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Archived News

December, 2010


Terry Irwin 1943-2010

Terry Irwin
Terry Irwin - his crusty manner hid a heart of gold

How we miss Terry Irwin at Four Winds! Terry tackled his ‘Four Winds life’, as he put it, with a bluff and idiosyncratic humour, intense dedication, and a sharp intellect.

Audience members who knew him through his hugely overqualified Festival Parking Team and his quirky newsletters might have been surprised to see Terry at Board meetings, where his probing questions and sensible and decisive decisions contributed significantly to their professional running. As Deputy Chair he had a huge task in assisting our chairperson Sheena Boughen in both the running of the organisation and managing the Four Winds site. This latter task he did with great care, and he loved to drive around the site on a quad bike, kneeling on the saddle, (a position he maintained was safer than sitting) while supervising jobs.

Nothing reminds us better of Terry's unique way of doing things than a few extracts from emails to his car parking volunteers, many of whom had PhD's and a number of whom were old mates of Terry's who came to the Festival from all over Australia. The car parking team consistently got the highest praise from audience members in all our Festival surveys.

Vale Terry, a true gentleman with old style American courtesy. His crusty manner hid a heart of gold. Terry is irreplaceable and will be a part of Four Winds forever. Our deepest sympathy to his wife Lois and children Dean and Kathryn. Four Winds Board, December 2010

Four Winds Artistic Director, Genevieve Lacey writes:

It’s so hard to find words for a man who meant the world to us, who is irreplaceable in our lives and community. When I think of Terry, I remember his passion for music (not all types, and certainly not everything I programd, let’s be clear!), his inimitable sense of humour, his common sense, his brilliant ability to be incisive and to prioritise. I remember his generosity, always without show. And I remember our debates about many things, all of which left me clearer. He was a great educator. I’ll carry his wise, irreverent voice in my head, and hope we can take care of the Four Winds he loved.

An excerpt from Terry’s inimitable emails to his very special Car Parking Team:

Well you lucky chosen one, you are being offered the unique opportunity to work at the Four Winds in the exalted position as Car Parker.  Once again you can help the Car Parking team score the highest marks for incompetence and obnoxious good-will on the feed-back sheets from patrons.

Seriously, you all know that I am of the firm belief that the Car Parking team is vital in setting the tone of the weekend.  The poor punter has been queued on a dusty road for some time and then is asked to drive across a rough paddock before hiking two and one-half miles to the amphitheatre while hauling an esky full of beer and his Aussie Oi, Oi, Oi sign.  They need to be guided to their car parking place by skilled and knowledgeable staff. .......

What do you get in exchange for your kindness?
Well you get to keep the silly T shirt, but not the high-viz vest.
You get one free weekend pass valued at $150.
The satisfaction of parking the $300,000 Lamborghini in the worst spot possible and surrounded by dusty Subarus and old Holdens.
The grateful appreciation of all the folk involved in the Festival.

An observation from a friend and colleague:

“Terry Irwin, one of the best people around, died in the early hours of 15 October 2010. A gruff and curmudgeonly man with an oversized heart and ingrained sense of community, he leaves behind a wealth of quiet contributions, all tinged with love and connection.”

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Four Winds 2010: ABC Classic FM Broadcasts during January

ABC Classic FM

Monday, 10th January, 8pm: Fandango with Friends and Heartstrings
Friday, 14th January, 8pm: Love and Other Catastrophes and Sounds Cinematic
Monday, 17th January, 8pm: Songs of Earth and Sky
Friday, 21st January, 8pm: Song for Neilma and Metamorphosis

What a great way to start the New Year! During January, ABC Classic FM will broadcast performances from the 2010 Four Winds program across the nation. ABC Classic FM will devote four evenings in January to Four Winds. The first broadcast will go to air at 8pm on Monday, 10th January, with two performances from the 2010 festival. ‘Fandango with Friends’ with classical guitarist Karin Schaupp and the Flinders Quartet and ‘Heartstrings’ with Karin Schaupp, Four Winds artistic director and recorder virtuoso, Genevieve Lacey, and harpist Marshall McGuire, will be featured during this first broadcast.

The second broadcast will be aired at 8pm on Friday the 14th of January with ‘Love and Other Catastrophes’ featuring soprano Jessica Aszodi and Marshall McGuire and ‘Sounds Cinematic’ by composer and percussionist David Hewitt. At 8pm on Monday, 17th January, ‘Songs of Earth and Sky’ will be broadcast. This performance will feature e21 the Gregorian chant group, who bravely continued chanting right through the only downpour of the 2010 festival. Funnily enough, the dear, late Terry Irwin proved his uncanny wit could also double as uncanny prediction. For you veteran newsletter subscribers out there, you may recall a newsletter just this March, featuring the rain choir from Slovenia - Rain and Choir – that’s what we got...thanks Terry!

The final broadcast will go to air at 8pm, Friday 21st January, when audiences across Australia will have an opportunity to hear ‘Song for Neilma’, the piece commissioned for Four Winds’ founding member Neilma Gantner and composed by Peter Sculthorpe - which premiered at the 2010 Four Winds – performed by Genevieve Lacey and the Flinders Quartet. This final broadcast will also feature ‘Metamorphosis’ by Paolo Pandolfo and his viola da gamba and yes, those noisy and loveable frogs!!

These broadcasts give us a perfect opportunity to practise our new social media skills – yes, we will Tweet you reminders of the performances on each day of the broadcasts, so if you haven’t signed on to the Four Winds Twitter account now is a good time to try it. There’s no need to be baffled – it really is easy; here’s what you need to do: Create your own Twitter account, online at if you haven’t already got one. Then subscribe to Four Winds with the hash tag 4winds10 and you’ll then be able to receive a reminder on your phone. What a lovely way to enjoy the summer evenings in January and thanks to ABC Classic FM for supporting beautiful music and Four Winds.

Bega/Cooma 99.3 FM
Batemans Bay/Narooma 101.9 FM
or listen online by going to

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2010 Festival wrap up

Festivel wrap upArtistic Director Genevieve Lacey’s vision for the Four Winds as a sanctuary for musicians, is becoming a reality. The musicians who performed in 2010 have said they loved the experience and being looked after by the local community. Genevieve reminds us that as they travel the world and the country with a seemingly enviable lifestyle the flipside is a lack of permanent infrastructure and community. She says Four Winds and Bermagui provides a sense of belonging in a way no other community has: “This is an environment that encourages risk, supports innovation, and loves building long term, nurturing relationships with artists.

The following note was written by our international guest Italian Viola da Gamba player Paolo Pandolfo after the 2010 Festival:

Dear Sheena, Dear Bermagui, Dear community of one of the most beautiful spots of the planet,

I want to thank you deeply for inviting me to share with you some of the extraordinary vital energy which your home provides, from the Forest, the Lakes, the Sacred Mountain, down to the Ocean. It was a very special experience for me, to have the privilege of playing for a different audience, attentive and colorful, sitting on grass steps, accepting rain as well as to beating sunshine, looking for real music experiences and not attending the exhausted ritual of “normal concert”. An audience ready to react to the most important of the messages, how music talks to souls and bodies with no borders, no class, no race, no age, nothing… just music and living beings…

It will stay a long time in my memory,

We would like to thank the many Festival volunteers who played a major role in creating this wonderful atmosphere and experience and Four Winds thanks every individual for their valuable time and commitment. Volunteering is a great tradition on the Far South Coast and the community is strengthened because of it. An amazing 150 people volunteered for the 2010 Four Winds – an extraordinarily high number of people when you consider the population of Bermagui is just over 1300 people!

Audience feedback for 2010 was tremendous with the Four Winds audience survey providing responses regarding the Festival program and performances. What’s clear from the survey is that a vast number of the audience appreciated the friendly and spiritual quality of the Festival and we once again ask the volunteers to take a bow. Our hard-working General Manager Natalya Tacheci particularly liked the audience quote which stated, “It’s global quality and local spirit”.

The opening events of the 2010 festival were held in the town itself. On Good Friday ABC Classic FM broadcaster Margaret Throsby interviewed visiting artists in the forum ‘Eavesdropping’ and for the second time, a spectacular concert – Windsong - was held on the local oval. There was no entry fee for Windsong, which over 1500 people attended. Windsong was a new work commissioned by Four Winds and created by four local artists in collaboration with Melbourne-based director John Bolton. Eighty per cent of the performers were local participants along with appearances by visiting artists.

Saturday marked the beginning of proceedings at the Four Winds site. The first performance was by e21, a men’s vocal ensemble who performed Gregorian chants to an audience who voted to ‘keep the show going’ despite a sudden downpour which, thankfully, soon passed. Thanks to Aunty anyone who was busy zipping up their rain jackets during the performance will be able to hear the concert on ABC Classic FM at 8pm, Monday 17th January.

The three-day festival culminated with a spectacular performance by the Black Arm Band, which featured collaborations with Flinders Quartet, Andrea Keller Quartet, and Karin Schaupp, designed especially for the festival. Black Arm Band also invited members of the local indigenous community to the stage to perform a beautiful song that they had co-written with Lou Bennett, ‘Gulaga and Gadu’.

Separate to the three-day festival, Four Winds ran a number of community outreach programs that brought some of the festival’s visiting artists into the area to conduct workshops and develop artistic projects involving local community members.

Many images of audiences members were taken during the festival and have been uploaded to the Four Winds website. The website and gallery continue to be the particular passion and contribution of board member Robert Tacheci. It’s a great site, with lots of information and audio and visual links. The direct link to the gallery is or to view a slideshow put to music from the festival go to

The Four Winds Festival could also not be run without the help of sponsors, supporters and donors. For 2010 they were Arts NSW; The Australia Council; the Four Winds Foundation; the Mumbulla Foundation; APRA/AMCOS; the KEIR Foundation; Sidney Myer Fund; The Ian Potter Foundation; Sydney Opera House; Marshall and Tacheci; Commonwealth Bank; Maria Myers; Cliff Wallis; Sayaka Mihara and Sundeck Hotel; Arts House and the City of Melbourne. Special thanks to you all.


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Sound Shell 2012 by the sea shore

Sound Shell Fund-o-meter

Thanks to the overwhelming response to our appeal to build a permanent, all-weather sound shell at the Festival site, we are happy to report that we are two thirds of the way there. Not bad, considering we only launched  the appeal this Easter! 

To date, we have raised $535,000 of our target of $800,000 which includes the challenge grant from donors which means that for every $1 we raise we actually bank $2.

An exciting boost to fundraising efforts came recently with a significant grant from the NSW government with a capital grant for 2011 of $99,000 from Arts NSW.

With the help of sponsors and donors big and small, the dream of a sound shell that enhances Four Winds' magnificent site's ability to attract leading musicians from around Australia and the world to the far South Coast, is becoming a reality. In the meantime, a lot of work is being done by award-winning local architect Philip Cox's team to fine tune the shell's design and acoustics.

Stay tuned for more details! In the meantime, look out for a display of the latest plans for the site in Bermagui over the summer. 

Song for Neilma CDPS: Donors who gave over $1000 to the sound shell appeal are receiving a New Year's present this year: a limited edition CD of Song For Neilma,  a specially commissioned work composed by Peter Sculthorpe in recognition of local resident , founder and board member.  Neilma Gantner's unstinting support of Four Winds.  The work was premiered at this year's festival, performed by Four Winds' artistic director Genevieve Lacey and members of the Flinders Quartet. Only a small numbers of CDs were produced but there are still some available for donors at this level.

And don't forget to check in regularly with the website as we'll be announcing further fundraising and other events here first. First up will be a business breakfast in May with a prominent speaker you won't want to miss. More details early in the New Year.



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'Upon a Time' in Canberra

Genevieve & Poul
Genevieve Lacey and Poul Hoxbro

Saturday March 12, 2011
6pm Great Hall, University House, ANU
Twilight performance, to be followed by al fresco buffet.
$35/$25 concession (excluding buffet)
Payment at the door

‘Following the age-old  tradition of wandering minstrels, pipe and tabor player Poul Høxbro and the Australian recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, lead their audiences back to medieval Europe, weaving melodies and stories into an hour of unbroken performance, meant to impress as well as touch. Their musical arrangements defy what one would imagine is possible for two pipers. They draw upon a myriad of colours, stretching from four flutes played simultaneously to multiple combinations of flutes and percussion to the clean and naked simplicity of instruments alone. With instrumental fantasies based on Hildegard von Bingen and thirteenth century English Hymns to Mary through to French polyphony, Danish folk tunes and complex Italian ballatas of the fourteenth century, the program  includes both moments of meditative devotion and ecstatic dance’. (

Genevieve Lacey, recorder (Australia)
Poul Hoxbro, fife and tabor (Denmark)

Accommodation package available at University House
Profits towards the construction of the Sound Shell 2012 at Four Winds.
Enquiries/ Bookings Jill Downer Phone bookings open Feb 1 (02 6282 7183)


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2011: More exciting artistic projects coming up

More to come

Bermi Talks: Sound Walks for the Bermi Talks project will start in February and continue throughout the year. With Sound Captains, and a series of red megaphones appearing around the landscape with the voices of  Bermagui locals and the sounds of our environment attached to them, the Bermi Talks project has all the  quirky ingredients of a Hamish McBeth storyline. The Sound walks will see Bermaguians walking in and around the town, listening to environments they thought they knew, listening too to stories from locals who inhabit these spaces. Artists Tim Humphrey and Madeline Flynn will inspire a team of local collectors and recollectors to listen to and record the stories and sounds of their place. These recordings will provide inspiration and raw material for a sound work that will be will be fully unveiled in Bermagui in November 2011.

The Sound Installation will remain in Bermagui until Easter 2012 when it will be moved to the Barragga Bay Four Winds site, for the 2012 Festival.

Artists Tim and Maddie have said they “want to establish a community engagement framework that is both surprising, somewhat challenging but also tending towards the irresistible”, for those who want a voice in the telling of the Bermagui story.

The Sound Walks are open to everyone from the local area and walkers will be asked to listen to Bermagui. What will they hear? The sound of the ocean; children playing; gulls crying in the wind; fishing boats returning from sea; cars in the street and much more. Stay tuned for more updates.

The Bermi Talks project plus the Inspiring project that will see a cultural exchange throughout the year between local schools and the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana youth choirs, culminating in a final community concert in September 2011 are the direct results of the creative vision of Four Winds, which successfully competed for the Australia Council’s $420,000 Creative Communities Partnership Initiative in 2010. The Inspiring project will kick off over January when two local music teachers will be sent by Four Winds to Sydney to take part in the National Choral School.

To explain the first two of four projects - Inspiring and Bermi Talks - to the local community Genevieve Lacey led a community forum at Bermagui in November. The forum was a great success and more are planned for the New Year to keep the community informed of how the projects are developing. Local ABC radio has continued to show its support for Four Winds and ran an in-depth live-to-air interview with Four Winds Chair Sheena Boughen before the forum. We hope this will be on the website soon.

BREEZINGS: Conversations about Agri-Culture: Starting in May 2011, Four Winds will launch a series of public conversations designed to address hot issues and inspire new ways of thinking. We’ll be bringing a great line-up of speakers to Bermagui to talk - and listen; people who have made a difference through their creative thinking and relationships, who have wisdom to pass on about different models of collaboration, sustainability, participation and engagement. The ideas generated will be relevant to anyone who cares about their rural, regional, coastal community.

Watch this space for more information about guest speakers and topics, and feel free to make suggestions about the topics that matter to you. We look forward to hearing from you.

First up: Monday 9 May 2011
Venue to be advised
Four Winds artistic director Genevieve Lacey and Big hArt artistic director Scott Rankin with moderator Caroline Baum.
Having recently collaborated on an acclaimed new production about the life of Albert Namatjira at Sydney’s Belvoir St theatre, Genevieve and Scott have developed a close rapport over shared creative concerns. In this conversation, they’ll talk about collaboration at every level from the individual to the civic. Don’t miss this chance to meet two of Australians most dynamic creative catalysts!

Bermi Talks, Inspiring, and Breezings mean 2011 will not just be an ‘in-between year’ for Four Winds, but an artistically and culturally significant one for Bermagui. The New Year will begin, not with a bang, but with the beautiful sounds of the National Choral School in Sydney, to which Four Winds will send three local music teachers. Then, in February, the Sound Walks will begin and there will be additional community forums held for the community to keep up to date with the flurry of activity. In September local children will sing with the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana youth choirs in a community concert and in November the Sound Installation will be unveiled.

Have a great Christmas and New Year!
With best wishes from everyone at Four Winds.

For all enquiries:
Four Winds ->


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