Terra Sigillata

Nunatak rocked!

Destined for the annals of music history are the sole representatives of Antarctica during today’s Live Earth concerts – Nunatak. Engineers and scientists who comprise the 22 members of the British Antarctic Survey rocked it today with one of their original compositions.

Nunatak is the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station’s house band. The five person indie rock band is part of a science team investigating climate change and evolutional biology on the Antarctic Peninsula – a region where temperatures have risen by nearly 3°C during the last 50 years.

From April to October – the Antarctic winter – planes can’t fly in because of the cold – the frozen sea keeps ships out. Physically isolated from the rest of the world, the 22 wintering team share their talent and creativity with one another. But now Nunatak will play what must surely be the planet’s coolest gig.

My first question, answered below on their website, was how they were filmed since the Antarctic winter has cut off the station from the rest of the world:

Q: If fans can’t get to the continent as it’s now cut off from the rest of the world how will a band and cameras get there? Do you already have musicians and cameras down there, or are you planning a special flight?

A: We have a house band wintering at Rothera. They are part of our science team and are a very good 5-person indie rock-folk fusion band (see band biographies for more info). The band’s performance will be filmed by the winter base commander.

To Matt Balmer, Tristan (Tris) Thorne, Alison (Ali) Massey, Rob Webster, and Roger Stilwell: you folks make science cool!

(Great NPR interview from last week with fiddle player and IT/satellite technologist, Tris Thorne.

Rolling Stone link here also.).


  1. #1 Gunnar
    July 7, 2007

    Hey, thanks for the information.

    I just watched them with one eye open on TV up here in Norway while doing some work. I really liked their song and wondered where the heck they were playing (actually I guessed Greenland). I need to download that tune, man.

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