I was able to attend this truly unique event at Tanta-An Mountain Center. All three performances had their differences, however they absolutely meshed together to remind us why we all are present: a love for the mountains.
The night began with a meet and greet and a complementary beverage. Here I encountered a diverse group of people including property owners in the Niseko area, professional photographers, local parents of the performing children, and committed Richard Tognetti fans. People from around the world.
The first act was the Mt. Yotei Junior Jazz School; a collection of 8 to 15 year olds who share a love for music. Immediately I was impressed by their energy! They were standing up, dancing around with their instruments, and it was evident that they genuinely enjoyed performing. The song choice was bouncy and well-known, which let the audience participate with some clapping and movement.
After a brief intermission Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra took the stage. Tognetti is an owner of a room in Muse Niseko, one of Vacation Niseko’s prestige properties. This is one of many the reason Vacation Niseko is proud to support this event. As soon as they began to play, perfect snowflakes started filling the view of the expansive windows behind the orchestra. There was absolutely no wind, and the snow lit up by the building’s lights in the night sky was a beautiful sight. The orchestra’s mastery was incredible. Easily the most technically impressive string performance I have ever seen. The small group of 6 musicians blended perfectly together, acting as one, yet allowing you to hear each one individually when they desired. The song choice was mixed. The orchestra played excerpts from the upcoming film, classic scores, as well as a new piece of music originating from Sweden. This performance seemed to go by so quickly for me as I was completely captured. The group bowed and vacated the stage for the next show.
After the second intermission Jennifer Peedom, the director of the film about to play, was introduced to the stage by Tognetti. She simply titled it “Mountain”. Being an avid mountaineer herself and reluctantly admitting her own hardships and dangerous endeavors among big peaks, it was clear to see how mountains have shaped her life. The film opens with some of the most break taking footage of the most remote mountains in the world. Jagged lines thrown by peaks in the Himalayas, Europe, the Americas, and many I could not identify. The film featured famous free soloist climbers, mountain bikers, and skiers. The amazing imagery continued, outdoing the shot before with even more epic views. I won’t lie, this film inspired me to keep exploring more mountainous regions of the world. Their beauty is something I can always appreciate, and something I will keep chasing. The filmed ended in the same epic fashion, and the audience seemed to look around as if to make sure what they saw was real. After a huge applause for the film as well as the prior two performances, it was evident that the audience appreciated all the effort put into the art forms displayed and celebrated that night.