Yellowknife music and art lovers prepared to celebrate the transitioning weather can look forward to the annual performance of Vivaldi’s Four Season: A Northern Reflection this week at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre. 

The Borderless Art Movement’s performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at he Northern United Place in 2020.
photo by Bill Braden

The Borderless Art Movement (BAM) will be putting on its performance for the 10th straight year. It features a multisensory experience of orchestral music, poetry and painting interpretation.  

Tickets are sold out for the live performances on March 5 and 6.

Jo Pamplin, music director of the 24-piece orchestra, has been the driving force behind this year’s edition since practices started in October.

“Our scene at BAM is that we like to use painting and music and poetry to tell a story,” she said. 

“This year, without having any concept of what was to come when applying for funding, we dedicated it to the northern reflection of Four Seasons because the four seasons are so different between Italy and the Northwest Territories. 

“Vivaldi wrote four violin concertos and a concerto has three movements – fast, slow, fast,” Pamplin said.

“We have a couple of violins taking the solo lines but then I’ve transcribed them for other instruments like flute, cello, oboe and trombone.”

Painters this year will include Rae Braden, Terry Pamplin, Adrienne Cartwright and Sheila Anderson. 

Braden has been part of the Four Seasons performances in Yellowknife since the beginning. 

“We’re normally a group of painters and so the idea is we interpret the music and the story through live painting,” she said, noting that the panel of painters changes every year. 

”I really think it is a great opportunity for the public to come and experience a performance that is multisensory because of the poetry and spoken parts and the other layers of interpretation through painting. That way there are so many things to enjoy, and at different levels.”

Compared to other years, Braden said painters will be creating their art in a “more colourful, abstract way and with feeling and less interpretation.”

Pandemic poets on the bill this year are Elaine Gillespie, Paul McKee, Lynn White and Scott Williams. The poetry readings will take place virtually, with poets introducing each season.

Marie Coderre, artistic and music director with the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, said the event represents a BAM and NACC Covid-co-production where the two groups can work together to bring about a visual art, music and spoken-word event.

She said she’s looking forward to seeing the final shows after months of collaboration.

“It was a way for us to present a different type of performance during this pandemic time locally,” Coderre. “We partnered back in the fall, I believe, about in October, to present it and they have been working on creating since that time.

“It is involving so many people in the community so it involves so many different directions from people who are visual artist and others who are professional with instruments.”

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