On my way to launch

Tags: David Noble

I’m up, up and away, high in the sky somewhere not too far from home, en route to Iceland, where I’ll be tomorrow before meeting the rest of the crew on Friday morning and then heading on to Greenland where the expedition really begins.

Seems proper to write about my expectations for this trip. What would you expect from twelve days with an all-star cast of artists as diverse, accomplished and as professionally foreign from the science-trained among us as they can possibly be? And mix in a few scientists who are far more science-trained than most of the science-trained among us. And then stick them on a boat, and have a boat ride up and down the coast of Greenland. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for anything – or at least, nothing I know to exist.

I hear there’ll be an electronic piano on the ship, and there was a call out for the guitarists to bring their guitars. One guy makes noises with his mouth. Annie Mac says the sounds that boy makes with his mouth! I wonder what else he’s good at? Surely there’ll be a few other instruments – harmonicas, triangles, some drums maybe. I’ll look for some frying pans to smash my chopsticks on.

There’s also a writer of books like The History of Love, one of the most exciting and acclaimed playwrights in American drama today, the seemingly every award-winning Japanese composer Sakamoto, who my friends Mika and Huw would really love to have by their office for a visit next time he is in Tokyo, and a premiere performance artist known especially for her multimedia performances. There’s also Feist, who it turns out is the first cousin of my great friend Peter. Peter says cousin Feist is the only person he knows that works harder than me. She won five Juno awards this year. There’s a bunch of others too. They do a bunch of different things. And evidently they do them exceptionally well.

Oh, and Greenland. Greenland won’t be on the boat, no. But it won’t be far. I gather it’ll offer us as many landscape shots we could ever want, and given the melting glaciers, maybe even a few cries that will add to the music on board, or the play, or the opera, or whatever it is all of us on board come up with.

So what do I expect? What should I expect? I want to say I can only imagine, but I don’t even think I can do that. We’ll have to wait and see.