An Otherwise Quiet Room is a Melbourne-based video series placing artists (songwriters) in local social spaces, creating shared moments where artists, venue managers, and the host can swap songs and stories in an intimate and relaxed setting. Episodes feature interviews and duets between the featured songwriter and host / creator Mandy Connell. Mandy and her…

The Moreland Sessions, Episode 4: Monica Weightman @ Moroccan Deli-Cacy

Monica Weightman Moroccan Deli-Cacy Mosaic tables and warm colours welcome myself and Monica Weightman to the old nut shop on Lygon Street. Our host, Hana Assafiri, meets us outside with an enormous grin, which sets the mood for a good afternoon. Moroccan Deli-Cacy 313 Lygon Street Brunswick East VIC 3057 Monica Weightman Episode…

The Moreland Sessions, Episode 3: Rowena Wise @ Bee Sustainable

Rowena Wise Bee Sustainable Bee Sustainable 500 Lygon StreetBrunswick East VIC 3056 Rowena Wise Episode 3 was filmed by Agostino Soldati, and recorded, mixed and mastered by Julian Abrahams. Rowena is an old mate of mine. Family friends, we grew up at the same folk festivals and events although the Wise Family Band…

The Moreland Sessions, Episode 2: Liz Stringer @ VICSEG New Futures

Liz Stringer VICSEG New Futures Creative I’m awed by Liz Stringer. She has a huge voice; she’s a genius lyricist, and a strong solo female performer. If you aren’t already, you’re about to become her newest fan. VICSEG New Futures Creative 11 Munroe St Coburg VIC 3058 Liz Stringer Episode 2 was filmed…

The Moreland Sessions, Episode 1: Dirt Hand @ Amelia Shaw

Dirt Hand Amelia Shaw Our first episode is set in Amelia Shaw, a cocktail bar above The Retreat Hotel on Sydney Road. Our guest is the front man for Dirt Hand, Arun Roberts. Amelia Shaw Bar 280 Sydney Rd Brunswick VIC 3056 Dirt Hand Episode 1 was filmed by Agostino Soldati, and recorded…

Announcing Season 2: The Moreland Sessions

11 videos. 11 artists. 12 venues. 33 songs. 1 host. Situated in the City of Moreland. Each episode of The Moreland Sessions features a songwriter being interviewed and performing three duets with host Mandy Connell in a social space devoted to the ritual of sharing time & company. Co-produced and directed by Agostino Soldati Films along…

The Yarra Sessions, Episode 8: Girl Friday @ Oh! Jean Records

Shot at Oh! Jean Records in Fitzroy, this episode features Girl Friday as the final guest for our very first season of An Otherwise Quiet Room.

The Yarra Sessions has been the most joyous experience, and I can’t tell you how proud I am to have hosted a collaborative series of such good quality.

The Yarra Sessions, Episode 6: Matt Glass @ Thriving Places

Matt joined us for episode 6 at a home office. The day was cold but beautiful, and Sarah Poole, our host, plied us with tea, cheese and biscuits while we got everything together. It can take a little while to choose the seating arrangements, and set up mics, lights and cameras. We have included the equipment in the shots because we want the viewer to feel the intimacy and the reality of the moment- the takes are live, and flaws and funny moments run through each of them. In this episode, you might hear Matt’s daughter Rowan in the background, who was there for the whole day, keeping us smiling. Or you might notice the look of intent concentration on Mandy’s face as she tries to remember the chords.

The Yarra Sessions, Episode 5: Sarah Carroll @ Labour In Vain

One third of The Junes (with Gleny Rae Virus and Suzannah Espie) and a kick-arse writer and performer in her own name, Sarah had just gotten back from a tour in Sydney when we filmed episode 5 at The Labour in Vain.  Fresh from a trip to Nashville’s Americana Week (with help from Creative Victoria) Sarah is used to hard work, and long hours, and is an excellent role model for musicians. It meant a lot to us that she included us in a busy schedule, making an extra stop in Melbourne on her way home to her family in the Bellarine. Sarah was a lesson in professionalism, allowing an extra day on her tour back from Sydney to stop in to Melbourne and do this with us, and doing the whole thing with grace, patience and useful, thoughtful advice. Incredibly busy with her Star Parade Tour, she asked Mandy to choose the songs.

The Yarra Sessions, Episode 4: Michael Waugh @ Uncle Drew Cafe

Our fourth guest, Michael Waugh joined us at Uncle Drew. Michael lives just around the corner and chose it from a list of suggestions our producer Clare sent through. It was at Uncle Drew that our producer Clare Bligh joined the team. It’s also where we planned the launch, and chose the Yarra theme.

Uncle Drew has a beautiful, open feel, achieving a lot of light, with clean wall space and big windows. I am always drawn to the local artist’s work on the walls, and the food is delicious, very generous in portion size (which I value in a brunch), and clearly labels good gluten-free choices.

The Yarra Sessions, Episode 3: Brent Parlane @ A Fan’s Notes

Brent Parlane features in our third episode (Shot in Feb 2017). By this time, our team had expanded to include Clare Bligh and Ben Campbell, as well as Aaron and myself, and filming had to happen in between touring. With a busy schedule,  I was getting hard to reach (thanks to Gallie and Khristian Mizzi for your patience with me).

It took me two days to read an email from Brent, and this nearly meant that I missed our rehearsal. Flying by the seat of my pants I responded just in time. I arrived full of apology and grovel, to be met with the most humbling of good attitudes and professionalism.