On March 16th, 2022, The World Navigator set sail from Ushuaia, Argentina, through the Drake Passage for an eight-day trip to Antarctica.
Hosted by Daybreaker, a dance movement and wellness community that breaks the day with festive events in cities all over the world, this epic journey gathered global thinkers and entrepreneurs for panels and events focused on creating a positive environmental impact.
Sound Off® was there for it all, facilitating incredible experiences with silent disco headphones on land and on water — even among penguins and sea lions — in one of the most magical parts of the world.
We talked to our own founder and Chief Experience Officer Castel Valere-Couturier about the stellar highlights:
Was it your first time in Antarctica? What was your impression of it?
CVC: Yes, it was my first trip to that location — the only continent where Sound Off had yet to do an event! Once we reached Antarctica, we spent four days there and made two land excursions each day to explore different sites. I was blown away by the beautiful landscapes, massive glaciers, and crystal-clear night sky, as well as the incredible wildlife. To assist in making unique events happen in that environment was unforgettable and totally rewarding.
Sound Off silent disco technology is known for defying noise ordinances so that neighbors or nearby businesses remain undisturbed during an event. Did you have to comply with any sound restrictions in Antarctica?
CVC: Yes, they have a very strict noise ordinance there because it’s crucial to protect animals unaccustomed to sounds that aren’t normally in their habitat, and you don’t want to disrupt the work of any research facilities, either. None of the music-focused, on-land events would have been possible without Sound Off silent disco technology!
Is it true you facilitated an outdoor piano concert?
CVC: Yes, our first act was to put a baby grand piano shell on the ice, for a MindTravel performance with Murray Hidary. Groups arrived ashore not knowing what was in store for them and were surprised to be handed Sound Off™ headphones. It was the first time most of them had heard Murray’s MindTravel, which is a powerful, immersive, improvisational performance using contemporary classical music to bring groups on a deep inner journey. In that setting, it was phenomenal. I loved seeing the joy it brought to everyone, and the whole experience played out even better than I could have imagined.
What were some other incredible live-music experiences from the trip?
CVC: I’ll never forget the day we executed a performance on the water in tender boats floating between glaciers. Sound Off has never done anything like that before! In one of the tenders, we had musicians Happie Hoffman, Allen Hulsey, and Noah Katz-Appel singing and playing guitar, quanun (Turkish harp), and handpan drum, and we miked the instruments and broadcast the music to everyone watching from the other boats. The pressure was on to deliver crisp, high-quality sound — we had one shot to get it right, and fortunately everything was executed perfectly.
Another day, during an excursion hiking up a scenic peak, Allan Hulsey serenaded us on the quanun. Because of the range of our Bolt mobile transmitters, everyone enjoyed his beautiful performance streamed over 200 yards in the midst of an epic landscape.
On our final landing, we facilitated a memorable silent disco with DJ Guy Laliberté, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. Delivering high quality sound has always been incredibly important to our brand, and we were able to deliver that on every occasion. Our equipment was even able to perform well in the cold arctic temperatures.
After such an incredible journey, what do you take away from this experience?
CVC: Going to Antarctica was truly a peak life experience. It was always a goal of mine to travel to all seven continents, and being able to bring our technology to the end of the world made it even more special. I also learned a lot while abroad. Every day I sat and listened to panels and lectures from entrepreneurs, technologists, and educators like Dr. Mark Hyman, who works with policy makers to create healthier food policies.
While we were there, Antarctica experienced historically high temperatures, which threaten ice-sheet mass and glacier stability and will cause sea levels to rise. Being on this trip highlighted the urgency of the work that still needs to be done across the globe to mitigate the effects of human-caused climate change and enlightened me to the things on a micro and macro level that I can do to make a difference.