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A World First

In January 2020, musicians Hélène Lemay, André Moisan (OSM clarinettist), Jimmy Lahaie (renowned guitarist), Jean-Willy Kunz (OSM organist) and explorer Bernard Voyer joined an expedition in Antarctica to present the Sound Exploration show to the passengers of the Austral boat. 

In addition to offering a performance of this show, Hélène Lemay, André Moisan and Jimmy Lahaie achieved a world first during the expedition by playing on a moving ice floe. Indeed, due to easily understandable technical constraints, Jean-Willy Kunz could not participate in this experiment with his instrument. 

This unique feat was made possible thanks to the collaboration of a team of 13 scientists ensuring safety as well as favorable climatic conditions. Finally, the choice of a solid and stable pack ice allowed the realization of this exceptional event. Before the musicians were transferred to the ice floe by zodiac, the team of scientists first ensured that there was no animal life on it, as stipulated by the rules of IAATO (International Association of Artarctica Tour of Operators). It was only afterwards that certain passengers and crew members were able to disembark on the pack ice to celebrate this unique artistic event in the history of Antarctica. It goes without saying that it was with amazement and emotion that everyone attended this particularly original world premiere.


From the first notes of this totally improvised performance, the first Adélie penguins appeared on the ice floe with obvious curiosity and a playful and hilarious behavior, in spontaneous reaction to the different rhythms and sounds of the performers. These Antarctic penguins will have discovered with amazement excerpts from a wide variety of repertoire, whether it be Mozart's clarinet concerto, blues, jazz, a Quebec reel and the legendary hit "When The Saints Go Marching In”. Remarkably, the penguins never left the pack ice during the performance; which demonstrates the interest and curiosity of these amazing and endearing mammals. Indeed, they even approached while dancing in a particularly comical way. You would even have thought that they were applauding! The scientists present confirmed to us that their behavior when listening to music was, to say the least, surprising and imbued with lightness.

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