In Greek mythology, the term ‘Arcadia’ is synonymous with visions of an unadulterated pastoral landscape, replete with mountains and nymphs and shepherds. It is the dominion of Pan – the god of nature and the wild. It serves as both a physical and intellectual state of perfection to eternally pursue, and such idealism has long since provided a source of artistic inspiration, from composers such as Maurice Ravel and Carl Nielsen, to the five young musicians who are the first beneficiaries of Musica Viva’s FutureMakers programme.
A forty-minute drive from Adelaide takes you to a place that – with the notable exception of shepherds and nymphs – bears remarkable similarities to the place described in myth. Completed in 2015, the UKARIA Cultural Centre (formally Ngeringa) is a concert hall purpose-built for chamber music, offering panoramic views of the undulating Mount Barker Summit. It seems as fitting a place as any to catch up with all five members of Arcadia Winds to reflect on more than a year’s worth of experiences in one of the nation’s most innovative artist development programmes.
Musica Viva’s FutureMakers ensemble Arcardia Winds. Photo by Keith Saunders