I met Jon Frank, Richard Tognetti, Mick Sowry, Michelle Kerr & Dane Beevor in 2007 on King Island while working on the film, Musica Surfica. The film was a creative collaboration between Jon, Mick, Richard and Derek Hynd.
We spent 10 days on the island and Jon, Michelle, Dane and I formed a working alliance which lead to a strong friendship. Unfortunately the four of us were separated by Australian distances (Michelle lived in Sydney, John in Tassie, Dane in Avalon and myself in Melbourne) and as a result we did not get to see a great deal of each other post production. In 2012, Richard and Mick decided to pursue another artistic collaboration, this time set in WA where the desert meets the ocean. It was at this meeting point, Michelle made sure to re-unite the same team for a second project.
So in a rare 21st century experience we found ourselves together in the desert without phone or internet reception for almost 4 weeks. Not only was this a unique opportunity to reconnect with one another, it was also one that moved me on a very personal, artistic and philosophical level. While during the daytime, Dane and his brothers in arms (Tully, Carl, Jeff & Clay) were surfing, it was by night we all came together. Music played a huge role in our campfire banter and entertainment. And it was during these nights Dane inspired me to write some music with my Ukelele.
One night while sitting around the camp fire drinking Emu Bitter and playing songs with the lads Richard heard us play some Alice in Chains tunes. Fortuitously and to our great surprise, Richard informed us that he was using two AIC songs in his score and asked us whether we would like to perform them live in the concert. Before we knew it, Clay and I were performing at the Sydney Opera House (July 2012).
“The Reef” itself is a filmic – musical collaboration. Richard Tognetti arranged a 90min score of classical, contemporary, rock and traditional music (to be performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra) to accompany a film shot by Jon Frank and Directed by Mick Sowry. The film captures a journey through the desert with Dane and the lads, where surfing plays a main character.
For me to describe its enormity and grace would not do it justice, so I suggest you hit the links and read about it for yourself!