You might remember my post of a couple of weeks back and my dinner with Derek Hynd. Well now I'm free to spill some beans.
For about 18 months I've been working on a film project that has been a bit of a dream of mine for quite awhile. Late last year, to get things rolling, I filmed interviews with Nat Young, Wayne Lynch, and Paul Witzig. I've also had some delightful conversations with Ted Spencer. With that list of names those who know will have little doubt as to one of the themes I'm pursuing.
At the same time, I've been building a team of people interested in joining my little escapade. I'll tell you now, I have no money yet, just the idea. (Sponsors anyone?) Musically, I wanted something different, and just to try it on, approached a man named Richard Tognetti, Musical Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, one of the world's best violinists, composer, arranger, named a National Living Treasure in 1998 and... a surfer.
I had a feeling Richard would like what I was thinking, and we began talking. Then, about three weeks ago he rings me.
Mick, there's a couple of tickets at the Melbourne Concert Hall. Come along, see the performance, and afterwards we'll have a chat.
The show was gobsmacking, and afterwards we walked through the streets of Melbourne, to a little after party nearby, and had that chat.
Now I already knew Richard's best mate was Derek Hynd.
He told me about a little thing they are holding on an island situated between the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Would I be interested in being part of an Antipodean version of Derek's Hebridean adventure of a couple of years back, but with some differences.
The event would be in conjunction with the surfing members of the ACO, plus some extraordinary guest musicians.
Together, they would develop a score for a a small tour of northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland, using the surfing as an inspirational base. Plus they would surf in the event with a group of some of the more innovative surfers in the world.
Derek Hynd, Tom Carroll, Tom Wegener ( with his fleet of alaia and olo boards), a group of young Noosa hotties, Belinda Baggs, Jamie O'Brien (we hope), Dane Beevor and...
But before I get to that...
No board is to be conventionally finned. Either old, ancient, or completely new board designs. A reason to think.
Which got me thinking, as Derek the board nazi goes... Mick, normal boards are banned, ya can't bring a conventional board.
So, since I have no place to shape and the abomination I'd produce would be laughed off the island I thought I'd ask one of the most innovative shapers I know.
I popped into Maurice Cole's chook shed come new factory near Bells (after a quick surf), no sign of Maurice, but the guys said he'd be back soon. After an hour, I wrote him a letter and described the above.
The next morning, Maurice is on the blower, frothing, as only he can. I asked him if he could come up with the aforementioned Unconventionally Finned Board.
Maurice's head burst out of the receiver and said to the effect that I'd better start working on my legs as he was going to make me something that'd peel my ears back and tear what remaining hair I had off my noggin as I screamed through the Bells Bowl after taking off somewhere south of Lorne... sort of.
I took it as a yes.
He also asked me to get Derek to call.
So now, in addition to all the above Maurice is coming, and, it seems, Ross Clarke Jones.
Plus a few surprises.
Where do I fit in?
Well I'm pulling together a small team to cover the more arty side of it all, both in the surf and musically, with Jon Frank as my cinematographer, a great sound guy from Melbourne, and me. A book and DVD may follow.
I've got to say I'm happy(!!!) to be a part of it, with my tight budget and very talented crew.
The name of the event? Their Working Title: MusicaSurfica.
The theme: Stepping back, to step forward.
The end result? Perhaps one of the more important things to happen in surfing in a very long time.
When: 11-21 May
Details to follow. Watch this space.