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Xavier Rudd: Unlikely Music For A 'Surfer Dude'

Surfing and surf culture can represent two very different things to people who practice the sport.

They certainly represent different things to Australian musician Xavier Rudd, also an avid surfer. He wrote the musical score for a new movie called Surfer Dude, a comedy that tackles the clash between the spirit of surfing and the business of commercialized surf culture.

But Rudd's music — a mix of Aboriginal music, folk-pop and reggae — captures a somewhat different sound than what might be expected for a surf movie. He's known for playing an aboriginal instrument called a yidaki, commonly known as the didgeridoo. He also plays five other instruments, sometimes all at the same time. His latest album, Dark Shades of Blue, has been called both psychedelic and dissonant.

At one of his shows, he tells independent producer Martina Castro that he is more spirit than business when it comes to his music — and his surfing.

"For me, surfing is the closest connection I can have with Mother Nature," Rudd says. "To surf, you are riding a pulse of energy from Mother Nature. And it's strong, it's real, it's there. And you are dancing with that. You are connecting with that."

Rudd says that there's a connection between surfing and music, though he can't say just what it is.

"I think surfing inspires [my music]," Rudd says. "I've written a lot of music when I'm in the water and from that, the exhilaration of that experience. But to compare would be hard, because they are both what they are: They are both unique. And I think they are both beyond me, and I can't really ... try to explain it to you, because I don't think I'm meant to understand it. I'm just lucky to experience it."

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