This is my sixth album of Antarctic music and fifth collaboration with Michael Stibor. It continues an interest in and affection for Antarctica that began with my first visit in 1993 as a tourist and continued through four more trips to the Antarctic Peninsula, the Ross Sea area and along the coast of Western Antarctica. The music on previous albums was largely New Age, cinematic and orchestral in sound. The last album, Mysteries of Antarctica, introduced rock and guitars to the mix. For this album, we continue with a fusion of rock and quiet orchestral, with a dip into jazzy waters. The music paints a picture of Antarctica’s many colours and shades, literally and figuratively, through various themes. These are more fully described in the album notes that follow. My wife, Carole Desmarteau, has contributed her melodic ideas for tracks throughout this album, for which I am greatly indebted. I am also indebted to the compositional, arrangement, keyboard and guitar skills of my musical collaborator, Michael Stibor.
– Valmar Kurol, Montreal, Canada, September 2023
My collaboration with Valmar on these Antarctic themed albums has always been an interesting one. Valmar, having been to Antarctica several times, has a passion for, and deep knowledge of the continent. I, on the other hand have never been. So I play the role of dreamer. And when I dream of Antarctica, I dream of colours. And I don’t think anyone would fault me for picturing white snowy landscapes and deep, rich, blue oceans. But through my work with Valmar over the years, I have learned that there are many other colours to behold there as well. The awe inspiring red and orange hues of an Antarctic sunset, the emerald tint of the Southern Lights, and the almost silver reflections of the water on a cloudy day.
Combine that with the people from all parts of the globe who have convened there, and the colours and shades of their respective cultures that they bring to the area (let alone all of the living creatures who call Antarctica their home), and we have a rich pallet to observe. So naturally, we have a hard mountain to climb when it comes to matching those vivid colours musically. We’ve attempted to do that through combining a vast array of styles of music and themes. Hopefully we have accomplished our goal. But like any adventure, half of the fun is in the journey, and we hope that that is what comes across in the songs, the fun we had creating them. Special thanks to Carole Desmarteau who’s added her magic to many of these tracks through her unique melodies and inspiring musicianship.– Michael Stibor, Montreal, Canada, September 2023