why its preservation is of paramount importance. As a participant of this expedition/residency, I will be able to learn from and audio record other participants to create the basis of this future composition.

Following the expedition, I would like to seek out a performance ensemble who would collaborate with me to bring this new work to life. My hope is that live performances would feature added multimedia like a photo slide-show or animation evoking the Arctic…perhaps even incorporating the work of other artists from the ship.

This is going to be a very fluid, collaborative experience. First, I’m just looking forward to soaking it all up and letting that inspiration move where the music might go.

I’ll now go offline for the next few weeks but do stay tuned to my social media channels, my blog posts and my e-newsletter for updates on how this amazing adventure transpired.

You can also follow the location of my ship, the Antigua, as it floats around the Arctic. NOTE: sometimes it the ship will head out of trackable range, don’t worry, it will eventually pop up on the map again!

Many thanks to The Arctic Circle Expeditionary Residency Program for inviting me and to the Canada Council for the Arts and the SOCAN Foundation for helping fund my participation.

I also want to ensure that my journey to and from the far north to witness first-hand the impacts of climate change is not contributing to the problem. So when I get home, I will calculate the total number of KMs I travelled and purchase credits from Less to offset my carbon emissions.

Arctic Circle Residency


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