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Four Winds | Artists in Residence: The String Contingent

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Four winds proudly presents ‘Artists in Residence: The String Contingent’.

A whole week of musical creativity and improvisation to generate potential new pieces for their album and their upcoming tour.

The String Contingent  will pull back the curtains on the process of creativity by sharing their daily input on this blog.

On top of that, The String Contingent  will experiment with creating music by improvising rather than showing just the finished, perfectly rehearsed piece. It’s an experiment to focus on their ‘weak points’ as musicians; to confront themselves with not having total control over the creation but letting themselves drift into a new way of creating music.

We invite you to be part of this journey. To get directly involved by giving us and them your honest feedback.
Your comments, feedback, questions and suggestions will all affect and influence the process of their rehearsals and thinking.

After the tour, The String Contingent  will return to the Windsong Pavilion in April to record their new album.

The residency will be captured by Rafael and Sophia who will film, photograph and blog.

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Retrospect / Au revoir!

A week full of emotions, practice, and an inspiring musical progress in improvisation has come to an end.

From slight fear to overexcitement, from frustration and holding back to breathing in and letting go. From discomfort and insecurity to curiosity. Towards finding a way that feels comfortable for everyone.
Less tension. More comfort. More ease.
All accompanied with dedication, enthusiasm and of course a big bunch of talent.
All leading to a productive ambience of flow and joy.

I wish they could have stayed for another week from this point – to benefit from this newly gained flow and confidence, and especially the ease that settled in their minds and hands while jamming.

It was incredibly interesting to be able to observe this progress and get such a deep insight.

I am very curious to see what the next months will bring while they keep improvising and evolving their ideas on their tour. New experiences at each gig. Breaking out of old habits into this exciting excursion of this diverse new ways of playing and thinking. Live in concert – in front of an audience!

They will be back in April at Four Winds to record their new improvisation based album, with the pieces they developed and refined during their upcoming tour.

Stay tuned on this blog! More pieces and Soundcloud files of The String Contingent will follow!

Au revoir!

Yours sincerely,
Sophia

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In the nude

No magic. Toil. Despair. Practice. Confusion. Reality.

The String Contingent  reveals with ‘In the nude’ an extract of how much work goes into creating music.

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Improvisation – live in concert

“In the nude. Without a net. In front of everyone.”
A pretty laconic sum up by Steve who attended the first live improvisation in concert of The String Contingent.

The video gives a beautiful insight into one of the challenges of free jamming: Communication.
Lean back, have a look and in best case let us know what you feel and think!

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Improvisation 1 / Day 2

As an “outsider” observing the whole process, you realize quickly how delicate it must be for a band to give up their routine and habits by focusing on improvising.

There are a lot of emotions involved and it requires a lot of courage and discipline. One needs to stay alert all the time to be able to adapt changes and interact harmoniously. It’s definitely a great way to get a better understanding of harmonies, melodies, rhythms but also emotions involved and personal limits.

It is fascinating to see how much personality gets unveiled and how important it is to listen to each other. To keep the balance of engagement and release. The String Contingent  managed well to create a base where creativity can flow.

Later in the afternoon, they performed an intimate concert where they seized the opportunity to play a freely improvised piece in front of an audience for the first time.

Please find below an excerpt of the first improvisation that resulted of the residency.
For those you are interested in the whole session, indulge yourself with the full extended version via the soundcloud link below!

Four Winds and The String Contingent  highly encourage you to give us your opinion.
Is there anything that attracted your attention in particular? Anything you really enjoyed or would like to be worked on?
We are happy to receive any constructive critiques, comments and any upcoming questions via the comment form below.

Full extended version of the jam:

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The Arrival // Day 1

After more heavy rain fall and even more closed east coast roads, The String Contingent  finally arrived safely at The Windsong Pavilion at Four Winds.

The String Contingent let their passion, talent and ambition pair up with a remarkable endurance to lead into a productive day full of improvising. Warming up in the spotlight of the pavilion with a rewarding view out of the big front window, they didn’t miss a minute to get the most out of the residency.

It’s a real pleasure to be part of this process and to have the opportunity to provide a supportive atmosphere for their creative improvised project.

You, too, could be part of this process! Is there anything particular you would love to see and hear?
Just leave a comment on the bottom of this blog and share your opinion with us.

So long for now. We’ll keep you updated.

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Almost day one

The rain decided to have a bigger impact on their arrival than expected.
A short intro to almost day one:

 

2015 Gallery of Highlights at Four Winds

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January 2015 | The Four Winds Convivium

February 2015 | Four Winds Four Writers

March 2015 | Archie Roach & Shellie Morris

April 2015 | The Penny Quartet

June 2015 | Taikoz

June 2015 | Vale Neilma Gantner, Four Winds Founder

July 2015 | The Griffyn Ensemble

July 2015 | Genevieve Lacey & Jim Atkins in Residence

July 2015 | Native Species Arboretum Tree Planting begins

August 2015 | Tim Cope, Paul West & Bukhu

September 2015 | Spring Sing

October 2015 | Four Winds Open Day & Launch of Festival 2016 Program

October 2015 | Zephyrs Presents: The Vampires

October 2015 | ANAM Brass Banter

November 2015 | David Hewitt in Residence

November 2015 | A Day with Richard Gill

November 2015 | Lisa Young Workshops

November 2015 | Radical Son & Yuin Artists in Residence

November 2015 | A Tase of Four Winds @ bei amici

December 2015 | Bermagui Primary Wetlands Song Day

December 2015 | Carols in the Pavilion

2016 Easter Saturday & Sunday at the Sound Shell

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Easter Saturday and Sunday at the Sound Shell is set to be a divine weekend of incredible artists, exceptional music and fine local food in the Four Winds outdoor amphitheatre. Paul Dean, our Artistic Director, has secured a stellar line up of world-renowned artists that will ensure your festival experience is a truly memorable one.

The Saturday and Sunday program at a glance is as follows –

Sound Shell Saturday
Saturday 26 March 2016 | 9:30am – 4:00pm | Sound Shell

 Koora Koorai, Welcome to Country | Featuring Radical Son, Gulaga Dancers and Warren Foster.

Dvořák, Wind Serenade | A chamber composition by the Czech composer Antonin Dvořák, featuring Shefali Pryor, oboe; Paul Dean,clarinet; Lloyd van’t Hoff, clarinet; Matthew Wilkie, bassoon; Matthew Kneale, bassoon; Ben Jacks, French horn; Rachel Shaw, French horn; Trish O’Brien, cello, Rohan Dasika, double bass.

Ravel, String Quartet | Composed by Maurice Ravel in April 1903 at the age of 28, performed by the exceptional Navarra String Quartet who are joining us from the UK.

AlexRaineriLedger, New Work | James Ledger will talk about his new work, commissioned by Four Winds for the 2016 Festival, that will premiere on Sunday.

Schumann, Piano Quartet | Written in 1842, Alex Raineri, piano; Jack Liebeck, violin; Simone Van Der Geisson, viola; Li-Wei Qin, cello.

 

– LUNCH –

unnamed Taikoz Trio| Explosive energy and extreme dynamism with refinement and grace, featuring Ian Cleworth, Kevin Mann and Sophia Ang.

Butterworth, A Shropshire Lad  | Alex Raineri, piano; Andrew Goodwin,tenor.

Sculthorpe, 8th String Quartet | Penny String Quartet.

Paul Stanhope, Pulse : Heart : Beat | Kiran Phatak, flute; Paul Dean, clarinet; Lloyd van’t Hoff, clarinet; Amy Brookman, violin; Anthony Chataway, viola; Jack Ward, cello; Alex Raineri, piano.

unnamed (1) HK Gruber, Frankenstein | A pan-demonium for baritone chansonnier and orchestra based on children’s rhymes, this is one of the strangest, most engaging pieces of music and involves a collection of toy instruments. Featuring Jason Barry-Smith, baritone; Emma Scholl, flute; Paul Dean, clarinet; Matthew Kneale, bassoon; Ben Jacks, French horn; David Elton, trumpet; Amy Brookman, violin; Madeleine Jevons, violin; Tom Higham, viola; Trish O’Brien, cello; Rohan Dasika, double bass; Alex Raineri, piano.

 

Sound Shell Sunday
Sunday 27 March 2016 | 10:00am – 4:00pm | Sound Shell

Li-WeiQin Hindson (arr Power), Cello Concerto, 2nd movement | Soloist: Li-Wei Qin, cello.

Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto in E minor | Soloist: Jack Liebeck,violin.

Britten, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings | Andrew Goodwin,tenor; Ben Jacks, French horn and the Festival string orchestra including the Navarra String Quartet.

Ledger, World Premiere | Ledger’s 2016 Four Winds commissioned work. JamesLedger

Shostakovich, Piano Concerto No 1 | Soloist: Alex Raineri, piano.

– LUNCH –

Erhu, a recital celebrating this ancient Chinese instrument | Nicholas Ng, Erhu.

Hindson, Light Music | The Arcadia Wind Quintet.

Hind, The Tower of Silence | Zubin Kanga, solo piano.

Gershwin, Songs (arr by Ledger) | Andrew Goodwin, tenor.

Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue | Zubin Kanga, piano, with Festival Artists en masse.

We would love to see you there!
For more information, including more details on all our artists and ticket packages, please visit our Festival page.