Melbourne Tour Diary

Published: 3rd of May 2018

It began with a googling spree, as most things do. Late last year, I was searching for music opportunities to apply for, and I came across an application form for something called the Audrey’s Recording Initiative. Basically, young female artists could apply to receive two days of studio time at Audrey Studios with the award-winning female producer, Anna Laverty. I completed the form almost straight-away and then put it out of my mind. Fast forward to late January, where I received an email congratulating me, as one of three recipients of the initiative! Ecstatic, I gave my dog a big ol cuddle. The catch, Audrey Studios is in Melbourne, and the session needed to be completed by early March. Apparently, I didn’t process that when I applied! And so, it was time to plan a trip to Melbourne with my guitarist, Jack Walton. I wanted to make the most out of the trip, so I also planned a gig and a video recording for good measure. The plan: Thurs March 1st: Gig Day, Fri March 2nd: Studio Day, Sat March 3rd: Studio Day & Sun March 4th: Record a live performance video with the Shoelace Sessions!
It was all in place, but then I got sick.

Thursday: Gig at Some Velvet Morning

Our flight was good despite the worrying dryness at the back of my throat. We arrived to meet up with drummer extraordinaire, Ben Byron, who kindly agreed to fly up from Canberra to track real life beats for my song. We then proceeded to our Air BnB, where all of my retro dreams came true.

We spent the afternoon rehearsing the studio song with Ben, but as we did, my voice started to deteriorate. By the time we got to Some Velvet Morning, I was donezo. The extraordinary Lucy Wise supported the show (side note: be sure to follow Lucy’s beautiful work here!), but singing for my set was hard. Nevertheless, I was overcome by how many people had come to listen and said lovely kind things afterwards. With the gig done, we turned our attention towards the studio!

Friday: Studio Day

(1) Woke up with literally no voice
(2) Drank 3.5 cups of honey tea
(3) Our little gang headed to Audrey Studios for the first time

We walked down the cramped hallway (appropriately intimidated by the casual Aria leaning against a window), then came face to face with Anna Laverty, the producer! Anna has worked with some amazing artists in her time, including Nick Cave, Kate Miller-Hiedke, Meg Mac, and Florence & The Machine; so I was elated to meet & work with her. While my hoarse ‘Hello!’ did not fill anyone with confidence, we proceeded with the session. The song I decided to record was a new one called “Don’t Lose Your Heart to it”, and I only had a basic arrangement planned. But as the session proceeded, Anna and I decided to add some improvised piano into the track, to provide bass and melodic interest.

Alongside the tracking, Anna and I had long chats about the direction of my music, as well as conversations on genre, radio play and debut releases. She provided amazing advice about being an independent female musician. Afterwards, we agreed that my voice would be completely fried if we tried to record vocals the next day as planned, so we took Saturday off and pushed our second session to Sunday.

Sunday: Video Recording & Studio Day

8am this morning was video recording time with Ty from the Shoelace Sessions! We chose to use the ridiculously aesthetic kitchen of our Air Bnb as our set.

I wanted to work with Ty after seeing a great video he produced of my lovely friend Maja. Sadly, my raw throat inhibited me yet again, and I wasn’t overly happy with my performance - but at least we got something down. Ty was so cool to work with and has now released the video, check it out here!

Afterwards, we went back to the studio to record my vocal take, which went about as expected. Then Anna began her wizardry (i.e. mixing). She added in fades and plug-ins - it was incredible to watch from behind the desk. Finally, we went to the pub! 😊 Though I haven't yet heard the final mastered recording of my song, I strongly believe that the benefits of this trip far exceed the mp3 product. So far, it seems to me that the music industry is about the connections you make with others, and through this trip I met some truly wonderful new people; Anna Laverty, drummer Ben, Sam the studio manager, Lucy Wise, the staff at Some Velvet Morning, and so many others along the way.
I am so thankful for this incredible experience.

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