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Four Winds Festival 2012

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Four Winds Festival has cause for celebration in 2012 – twenty-one years since its humble beginnings the festival will occupy its new permanent Sound Shell over Easter – April 6, 7 & 8, 2012 - for a weekend of unique musical experiences.

Four Winds is an intimate three-day fine music festival showcasing world-renowned Australian and international musicians, held every other year at Easter in Bermagui on NSW’s Sapphire Coast.  

Artistic Director and recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey has assembled a program themed ‘Music that Soars’, which she calls ‘a beguiling, often unexpected meeting of musical languages’, including five World Premieres.

“What you’ll hear over our Festival weekend is almost all exclusive to Four Winds. By joining us you’ll discover new work, new artists, new instruments and new ensembles, as well as hearing music you know and love”, said Ms Lacey.

“The festival is as much a celebration of an exquisite place and the remarkable community that lives there as it is a testament to music’s ability to help us create beauty and meaning in our lives”, added Ms Lacey.

Performances will include:
    The youthful voices of the Gondwana Chorale will usher in the Saturday program – the first artists to perform in the new permanent Sound Shell. Four Winds has commissioned the Artistic Director of Black Arm Band, Yorta Yorta woman Lou Bennett, to write a new song for Gondwana Chorale (World Premiere).

    On Friday night the Band of Brothers (the Grigoryan and Tawadros brothers) will create sound sensations with the guitar and oud*, inspired by Arabic and Western classics.

    Two pianos will be brought to the Festival site so that Stephen Emmerson and Sonya Lifschitz can re-imagine the JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations and premiere Damian Barbeler’s Bright Birds, in another World Premiere, inspired by his time in residence in Bermagui.

    Magnificent classical accordion virtuoso James Crabb will bring all the soul of his Scottish homeland to The Big Squeeze, playing with Genevieve Lacey, Helena Rathbone on violin and others, a repertoire including Scottish folksongs, music by Britten and Haydn’s Gypsy Trio.

    ACO2, Australia’s most talented young string players, will combine with the maestros of accordion and recorder James Crabb and Genevieve Lacey for an electrifying performance entitled Tango Sensations

    The free Good Friday program will include a song about fish - an extravagant, irreverent community cabaret at Dickinson Oval, Bermagui, featuring the combined brilliance and artistic genius of fLiNG Theatre’s Lee Pemberton; choirmaster Geoffrey Badger; percussionist and composer David Hewitt; Howard Stanley; Dan Scollay and Matt Jones with directors Lindy Hume (Sydney Festival) and Fiona Blair and Bermagui’s 1352 residents.

       Oriental Pictures is a series of miniatures specially commissioned for the festival by Ziyin and Carrillo Gantner in which Julian Yu transforms Western and Eastern classics using a unique combination of instruments: violin, koto and shakuhachi and string quartet.

        Much loved virtuoso didgeridoo player William Barton will return to Four Winds to perform for the first time with superstar Mark Atkins, also on didgeridoo, who won hearts at the last Four Winds Festival with his superb and versatile playing. They will combine with a cello quartet to play the cello extravaganza from Rossini’s William Tell Overture as well as a specially written new work by John Rodgers in what promises to be an unmissable musical event (World Premiere).

       Luminous will perform Nick Tsiavos’ Liminal, a composition which fuses early music, jazz and contemporary classical languages, with Deborah Kayser’s unworldly voice soaring in a  60- minute song without words.

       The entire Festival cast will collaborate on the closing piece on Sunday, with sound designer Bob Scott - on Oren Ambarchi and Eugene Ball’s new work (World Premiere) and transform the Four Winds site into a vast, reverberating musical instrument.

Four Winds Festival 2012 will feature an expanded Good Friday program in and around Bermagui , before moving to the Festival site at Barragga Bay (9 kms south of Bermagui) for Saturday and
Sunday.

On Good Friday, ABC Classic-FM’s Margaret Throsby will conduct a series of intimate conversations with Festival artists entitled ‘Eavesdropping’, and the ABC South East Bill Brown’s documentary in memory of Bermagui’s jazz and blues legend, Pat Thompson, will have its first full-length screening.

Renowned sound artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey have been in residence in Bermagui for over a year, creating a floating sound installation – a story-boat called The Seagull which festival goers can board to hear evocations of a landscape and a community. (This is another Four Winds commission and World Premiere).

Four Winds Festival Chair Sheena Boughen says Artistic Director Genevieve Lacey has “conjured a magical program for 2012”.

Ms Boughen also acknowledged Four Winds founding member and long-time Bermagui resident Neilma Gantner, “whose vision”, she said, “is realised with our new permanent Sound Shell”, which was designed by eminent architect Phillip Cox.  

The Sound Shell is the first stage of the development of the Four Winds Festival site (donated to the festival by former Artistic Director Carrillo Gantner) into Nature’s Concert Hall – which will include a permanent building with amenities such as broadband access, a sewerage system and a better road into the festival site.

Ms Boughen says “this will enable us to be much more than a biennial festival: we will become a cultural hub, a place the community and the region can use and where they can meet – to hear and see performing artists, to listen and to laugh, to learn and to be involved.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION  at www.fourwinds.com.au

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