Shackleton’s Man Goes to South Ken, again

Shackleton’s Man Goes South, square thumbnailI shall be talking about — and reading from — my Science Museum novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South in a half-hour show to be aired at 3:00pm on Wednesday 11 June in the Science Museum’s Virgin Media Space, over a huge vintage loudspeaker called the Denman Horn, and simultaneously broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm.

Science Museum sound artist in residence Aleks Kolkowski has worked with Science Museum workshops staff to restore the vintage speaker — which is the size of a double-decker bus — and has curated a programme of events and broadcasts over the past few weeks.

Regular readers will know that I chair the board of directors of Resonance 104.4fm, which means that I don’t seek broadcast opportunities on what New York’s Village Voice newspaper called ‘the best radio station in the world’, but Aleks’s invitation to do something with ‘the exponential horn’ was one that I couldn’t turn down, particularly when the Science Museum have published Shackleton’s Man Goes South so beautifully.

The excerpt of Shackleton’s Man Goes South that we’ll be broadcasting includes composer Jamie Telford’s specially commissioned musical theme. I have worked with Jamie before, including on my Missorts soundwork for Bristol, for which he composed the Portwall Preludes, a series of organ works for the century old Harrison and Harrison pipe organ in St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.

Other upcoming events in Aleks Kolkowski’s series for the Science Museum include a Grand Futurist Concert of Noises on 15 June. This concert

brings together musicians, writers and instrument makers to mark the centenary of Luigi Russolo’s and Ugo Piatti’s performance of the Art of Noises at the London Coliseum on June 15, 1914. This futurist concert celebrated the noise of the industrial machine and city and featured Russolo’s invented noise generators, ‘intonarumori’, producing sounds of hissing, screeching, buzzing and exploding. This event includes demonstrations of ‘intonarumori’ based on Russolo’s original designs, with the opportunity try out the instruments at the end. It features Sarah Angliss, Adam Bushell, Peter McKerrow, Daniel Wilson and is directed by Ed Baxter, CEO of Resonance FM.


Shackleton’s Man Goes South is published by the Science Museum — the first novel they have ever published. The novel is available free and DRM-free from the Museum’s website, as well as from a specially designed touchscreen ebook dispenser that is part of a display in the Museum’s Atmosphere Gallery charting some of the literary and scientific inspirations behind the book. The Museum have just extended the run of Shackleton’s Man Goes South, so both their giveaway of the novel and the accompanying exhibition will now run until at least April 2015.

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