As part of the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Step Higher Award I was lucky enough to head to the Himalayas to spend a couple of weeks following in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary exploring a small part of his trek to Everest and the humanitarian work he was doing in the area. We visited a number of schools and a hospital that he helped build. It was quite an experience – very quiet and remarkably beautiful. The highest point we trekked to was Ama Dablam base camp at 4600m. Here are a few pictures.
The travel also included some time in London, Adelaide, Renmark and Hamilton catching up with friends and family.
3. Music for the Brain.
Before I left I was lucky enough to collaborate on a project with the Otago University Brain Health Research Centre. Working with neuroscientist Professor David Bilkey I composed a piece of music designed to spark responses in the brain that would be visable on an EEG brain scan. Then for the premiere performance at the Otago Museum there would be someone attached to one of these machines and the brain wave scans would be projected on to a screen as part of the presentation.
Recently, I was lucky enough to be awarded the Step Higher Award from the University of Waikato. This leadership award will send me, with 3 other Hillary Scholars to Nepal to explore the work of the Himalayan Trust and the things that Sir Edmund Hillary has done in that part of the world. It is a huge opportunity to see a place I never really thought I would go to, a chance to see the sights, hear the sounds, meet the people, and ideally develop a new composition based on the experience.
I plan to take some portable recording devices with me to try and capture some of the natural sounds of the environment there, and utilise those as an element in the new composition. As part of the award we will all be fundraising for the Himalayan Trust – and for me this will include some new music as well (more details to come soon!)
Am in the midst of working on a new cross-disciplinary multimedia piece for the Sir Edmund Hillary Programme to be premiered at an event in August. Slowly managing to convert ideas from the poem into musical arrangements to get things ready for when the rehearsals start.
While I continue working on that, here is a recent piece. Another in the ‘Imaginary Communications’ series I have been working on throughout my time as the Mozart Fellow.
This edition also has a video accompaniment filmed during sunrise near Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula.