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

Hosted by Thriving Places (A Business run from Home)

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.

Our host runs a business devoted to encouraging small business to use innovation, events, and community involvement to help themselves and their local communities to flourish. starting in 2016, TP assists new start-ups, entrepreneurs and creative businesses to become sustainable in the main street. TP aims to transform long term vacant shops and properties into thriving businesses which boost the economic and cultural vitality of the place. TP also works with real estate agents, property owners and property developers to maintain our thriving main streets whilst new shops are built and vacant properties are filled.

By the time we filmed this episode, Matt and Mandy had both been off at the National Folk Festival to perform on their program. The uses for, and necessity of, online video content were put into perspective here, as footage from both acts was used to promote their shows at that event, and then taken at that event to share on festival, punter and artist’s social media and websites. It was interesting to notice that the filming and the use of content gets easier the more you (the more one) does it.

Reassured by these thoughts, we were able to take the whole thing a bit more calmly, and settled into our songs with a sense of fun and a bit of that frisson you get when you play music together. At the launch screening Matt and Mandy sat on the stage and just marvelled, reliving the moments and loving the harmonies. We hope that the viewers can enjoy it this way too.

Matt’s Song:Apparitions’ had our crew in tears. It hit us all in the feels.
A song from a father to a child, it is full of soothing and reassurance and perspective. It is custom built for harmonies and written with such a beautiful form that there was plenty of room for Mandy to attempt some musical illustration on her Spira Guitar.  Matt has a wonderful ability to encourage musicians and this was a good chance for Mandy to have a go at instrumental work that is normally outside her comfort zone.

Mandy’s Song:Jimmy the Fighter‘. Matt chose this number for our episode, having first heard it when they swapped albums at a gig organised by the wonderful songwriter Kate Crowley, at Heide Museum. It is written about QLD songwriter Jimmy Dowling, who was a regular performer in Melbourne in the early 2000’s, now based in Murwillumbah.

The Cover: Michael Waugh’s “Mafeking Hill”. Perfectly in the spirit of our series, this song is written by a mutual friend of both artists. Michael (the Author) is also a great friend of Kate Crowley, appearing in Youtube clips with her, and featuring her voice on backing vocals on an album produced by Shane Nicholson.  The clip Michael made for his song is by Pegleg Productions’ Josh Collings, who also works creatively with Kate. It is a song about childhood, class, and is native to Gippsland in a distinctive Australian style that Michael and Matt are very good at.

Matt Glass Bio

Victor Hugo once wrote that music expresses the things that cannot be said but cannot remain silent. Our favourite songs are the ones that tell our deepest stories for us. These songs capture time, giving voice to our loves and fears and yearnings.

Acoustic artist Matt Glass knows this to be true. His gentle vulnerability and an instinctive songwriting nous evoke the likes of Josh Pyke and Whitley. With a warm resonant vocal quality akin to Jimmy Little, at times both soulful and bittersweet. Upon release, the lead single Setting Sun from Matt’s debut album, Famous Last Words, leapt to number 1 on the 2011 Triple J Unearthed Roots Charts.

Making a name on the Melbourne underground scene performing at iconic venues such as The Espy and the Wesley Anne with his band The Loose Cannons, Matt has gone from strength to strength, and took to the road for two East Coast tours in 2015 to promote his second studio album, The Spaces In Between.

Matt is joined live by the Loose Cannons, Leif Helland and Aaron V Allen. The band dips and weaves between stomping, upbeat folk and rousing alt-country. Soaring three part harmonies, guitar, mandolin, viola and mandolin banjo perfectly accompany Matt’s upbeat and memorable songs. The three musicians clearly enjoying themselves so much that they recently became an audience favourite at the 2016 Illawarra Folk Festival.