sapphire coast wild beach scene

News Archive

November, 2009

In this issue, we explore what Four Winds is doing in the community between Festivals and in the lead up to Easter. You also have a chance to find out what a Paolo Patron is, how to become one, and how to impress you friends with new found knowledge about the viola de gamba. You will find a new segment of the Newsletter- Et Cetera, Et Cetera that will be a round up of bits and pieces.

I hope to see you at the Inspiring concert on the 8th of November at the Bermagui Community Centre at 11AM. Send bouquets and brickbats regarding the newsletter to, I will forward the nice things you say to Chairman Sheena and lose the rest.




4 winds scene

A few years ago, Four Winds decided to step up and do more in our community in between festivals, as we are keen to show how culture and economy can work together to build a future for our community. We started from our commitment to developing music education in our region, by providing assistance for our school music educators and students. So we do professional development days for the teachers, provide outstanding musical mentors for our students and young musicians like Warren Foster from Wallaga, and put on concerts like Inspiring to showcase and inspire all.

In the last issue of the newsletter our Artistic Director, Genevieve Lacey, spoke about what will be happening at the opening ceremony that will involve many local young people.

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Black Arm Band to Join in Community Outreach

andrea keller quartet
Black Arm Band

As well we will have the women of The Black Arm Band (BAB) to close our 2010 festival. Prior to Easter members of BAB will be visiting the Wallaga Lake Koori community to share skills, through a series of music workshops.

As part of this project, two Yuin men, Warren and Stephen Foster have just visited Melbourne to meet Black Arm Band members, and to attend the opening of Dirtsong, which premiered at the Melbourne International Arts Festival. The performance received a lengthy standing ovation, and was a stunning event, presenting music in 13 different indigenous languages. Read more about Lou Bennett and Dirtsong.

Warren and Stephen will perform in the Four Winds opening event, Windsong. They will also be key players in the workshops with Lou Bennett of Black Arm Band, leading up to the Festival. Warren plays the didgeridoo and is a rapper, while Stephen is a gum-leaf player, in the great Yuin tradition. (When the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened, a group of Yuin men, led by Uncle Herbie, played in a gum leaf band to formally open the bridge).

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Don't Miss the One and ONLY Public Performance
Sunday November 8th, Bermagui Community Hall

Inspiring poster
Inspiring Poster

Yet another project that Four Winds is involved with is Inspiring. If you can travel to Bermagui on Sunday, November 8th at 11AM, you can see the world-premier, one-off performance of students from local schools from Moruya to Eden.

Now what makes this special is the local students will be joined by students from Sydney's Methodist Ladies College and the renowned drummer, David Hewitt and of course Genevieve Lacey.

In June, Four Winds sponsored a Teachers' Professional Development day, at which our region's teachers, MLC staff, Genevieve Lacey and David Hewitt joined forces to prepare some percussion pieces and exchange creative teaching experiences. The day was well attended and the feedback so positive that the Ian Potter Foundation kindly agreed to support a continuation of the program. This funding has enabled David Hewitt to continue visiting each school, conduct workshops and prepare the students for their final performance in Bermagui.

david hewitt
David Hewitt

David Hewitt explained, “You never know what friendships or imaginations can be triggered by events like these. A young performer could be so inspired that they will use this event as an important springboard to a future career. At the very least, we know it will be fun.”

As seats will be limited, call SEAR (our regional arts development organization) on
02 6499 2207 to book or take your chances at the door.

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Patrons of Paolo &
How to Bluff Your Way with the Viola de Gamba

paolo pandolfo
paolo pandolfo

If you are a philistine like me and all you know about the Viola de Gamba comes from reading the subtitles and viewing the 1991 French movie, Tous les matins du monde that starred Jean-Pierre Marielle, Gérard Depardieu, and Gérard's late son, Guillaume, here is your chance to learn some essential factoids that I find very useful in wowing friends at parties. I must admit that I often find it hard to work the conversation around to the Viola De Gamba, but once there, you are sure to impress.

First off though, we need a few more Patrons of Paolo. Genevieve has proudly announced that Paolo Pandolfo, who has been described as the Yo Yo Ma of the viol (us cognoscenti shorten viola de gamba to viol), will be coming to our Festival. He will be playing nowhere else but Bermagui. Genevieve explained, “He is a master of his instrument, building bridges between the past and the present, which in a sense is something the festival returns to throughout the weekend.”

So before offering my fascinating factoids, here is the pitch and plea. Because Paolo is only playing for Four Winds, and it is a long way to Italy, we need a bit of help so that Paolo can sit his trusty viol next to him on the airplane. If you can help with a few dollars, you will become a Patron of Paolo. Please contact our chair, Sheena Boughen on to see how you can contribute.

Now the important thing to remember is that the viol (remember that is how we refer to it) is not a viola, which is merely the alto member of the violin family- sniff. My instant expert factoids are offered so that you do not get tripped up by some smarty who really knows something about the viola de gamba:

  • The viol has six strings and is played upright resting on your leg (de gamba)- bonus points for slipping in the leg bit.
  • It has frets while the instruments in the violin family do not, and is tuned differently to the violin; something about fourths, fifths and an occasional third, but I stay away from that area.
  • Also the bow is held in an underhand fashion (palm upward) when playing.

The viol was extremely popular in the “early” renaissance and baroque periods, but seems to have been supplanted by violin type instruments. I suspect the change was not dissimilar to Bob Dylan playing an electronic guitar at Newport in 1965 (shock horror), but we got over it. The viol is now making a comeback, I am told.

The quick way to learn real information is to google “viola de gamba.” However, to shine at the next barbecue or cocktail party, you should know that the Australian Viola de Gamba Society will be holding their annual workshop in Bermagui over Easter in honour of Paolo. I am expecting the Society to offer me honorary membership so I can be come an honorary gambist.

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Et Cetera, Et Cetera (a roundup of bits and pieces)

** We have a new Stage Manager/ Artistic Producer, Annie Reid, who has some great ideas for enhancing the sound experience at the Festival. In fact while speaking of sound, Four Winds is excited by welcoming as partners in sound, the Sydney Opera House. In fact not only is the SOH helping us out, but you will have a chance to hear parts of the Festival broadcast on ABC FM. Not a live broadcast, but at a later date we will have the chance to hear the best of the Festival.

neilma gantner

** If you think the Four Winds Board members rest when not preparing for the next Festival, you are mistaken. Our Senior Board Member, Neilma Gantner, has just published another book. The launch was on July 1st and the title: The Tale of Henrietta the Hen and Pepe, a Sea Cat by Neilma Sidney ; illustrated by Anne Yi ; Black Jack Press, Brunswick West, Vic. You may notice that Neilma uses the pseudonym, Neilma Sidney. Her other published works include:
The Return; published in 1976, Thomas Nelson (Australia) (West Melbourne, Vic).
The Eye of the Needle; published in 1970, Lloyd O'Neil ([Melbourne]); and Joseph (London) 1970.
Beyond the Bay; published in 1966, Joseph (London); and Cheshire (Melbourne) 1966.

** Our new masters of Food and Wine, Stuart Absalom and Rosemary Millard have some exciting changes in mind for the Saturday Night Feast and Festival Food. We will give you more details in a later edition.

excavator at Four Winds site
excavator at Four Winds site

** We have had some big machines working at the site. No, not the new stage area- shshh that's supposed to be a secret…that's another year or so off, but more of that in a later newsletter. We have done some work that you will not notice, but hopefully it will keep many of our native friends out of the amphitheatre and stop them munching on the careful planting that enhances the beauty of the amphitheatre.

** The brochure and ticket ordering form is about to get mailed out. It has much more detail about what is on and when. As well the mail out will include a ticket order form for those who don't want to save money by buying direct from our secure web site. Tickets go on sale on the 8th of November.

Tous les matins du monde
Tous les matins du monde

** Here is a test of how well connected the Four Winds family are. You may have read my mention of Tous les matins du monde when lecturing about the viola de gamba. Well, we are trying to locate a copy of the movie that we could show either on the Bermagui community's outdoor screen or at the Narooma Kinema. If you know someone who knows someone, please send us an email if it is possible to rent the movie. This is your chance to be a recognized hero.

View some of Tous les matins du monde on YouTube

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