This one for the birds

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE 'N' LOUD -

AVIER Rudd’s love of the en­vi­ron­ment and the Kim­ber­ley in­spired his new al­bum, Spirit Bird.

Now based near By­ron Bay, Rudd (pic­tured) grew up in Torquay, in Vic­to­ria, surf­ing and play­ing mu­sic from a young age, and be­came fas­ci­nated with the didgeri­doo, which he learned to play by prac­tis­ing on his mother’s vac­uum cleaner hose.

Af­ter re­leas­ing six al­bums of his heart­felt roots-blues mu­sic, the multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist has criss­crossed the globe and be­come a fes­ti­val favourite for his elab­o­rate solo stage set-up and pas­sion­ate live per­for­mances.

Once named the World’s Sex­i­est Veg­e­tar­ian Celebrity, he also cam­paigns for many in­dige­nous and en­vi­ron­men­tal causes, no­tably Sea Shep­herd, and also joined the fight to stop min­ing gi­ant Wood­side build­ing a gas re­fin­ery at James Price Point in the Kim­ber­ley.

Rudd says Spirit Bird had it’s ge­n­e­sis in the Kim­ber­ley af­ter an en­counter with a black cock­a­too

‘‘A lot of this record was in­spired by my time in the Kim­ber­ley,’’ he says.

‘‘I have been work­ing on the James Price Point saga for the last three to four years and that place has been very pow­er­ful for me on my per­sonal jour­ney.

‘‘I had just been to a sa­cred site and was com­ing back along a track and I came across a tree that had a mob of red-tail black cock­a­toos in it. They are usu­ally pretty flighty but they stayed right there and one – I’m go­ing to call it an old grand­mother spirit – just locked her eyes on mine, looked through me and screeched and groaned and talked to me.

‘‘I had all these im­ages run­ning through my mind of faces and places, things that were like mem­o­ries – but they weren’t mine.

‘‘I was just blown away and that af­ter­noon I wrote the start of Spirit Bird on a beach. It just poured out of me and it was re­ally emo­tional.’’

His seventh al­bum also sees him meld his mu­sic with Aus­tralian na­tive bird calls.

‘‘It’s an idea I have had for a while now to sam­ple birds and this seemed like the per­fect record to give it a go,’’ he says.

‘‘It worked re­ally well. It brought a lot of re­ally beau­ti­ful colours – har­monies you wouldn’t oth­er­wise ex­pect.

‘‘It was fas­ci­nat­ing for me to put those fa­mil­iar sounds into a mu­si­cal con­text.’’

is out now. Xavier Rudd plays the Coolan­gatta Ho­tel on Satur­day at 8.30pm

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