4: A feature documentary
In four corners of the globe, in the four seasons, four outstanding violinists guide us on an extraordinary journey through their four distinct homelands.
From the springtime blossoms of Japan, into the blistering heat and thunderstorms
of an Australian summer; from a joyful autumn in New York, to the unforgiving cold and human warmth of a Finnish winter.
The resonant and much-loved music of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and the timeless stories they tell, form the backbone to this bold and engaging celebration of friendship, homeland and the cycles of life.
SPRING / Tokyo
It is April in Tokyo and Spring has arrived. Cherry blossoms sweep across the country, bursting into their short, magnificent life in one of nature’s finest festivals. With ‘Hanami’ – cherry blossom viewing – as the backdrop, international violinist Sayaka Shoji leads young, brilliant students from a leading Tokyo music school through Vivaldi’s Spring Concerto, revealing the timeless lessons in the music, and in their own culture
SUMMER / Australia
At the beginning of an Australian Summer, Niki Vasilakis travels 3000 kilometres from
her home, Adelaide, in the far south of the country, by train, boat and plane, towards
Australia’s northernmost town on Waiben (Thursday Island) to perform a concert
with her friends, who will fly in from all parts of the country. As the storm clouds gather, music is exchanged across cultures, as we learn about the way that summer and its pleasures and great challenges shapes the Australian people.
AUTUMN/ New York
As Autumn dresses New York with her vibrant colours, a group of friends – most well known musicians – reunite at the Barney Greengrass delicatessen, an old haunt on the Upper West Side. Violinist, Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin, a performer of wonderful spirit, is the ring leader of this
motley group, a rich cultural melting pot of musicians who were either born here, or chose to make New York their home many years ago. Jimmy’s own story, of his journey to New York from Taiwan, to achieve his childhood dream of attending the famed Juilliard School, mirrors the ambition and drive of the city itself.
Now it is Winter. In the furthest reaches of Finnish Lapland, 200 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, the enigmatic violinist Pekka Kuusisto and his musician friends travel through the ice and dark to te home of an old family friend, Jaakko Alatalo, to perform the Winter Concerto in a neighbourhood concert. Here, in this extraordinary and beautiful landscape, we reach the end of our international journey. Pekka and his friends create a soundtrack to this intimate view, as we celebrate the warmth and hope the language of music gives all of us.
(extract from the press kit for 4, which can be seen at Inpu2008 as part of the “Art Attack” session on Mon 5 May – see the “catalogue” category for more information on the Input programme)