Photo Gallery: Violin made from planks salvaged from Shackleton’s former home | News


One hundred years ago, on January 5, 1922, pioneering explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton suffered a fatal heart attack in the far reaches of the South Atlantic Ocean on South Georgia Island, during what would have been his last expedition to the Antarctic continent.

Edinburgh luthier Steve Burnett honors the memory of the Anglo-Irish explorer. After finding the planks in a dumpster during a recent renovation, Burnett made a violin from the wood he rescued. He recovered three boards from Shackleton’s former home in South Learmonth Gardens, where the explorer resided between 1904 and 1910 while he was secretary of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In addition to the historic wood, the instrument is made from driftwood from an East Lothian beach, as well as ash wood.

Burnett hopes the violin will be an inspiration to young people, hinting at the triumph over adversity encountered by Shackleton and his team on the 1914-1917 voyage on the ship. Endurance, which was crushed by ice in the Weddell Sea. Despite the difficult circumstances, the 28 crew on board Endurance Survived.

Inside the violin are the names of the 28 explorers on board Endurance, as well as a poem entitled Public speaking by Irish poet Mel McMahon.

to listen Public speaking, read by the poet:

Burnett said scottish that he hoped the violin would “honor his fellows and their heroic achievements against adversity, especially at a time when humanity now faces such uncertainty in the journey ahead.” “I just think that with this centenary we all have to reflect on the current situation of humanity… This violin is also a time capsule and a message, thanks to the power of music and the connection to Shackleton directly from the floor . “

In addition to commemorating Shackleton’s historic achievements, Burnett hopes the violin will serve as a reminder of the future state of the world: “The point is, we are at a time, we all know it now, if we don’t change our ways, the whole planet is going to become more and more hostile towards us and survival might be something we are all going to be faced with if we don’t look at it.


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