Music is good for the soul and the gift of a song can lift the spirits of an entire community.

27 August 2021

That's exactly what Four Winds achieved for the bushfire-affected town of Bermagui on the Far South Coast of NSW in 2020—despite the event being cancelled due to a lockdown.

With support through our Festivals Australia program, Four Winds commissioned composer, conductor and choir leader Gordon Hamilton to compose a song for the town that was still reeling from the 'Black Summer' bushfires.

His original song 'Tiny Movements' was inspired by a series of poems called 'Small Kingdoms' by Canberra-based poet Anita Patel. The poems are from the book 'Heart Stitched'—a collaboration with Far South Coast visual artist Annie Franklin.

The plan was for interested Bermagui locals to learn the song at a workshop to perform at the 2020 Four Winds Easter Festival Community Concert.

When the COVID-19 lockdown affected these plans, Four Winds 2020 Artistic Director James Crabb and The Australian Voices joined forces to record the song virtually—then gifted it to the town.

The song is now part of the Four Winds' Create & Inspire education program.

Festivals Australia provides people living in remote or regional towns like Bermagui with the opportunity to be part of a festival experience, or community celebration.

An extra $2.4 million is available for projects planned for 2022 through the Festivals Australia program as part of the Regional Arts Tourism package.

For more information visit the Festivals Australia program page.

Image by Chris Sheedy of Four Winds' Create and Inspire education program.