Four Winds Festival is in the air

THE premiere performance of a newly composed piece of music for Four Winds Festival will be played at Nature’s Concert Hall, the glorious natural amphitheatre at Barraga Bay on Saturday, April 19.

The piece of music has been commissioned by Cliff Wallis and Sayaka Mihara in line with Four Winds’ genuine and ongoing commitment to new music as well as to local composers and musicians.

The commissioned composer for this year’s festival is Kate Neal – a young free-lance composer who was born in Cooma and now lives in regional Victoria.

Paul Kildea, the festival’s artistic director, has been very specific in his stipulations about this commission. It will include a poem by Herb Wharton, an indigenous poet and author; Shellie Morris, a singer from The Black Arm Band; and the Auric Quartet.

As well as an original composition Kate is also working on an arrangement of Cole Porter songs for the final performance of the festival on Sunday afternoon.

Cliff and Sayaka have generously offered not just to commission the musical composition but have made their property, Watery Fowls at Wallagoot Lake, available to Kate for her residency. Kate and her family stayed there a couple of months ago when she met and began working with some of the other festival musicians.

Kate studied Early Music and composition at The Victorian College of Art and has been the recipient of many awards and prizes as well as a steady stream of commissions for a range of compositions – for dance, theatre and film as well as concert performance pieces.

While Kate has found her time in the region deeply satisfying and stimulating, she has not attempted to develop a literal relationship between the place and her music.

“I have an idea of an atmosphere that I want to create and a sense of the listeners’ journey… what the mind might be drawn to” Kate said.

Kate’s wind quintet and her Cole Porter arrangement, Songs for Chamber Orchestra, will be played on Sunday, April 20.

Tickets can be purchased at, in person from the Four Winds office at the Bermagui Community Centre, Monday to Thursday between 10am and 4pm or by phoning 6493 3414.

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