Friday, 11 March 2016
Only A Crazy Man Knows /Birth Of The Sun/Five Miles/Aborigine Gyn/Hello Sundown/ Lassiter's Ride/Whirly Whirly/In A Pidgery Dreamtime/Birth Of The Sun Reprise
Birth of the Sun is the name given to both a dreamtime story and a wonderful, but forgotten album by singer songwriter Ray Rivamonte.
In the dreamtime story a Brolga and an Emu fight over an egg and the result is the creation of the sun.
Ray Rivamonte’s story tells how he spent the first half of the 70s in Hollywood writing and perfecting the sounds that eventually found their way on to his debut LP.
When Ray Rivamonte was sixteen he travelled to Central Australia looking for fresh Australian folk songs that he could add to his repertoire. Believing that the Aboriginal music was the true folk music of the country, he visited places like Alice Springs, Hermansberg and Uluru asking the locals he met about their lives and their music. In the end he didn’t learn any old material he could use but the stories he heard influenced new songs that he wrote upon his return to Melbourne. The first of these songs was 'Jimmy My Boy'.
In the late 60s Rivamonte moved to California to try his hand in the bustling music scene. He auditioned for several major labels without success but the songs that seemed to impress most were the ones that drew on his experiences in Central Australia. In 1971 he got the chance to record the first of the songs that would later appear on Birth Of The Sun.
In 1973 he spent time in the studios of Paul Beaver, one half of pioneering electronic music duo Beaver & Krause. He was experimenting with synthesizers and soundscapes in an attempt to create a soundtrack to the dreamtime story about the creation of the sun. Later in his career he would continue building music like this for library production music and films like The Chant Of Jimmy Blacksmith.
The Birth Of The Sun was finally finished in 1976 and launched in Melbourne. It features many crack session musicians Rivamonte had got to know while working in Hollywood including Johnny Almond and Jim Keltner. Initial sales were very strong but the record struggled to get radio airplay and there were difficulties with getting more copies pressed after only 2000 were done initially.