Monday, December 29, 2008

Surf Music: It's what you make it

As a music lover that grew up by the beach I’ve always been interested in the interplay between music and surfing. And I’m not just talking about how great Jack Johnson is.
Here are three examples:

The first of which is from Jbrother's Longer, where Joel Tudor dances on water to Errol Garner’s shuffling Misty. Watch Joel’s movement, his feet and board, in time to the music. He’s like a ballroom dancer without the spandex and fake tan. Jbrother knew what he was doing. Thanks to Michael Fordham at the September Project for enlightening me to this piece of film.

The second granted is cliché (and a plug for yours truly) but transplants you to a certain time and place with 8mm film to the tune of Sydney’s premier surf band of the 60s era The Atlantics and their song "Flight of the Surf Guitar" -– the title of which is a homage to classical piece Flight of the Bumblebee, this is film shot by my father from back in the day, up and down Australia’s East Coast. The film finished in the Top Ten the Insight 300sec International Film Festival

The third piece is from Surfica Musica where surfing legend Derek Hynd, Two time world champ Tom Carroll and others gathered with classical musicians lead by Richard Tognetti. The fiddles sound so raw and sharpe, the horse hair biting at the strings as surfboard rails carve into the faces of waves. The film won this year’s New York Surf Film Festival.

Of course, 99% of the time it’s film splices music and surfing into an artistic threeway. However I am a firm believer that when you get off the couch and into the water with a song you love in your head you’ll surf better than if you’ve got a shitty song stuck in your melon. That can be anything from the slow groove of gangsta rap scoring the smooth glide of a longboard or a shortboard beachbreak session to some skittling bebop jazz. Hell, if Britney is your bag, have at it. Whatever makes you dance.

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