The Reef - Australian Chamber Orchestra

The Reef

5 - 23 July 2012



TOGNETTI Heart of The Black Beast, Bathymetry 
SEEGER “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”
RAMEAU Les Vents from Les Boreades
LIGETI Ramifications
CRUMB Black Angels (excerpts)
BACH Fugue from Sonata No.1, BWV1001 
PIGRAM BROTHERS “Raindancing” 
S. PIGRAM “Mimi”  
ALICE IN CHAINS Them Bones, Angry Chair 
DEAN Peripeteia from Electric Preludes
SHOSTAKOVICH Allegro molto from Chamber Symphony, Op.110a
BEETHOVEN Cavatina from String Quartet, Op.130 
Arrangements by Tognetti and Grandage


Richard Tognetti Artistic Director and Lead Violin
Jon Frank Photographic Images and Footage
Mick Sowry Director
Mark Atkins Didgeridoo
Derek Hynd Surfer
Stephen Pigram Voice

In his most adventurous project to date, Richard Tognetti takes musicians and surfers to the rugged surf coast and tough desert landscape of northern Western Australia to create a new performance piece at the intersection of music and nature.

Travelling with Tognetti to world heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, making music and surfing with the locals, is a remarkable collection of artists: photographer Jon Frank, director Mick Sowry, composer Iain Grandage, didgeridoo player Mark Atkins, singer Stephen Pigram and the young musicians of ACO2.

Together they’ll create a performance using music and film to further delve into the links between surfing, the ocean, landscape and music previously illuminated in Musica Surfica and The Glide.

The Reef is a co-production by the ACO and Tura New Music, created at Ningaloo Reef in May 2012. 

To see photos and articles about the making of The Reef, visit the blog. Watch a clip from The Reef at

Download the program (PDF) or view online.

Sydney Morning Herald The Australian

"The Reef strikes bravely into new opens with a wonderful and unprecedented marriage of surfing to a Tchaikovsky waltz and features a glacial 25-minute panning shot across mud flats, blue bush, desert tracks and gnarly fences that takes the audience ashore where the didgeridoo player Mark Atkins and singer/guitarist Stephen Pigram emerge before Hynd comes back on his idiosyncratic finless boards, skittering across the desert waves.

"The experiment here was to combine surf and ocean cinematography by Jon Frank with some of the nation's top musicians.
Hynd says it is surfing, but not as you know it or imagine it. He is right."
Some of the footage screened behind the musicians is astonishing. In several sequences, Derek Hynd and Ryan Burch -- exponents of an extreme form of the sport known as finless surfing -- can be seen crouching low on their boards like yogis and turning circles this way and that as they ride the waves.
It's a virtuosic display, accompanied in one sequence by baroque music by Rameau and in another by Bach. Technique, fearlessness, grace: the analogy between surfers and musicians needs little elaboration."

Read Full Review

Claire Bartlett


"Midday Wednesday, we walked off Ninglaoo reef after magical moments snorkelling and swimming  with whale sharks. That night, back in Perth, we  were back at The Reef, enveloped in amazing images and music. Thank you for something really special!"