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SenseFest: A mind-blowing festival combining food, wine, music and art

Words by Richard Cornish
Images Supplied

This is a mind-blowing festival that combines food, wine, music and art and questions how we perceive those experiences all by examining how our senses work.

It’s the brainchild of Berlin-based Hong Kong Canadian piano virtuoso Avan Yu. A lover of the Yarra Valley and its wines he workshopped a three-day festival with local chefs, winemakers and artists to create an event that goes beyond the consumption of food, wine and music.

SenseFest is immersive, exploratory and a lot of high-level fun. “It seems to me that there could be a lot more involved in an event, rather than people just sitting there and listening to music,” says Avan. “All our senses are more or less engaged all the time, and it can be really rewarding to consider how these various stimuli interact and work together.”

The three-day event will be held at Seville Estate with four performances in the Seville Estate Barrel-room by Avan Yu showcasing his own talents and exploring the capabilities of a Fazioli grand piano, where he’ll be joined on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon by highly-regarded local musicians Wilma Smith (violin) and Zoe Knighton (cello).

They’ll be playing evocative 19th and early 20th-century compositions selected especially for their capacity to stimulate the imagination. In two successive concerts on Saturday afternoon, Avan Yu will perform the entire repertoire of Maurice Ravel’s works for solo piano—a feat not previously attempted in Australia, and equivalent to a double marathon.

Australia’s premier wine writer Max Allen takes centre stage on Sunday 20th November. The highly-esteemed author, academic, journalist and mandolin player Max Allen takes participants through a sensory exploration of subjectivity, involving 6 related but unique episodes of live music, different wines, and on-the-spot art-making, interrogating the interplay between our thoughts, our feelings, and our senses.

With food and wine for sale between events, this is a beautiful location for a stunning and elevated event.


What: Multi-Sensory Food, Wine, Music, Art, Environmental Festival
Where: Seville Estate, 65 Linwood Road, Seville
When: November 18-20
Why: Mind-blowing event for eaters, drinkers and thinkers
More Info: SenseFest

We wish to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
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