An Update from our Artistic Director
Hello! I'm delighted to be writing my first newsletter segment as the new Artistic Director for Four Winds 2010.
The past few months have been a period of intense activity: we're in the midst of multiple projects. Four Winds exists only because of the passionate community that surrounds it. It has been conceived, created, sustained, and continues to grow because it is of vital cultural and social importance to the people of the region. We're really committed to continuing to strengthen our links with our community, and to creating an environment in which local residents take an active part in the arts.
To this end, Four Winds has commissioned a new community work, “Windsong”, directed by John Bolton and created by local artists Lee Pemberton, David Hewitt, Dan Scollay and Geoffrey Badger. “Windsong” draws on the expertise of the outstanding artists living in the region, who will work with visiting festival artists and community members to devise a free performance on Good Friday on the Bermagui oval to open our 2010 festival. John Bolton has just been in the region to work with the creative team, and everyone is very excited about what they're dreaming up for our festival opening.
“Working on Windsong”
l to r - David Hewitt, Dan Scollay, Geoffrey Badger, John Bolton, Lara Crew, Lee Pemberton
We've also begun Inspiring, our education project for 2009-2010, which you can read more about in another section in this newsletter.
On top of all this, we're well into planning for the two days of glorious concerts on the Four Winds site April 3 and 4, 2010. The musicians are all booked, and the program encompasses a huge range of music and musicians. Alongside outstanding classical musicians playing exquisite repertoire, we have music from indigenous singer-songwriters, to jazz, to medieval repertoire, to world premieres of new works. The artists range from young to mid-career to established, and where possible, I've encouraged collaborations which mix generations and genres and allow for new experiences.
As you will understand, making sure that all this goes smoothly is a demanding job, so I'll be hanging up my recorders for the 2010 Four Winds! I'll be joining you in the audience to enjoy the work of these remarkable musicians, and I can't wait!
Dramatic Gulaga Fires
As fires burnt out of control on Gulaga (Mt Dromedary), the rural fire service and local residents were poised for all possible eventualities, having to respond to quickly changing conditions.
Many of our Tilba and Mystery Bay friends were kept busy fending off ember attack whilst the fires burned out over 2,000 hectares. Fortunately human life was spared and no destruction of homes or sheds was reported.
Seen on a starry midnight from the safe distance of Cuttagee Beach (near our festival site) the fires still presented a strikingly dramatic scene.
Premiere of jazz composition inspired by Bermagui at Four Winds 2010
Andrea Keller Quartet
Thanks to The Keir Foundation, our next festival will feature the outstanding jazz pianist Andrea Keller who has been invited to compose a work inspired by Bermagui and the surrounding region. Andrea who has been referred to by The Age newspaper as “one of this country's most daring and fascinating composers” is the 2008 ARIA award winner for best jazz album (Footprints), as well as numerous other awards.
Along with her quartet, Andrea will premiere the new work at the 2010 Four Winds next Easter. Andrea vistited Bermagui in August to get a feel for the place, staying at Barragga Bay, home of the Four Winds. Having immersed herself in the environment, watching the sun rise over the ocean, listening to the birds and feeling the wind on her face Andrea commented “I don't want the music to be too descriptive, I would like it to communicate the feeling, space and beauty of this place”.
The composition will be a treat for the many keen jazz fans in the Four Winds audience who will revel in Andrea's distinctive and engaging style. You can read more about Andrea at www.andreakellerpiano.com
Inspiring - Schools Outreach Project at Bermagui
David Hewitt plays the Djembe
In early June it really was a case of shake, rattle and roll as Bermagui Community Centre reverberated with the sounds of maracas and drums, claves and castanets and foot stomping too, as 15 teachers participated in a Percussion Workshop led by an energetic and skilled team from Sydney school, MLC.
The day was part of the Four Winds Inspiring initiative aimed at teachers and students in the south coast region and developed for 2009 by Genevieve Lacey, Four Winds Artistic Director for 2010 and 2012. The Four Winds community outreach program now forms an integral part of our festival work.
In the next stage of the Inspiring project, local teachers, with the support of former Taikoz member and new Bega resident David Hewitt, will work with their students on a performance piece to be presented to the community. The performance will be a combined electrifying percussive display from local students and teachers, an ensemble from MLC and Genevieve Lacey. Please join us on Sunday 8 November at 11am at the Bermagui Community Centre.
Four Winds People (a little insight into our members)
If you like the new website, you can thank our team of Richard Lambert of Flying Monkey Multimedia, and Rob Tacheci our director extraordinaire in charge of visuals and our website.
You may not be aware but apart from website and visuals Rob is also carrying on a fine tradition on the Four Winds Board – a love of snow and skiing. John Ellingworth, our emeritus director, past Chairman and long time Board member started the tradition of at least one Board member being an expert skier. John has now retired from skiing but has passed the mantle on to Rob, who last year competed in Masters events at Thredbo until he injured himself in a race fall.
This season he has been much more circumspect regarding the speed at which he skis, but he has lost none of his enthusiasm. I was fortunate to spend a day on the snow with Rob recently and commented on his technical skill and ebullient attitude. Rob's riposte… “fortunately not everyone demonstrates their enthusiasm as overtly as myself, otherwise our skiing trips might seem more like an Amway convention.”
Maybe next season we can organize a Four Winds session on the snow.