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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, May 11, 2005
    Cape Farewell

    Another set of wonderful northern-sea images. And another explorer in search of truth at the edge. In 2003 OpenDemocracy's Globalisation editor Caspar Henderson spent two weeks on board the 93-year old schooner, The Noorderlicht, sailing to the Arctic in an expedition including photographers, oceanographers, artists, geographers, and writers, all aiming to monitor and communicate the impact of global warming. The result was a web piece, Cape Farewell: an Arctic diary, which is a fascinating meld of writing, visuals, and some astonishing sound files.

    There's the sound of the Arctic wind, moderated through Aeolian flutes strapped to the rigging of the Noorderlicht. And the bearded seals, which as Henderson points out, do sound a bit like The Clangers. All this takes me back to the eerie icescapes of Hector Zazou's Songs From The Cold Seas. Sounds of a world literally melting away in our overheated present moment.