The saxophone run in a jazz quartet, the high notes of a diva’s operatic aria, the sweet chords of a ukulele: Music has the power to instantly set the scene – and to transport you to that time and place long after you’ve returned home.
From a private concert in an iconic New Orleans jazz club in the French Quarter to a calming singing-bowl ceremony alongside a lagoon in Hoi An, Four Seasons taps into the power of the senses to provide an authentic sense of place rooted in sound. Tune in to the following experiences during your travels, and then relive them later with the help of a memento like a new instrument or recording of your performance.
New Orleans is alive with sound – the clang of street trolleys, the crashing cymbals of a street parade, the cheers of the crowd during Mardi Gras. Its most recognizable note? The blare of a trumpet playing a swinging beat. Known as the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans has been home to legendary musicians like Louis Armstrong and Trombone Shorty, and it’s a rite of passage for up-and-coming jazz stars to perform in the clubs that line famed Frenchmen Street. When the new Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans debuts later this year, guests will enjoy exclusive access to Preservation Hall, a venerable jazz institution in the French Quarter that has hosted jazz greats such as clarinettist George Lewis and pianist and singer Sweet Emma Barrett. Take in a private concert at the venue with friends, and then learn to slide a trombone during a one-on-one music lesson with a local jazz musician.
Singing bowls have long been used as part of meditation practice; the gentle hum created by the bowls’ vibrations helps induce a state of deep relaxation. Join resident singing-bowl artist Oanh Ngo at The Heart of the Earth Spa at Four Seasons Resort Hoi An (The Nam Hai) as she uses the healing power of crystal singing bowls to help you centre yourself and connect to the Earth. Meet her at the Spa at sunset for the private Mother Earth Melodies experience: a 45-minute singing-bowl lesson on an eight-octave set of crystal bowls tuned to 432 Hz, believed to be the harmonic frequency of the universe. “Under Oanh’s gentle guidance, our guests can be at one with nature, and retreat into a place of calm and stillness within their mind, body and spirit,” says Spa Manager Dwi Susanti. A set of three singing bowls is mailed to guests’ homes as a memento of the melodic journey.
On your arrival in Hawaii, you’ll discover that the sounds of nature – crashing waves and rustling palms – are complemented by the traditional chants and mellow songs of the island’s culture. “Music is an integral part of the Hawaiian culture – from mele [chants] to contemporary styles,” says Michael Mestraud, Senior General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Oahu Ko Olina. “And we try to showcase a variety of musical programs that shine a light on where art and culture intersect.” One of those programs can be enjoyed without leaving your room: The Resort recently introduced an in-house music channel in collaboration with HI Sessions, a group of musicians and producers dedicated to promoting Hawaiian music and artists. Artists like Ron Artis, Nathan Aweau and Pure Heart will record performances at the Resort, and the videos will be streamed on the Resort’s in-room television channels and on its social media channels. For a more hands-on experience, join a ukulele workshops led by Hawaiian music luminary Roy Sakuma. A renowned ukulele instructor and founder of the Ukulele Festival, the largest ukulele concert in the world, Sakuma will teach guests the history of the instrument and help them master a song.
The music of the Beatles is the unofficial soundtrack to life in London – the ground-breaking band might have come from Liverpool, but they left their mark all over the city. Relive Beatlemania and explore the history of rock ‘n’ roll with a little help from the concierge team at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane. Let the Hotel arrange a private tour of world-famous Abbey Road studios, where the band recorded many of its songs. You’ll have the chance to belt out your favourite tunes or perform your own song to create a demo tape to take home with you, followed by a private dinner served in the studio for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.