Three Last Letters

A play for musicians: 3 voices, 3 instruments, 3 laptops and diffused soundscape

Craig Vear

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A play for musicians: 3 voices, 3 instruments, 3 laptops and diffused soundscape

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Composer Craig Vear

Year of Composition




Categories (all composers) , , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-cv1tll1


Three Last Letters is a music composition that imagines the last moments in the minds of Scott, Wilson and Bowers before they die in a tent, alone on an Antarctic Ice Shelf in 1912. It was created using facts and suppositions surrounding these last moments and includes a library of found materials created from texts from the final entry’s in Scott’s diary, the final letters home from Scott, Bowers and Wilson, Antarctic field recordings from my British Antarctic Survey composer residency in 2003-4, music materials (specifically We love the place, O God, and Sea Slumber Song by Elgar) and other sounds and music that take the minds of the audience to this lonely place. Together, the mix of the live ensemble with the disembodied voice of Scott, the ghost string sextet, and treated soundscape re-create the immensity of white sonic space of Antarctica, and a claustrophobic sense of being in that tent.

NOTE: These scores are based in software. Although they share many similar properties to that of paper based/traditional scoring methods, they also benefit from the usability and functionality of dynamic software environments. The visual information will be familiar to the musician and welcomed by a curious spirit of adventure. Above all, these scores are responsive, evolving as the performance progresses – giving the feeling of being alive – and should be considered as co-operative creative partners.

Please click on the score above for a full description of the concept of the work, as well as technical and performance instructions (including full instrumentation).

As sold by Composers Edition this product includes all the files necessary to perform the work including the software files and media samples. Due to the size of these files these will be delivered via online transfer. To receive your files please email [email protected] stating the operating system on which you wish to run the files: MacOS/Windows.

Three Last Letters – Extract from craig vear on Vimeo.