We are the measure of all things. And the beauty of our creation,
of our art, is proportional to the beauty of ourselves, of our souls
– Jonas Mekas
It was a big deal for us to be asked to put some music up for MOTE – I was pretty excited anyway – Lindsay had written two tracks – Bali Waters and Sea The Swells – and for some reason, one of mine, First Things First was also chosen. Don't know exactly who chose the music, but I think we got involved through David Elfick.
We recorded the tracks at Channel 9 in Melbourne – TCS it was called and it was all done live – except for vocals. The Shud was 6 piece at that stage with Lindsay Bjerre (guitar and vocals), Peter Barron (Bass), Nigel Macara (Drums and vocals), Larry Duryea (percussion), Richard Lockwood (Saxes, clarinet, and flute and vocals), and Tim Gaze (guitars and vocals).
The recording of these songs pretty well went down 2nd or 3rd take because we were playing so much all the time, that we were pretty comfortable with them. This music relied on feel – that was it's magic, and playing live as a band was how it was done. There was seperate tracking done in those days as well, here and there, but mostly just the band at once. I think Evolution, the Shud's first album was recorded all in – just set up in the studio and hit the red button.
A couple of points – when it came time to come back and do the vocal sessions for these songs – (Bali Waters was an instrumental except for backing chorus harmony 'oohs' and 'aahs' – nice effect) – Lindsay had throat trouble that day, and we decided that I would sing Sea The Swells instead, but Lindsay always sang it when we played live. Also, with First Thing First, some kind of executive decision must have been made, because when we finished those sessions, it was my vocal that was on that song, and a couple of months later when we went to the opening of the film in Sydney, First Things First starts playing, and there's Broderick Smith singing my song! Nice job too! First we'd heard of it … but, hey that's showbiz!
Nigel Macacra and I were also asked to do session work on that soundtrack. On the MOTE theme, he plays drums, and I play bass and acoustic guitars. I think we also did a similar thing on Day Comes and Open Up Your Heart. It was as I say a really good thing to be involved in, and the acclaim the film and soundtrack has received over the years makes me feel proud to have been able to contribute with our original music and with my favourite band, Tamam Shud.
Oh yeah… it was the first soundtrack in Australian music history to pick up a gold record for sales. Somebody must have made a motza out of the sales, but as artists, the people who contributed their talent and skills will just have to be satisfied with having been involved, because as far as I know, no artist royalties were ever paid.
– Tim Gaze