The Reef 2016 US Tour

Disney Hall Los Angeles. What a venue.

Disney Hall Los Angeles. What a venue.

After working on the Reef for over four years it was great to see it in its 2016 form, post our second trip to Gnaraloo and months of editing, finally getting to audiences in the US and seeing the journey out.

With performances at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, 92Y in New York, and in Richmond Virginia, the ACO had a hectic tour while Jonny Frank and I, and our respective better halves, plus little Freya Frank, bumbled along enjoying the fruits of a lot of wok and having a damn good time to boot.

Reception in all cities was of the standing ovation sort, which was gratifying, though the critical response ranged from puzzled to glowing, based on how close they sat to the inner circle of the surfing world. Of no doubt was the delivery of the performances by the ACO as they played and sang (Satu Vanska and Craig Johnson) their hearts out with the technical end being astonishingly accurate and fault free.

My greatest satisfaction was the audience reaction and knowing that so many 'got it'. The Reef Redux is a little melancholy, just like life, but 'elegy and redemption' as one great friend put it was about as perfect a summation of my motives behind the film as any. To Richard Tognetti and Jonny Frank I say thank you from the bottom of my heart, as you have been the most wonderful of collaborators, and to Ed Saltau the same, as his technical knowledge (and artistry in filming) held our show together - or added to it - at times when the wheels may have fallen off due to the vagaries of the digital world, and nature.

I have a feeling we are not done yet, as the scuttlebutt is we'll be in the UK and Europe soon enough, which tempts me to get the fingers tapping for another little tickle on the edit.

Once you start a painting, it is very hard to finish.



Mick Sowry