Creative Director Lindy Hume
Windsong Pavilion, Barragga Bay near Bermagui, April 15–17
Reviewed by LEN POWER
Driving to Four Winds’ natural bushland site south of
Bermagui at Barragga Bay at night is an immediate atmospheric experience as
majestic spotlit ghost gums loom up as you reach Four Winds’ amazing festival
On the balmy evenings of the festival, three programs were presented in the Windsong Pavilion situated in the bush amongst the gum trees. Bush creature sounds surround you in the dark as you relax with a drink outside before each concert. On the final evening, a full moon rising above the trees added to the wow factor.
On Friday evening, the dreaded spectre of Covid caused a late program change. William Barton, Véronique Serret and Tamara-Anna Cislowska came to the rescue by presenting Barton’s atmospheric work “Heartland” under the title of “An Evening With…”
Playing the guitar as well as the didgeridoo and vocalising, William Barton commanded the stage with his skill and talent. The hugely talented Véronique Serret played violin and vocalised as well. Tamara-Anna Cislowska played the extraordinary piano accompaniment.
The result was a fabulous combination of instruments, electronic looping and voice, of ancient sounds and classical and modern western music building a totally unique experience filled with emotion and a sense of land, time and space.
|Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen
In complete contrast, the following evening was owned by Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen who performed their iconic 2005 album “Journey Through The Land Of Shadows”.
Suave, but with a hint of delicious danger, vocalist Mikelangelo, led a raffish but seductive group of odd, other-worldly characters playing clarinet, violin, double bass and piano accordion.
They presented a highly-imaginative, jumbled, high-energy cabaret featuring gypsy music, klezmer, a suggestion of old European circus and hints of 1920s Berlin - or maybe it was all just a weird dream? Whatever it was, it added up to a hugely enjoyable theatrical and musical entertainment.
On Sunday night, Pinchgut Opera presented “The Spiritual Opera”. It was drawn from Monteverdi’s “Selva Morale e Spirituale”, an anthology from 1641of liturgical works composed during his career in Venice.
Originally planned to be presented in the amphitheatre, night-time images captured by a drone of the trees and bush around the area were projected onto the walls and ceiling of the Windsong Pavilion, creating a beautiful, moving cathedral-like atmosphere.
The haunting music was sung and played to perfection by the singers and the orchestra. The audience gave them a much-deserved standing ovation at the end, bringing this year’s Four Winds Festival to a satisfying and memorable close.
Photos by Len Power
This review was first
published in the Canberra CityNews digital edition of 18 April.
Len Power's reviews
are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’
programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at