Sir Ernest Shackleton’s descendant composes music on a violin carved from the floorboards of the Antarctic explorer

A descendant of Ernest Shackleton spent a week composing music on a violin made from the floorboards of the Antarctic explorer. Georgia Shackleton, 35, is a professional musician who performs with the folk group Shackleton Trio. She is a distant relative of the Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who led three British expeditions and died in 1922. In 2018 she came into contact with a craftsman who had made a violin from floorboards in the famous explorer’s old house in Edinburgh. , where he lived from 1904 to 1910. Georgia spent a week in Crail, Fife, living in a remote cottage and composing music inspired by the sea. The violin has the names of 28 crew members aboard the Endurance expedition, as well as a poem about the sea. Wood from the beaches of East Lothian was also used to create the instrument made by luthier Steve Burnett. Georgia, who lives in Norwich, Norfolk, said, “Shacklewood is a distant cousin in the family tree.” Playing this violin is a truly incredible feeling, there is no real way to describe it. “To be so connected to someone that special anyway, but also someone you are connected to through the family tree.” It has been really great to play the instrument over the past week. “I picked it up on Friday morning, got in touch with Steve a few years ago asking if I could come and play it someday.” She kindly agreed to lend it to me for a week to make music. “It was great.” We met earlier when I was playing in the area. “He did a very special job.” Georgia also visited the RRS Discovery ship in Dundee, which her ancestor used in 1901 to reach Antarctica, and she sat in her cabin. Her project is funded by the Arts Council. Georgia said, “Staying in Fife to compose music is the perfect place to make coastal-inspired music.” The music I’m writing is music from the sea. “I am looking out over the sea from the cottage window.” I am here alone, but there are many lovely dogs passing by. “The instrument Steve made comes from the floorboards in Shackleton’s home in Edinburgh and from driftwood transported from the beaches.” Inside are the names of all 28 crew members of Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition. “It’s like a time capsule.” It’s been 20 years since the woods were found and Steve has built another instrument from the woods. “Discovery was the first ship Shackleton went on a voyage, and I got to sit in the cabin.” It was great to play on Discovery. “

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