Iain Grandage has been asked to hang out with Richard Tognetti at Ningaloo Reef and write some music. Not just any music but something to accompany wild surf footage and played by some of the best orchestral players in the world from the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
The adventurous project involves pro-surfers Derek Hynd and Tom Carroll, Broome singer Steve Pigram and didgeridu player Mark Atkins. Photographer Jon Frank will film the surf footage. The project is called The Reef and I'm not sure who gets the credit for the idea but it is part of Tura new music's 25th birthday program. The residency at Gnaraloo Bay includes workshops with Carnarvon and Geraldton school students, a performance at Gnaraloo Station and in July the project will tour from Darwin to Perth with a final concert in Sydney.
Iain is the lynchpin between all the creative artists. Originally from Perth, Iain will draw on his experiences as an improvising artist, a theatre composer and his collaborations with indigenous Australians to create the music.
“The aim is to create a collaborative media piece that reflects the ethos of surfing and the manifestation of Gnaraloo reef,” Iain says. “I’m hoping people will get a sense of the intensity of surfing transformed into music, so they can feel the thrill and excitement.”
Grandage’s composition will link together music by George Crumb and Dmitri Shostakovich with surf rock music and his own reflections on the physical and historical landscape of Gnaraloo Bay. The final structure will be shaped in collaboration with the musicians on the tour.
“The piece starts with a surf wipeout where you are dragged underwater. Music by Crumb and Shostakovich will be colliding with my music so it will sound confused with lots of sliding glissandi in the instruments. Then we’ll launch into Alice in Chains’ Them Bones.”
The Perth concert is July 18th and I'm there!