"Antarctica" the Album - Music Inspired by the White Continent
Words and Music by: Josh Jerritt
Photo by: Jeni Stembridge
Antarctica is a place that is hard to put into words. It is a place that must be felt - you have to breathe the air and feel the wind in your ears as you admire the grandeur of its mountains.
The music held in this album is inspired by the atmosphere, spirit and the vastness of this beautiful continent. The combination of white and grey colours that saturate everyday life in Antarctica brought the music to the forefront of my mind. I could hear it in my head whenever I stepped on shore and breathed in the otherworldly energy of the frozen land.
Along with the colours, the sheer scale of Antarctica's mountains made my heart sing. I had always thought that Antarctica was a flat continent, but as we made our way down the Antarctic Peninsula, I was overjoyed to be greeted by the mountainous landscapes that I had no idea existed.
The combination of white and grey colours that saturate everyday life in Antarctica brought the music to the forefront in my mind. I could hear it in my head whenever I stepped on shore and breathed in the otherworldly energy of the frozen land.
"Awakening (Meeting)" was a hard song to complete. The music was easy to write, but the words took a long time to come to fruition - nearly three months of writing in my notebook trying to express the exact images I wanted to convey.
The song is about my first impression of seeing Antarctica and realizing how incredibly fragile we are once we put ourselves into perspective against the backdrop of such a grand, wild continent. Suddenly, we are so small in our spreading of self was a thought that permeated my mind the entire voyage, which it made it into the chorus of this song.
"Gerlache" is my favourite song on the album. It is named after the Gerlache Strait, which separates the Antarctic Peninsula from the scattering of islands off its coast. We spent a lot of time in this strait and I would often find myself gazing off into the distance, watching the icebergs and the varying shades of grey.
One of my favourite recording artists is a woman by the name of Liz Harris, an ambient musician from Portland, Oregon. I listened to her music the entire time I was in Antarctica. She's been a big inspiration to me and I think "Gerlache" is a combination of her influence as well as the atmosphere of the Gerlache Strait.
When I left Antarctica and the music was still swirling around in my mind, I knew that this beautiful place was the impetus for a much grander project.
“Gentoo" is a love letter to the penguins of Antarctica. They are the cutest creatures I've ever had the pleasure to witness. But aside from being adorable, I found their tenacity in their survival to be incredibly admirable. I felt that there was a lesson that we could all learn from them - that the problems in our everyday lives can seem enormous, but if a little Gentoo can survive in Antarctica, surely we can get over these hurdles!
As a recording artist I’ve dabbled in a lot of ambient music that I thought was on the cusp of some greater scale, but when I left Antarctica and the music was still swirling around in my mind, I knew that this beautiful place was the impetus for a much grander project. A project that I know in my heart was meant to be expressed and has now been fully realized.
All songs written, composed, produced and recorded by Josh Jerritt (Pen and Paper).