I am really proud of this project. We’ve captured some gorgeous images and footage, and it has been my immense pleasure to host, chat with and sing harmony with artists and locals. Some of the moments we created will live in my heart forever; there’s nothing better than finding a good harmony with another musician.
It would not have been possible without the professional and positive attitude of our 12 host businesses, 11 guest artists, 7 crew members, myriad crowdfunding contributors and advisors, and most of all, Co-Director, Videographer and Really Good Mate, Agostino Soldati.
This season is set in my home town – The City of Moreland. Growing up here I was surrounded by live music. I was involuntarily schooled on the proper preparation of vegetables by the local Nonnas, fed and taught by CERES Environmental Park. I ran amok, shared houses, I was (and am) employed here, and I love it down to it’s ever-dwindling blue cobblestone laneways. It’s rich in culture: food, history, art and activism. When I travelled abroad I realised how colourful and diverse Moreland is, and how integrated and multicultural our streets are. An Otherwise Quiet Room doesn’t give a history of Moreland, though. It isn’t a travelogue or advertisement. It’s just designed to show you how our locals place importance on connection rather than just on financial transactions, and how valuable that is. Our team wants to introduce you to a handful of special people and places here.
We spent several months planning, and we scrambled, taught each other, crammed and poured our hearts into it. I am fortunate to have found a team with such skill & experience. Because we were all learning as we went, the episodes aren’t perfect, they are each shot in a four-hour window at a different location, with very little pre-production or recce time. Sometimes I hadn’t planned for the changing light of the sun, and often the guest artist and I couldn’t organise a face to face rehearsal. Sometimes the gas company showed up outside with noisy concrete saws before we had finished! I might benefit from researching the fine art of interview skills. Nevertheless, the footage, songs, spaces and interviews all have something incredible to offer. They all make me cringe and laugh and grin in different places. I wanted to tell you that. I hope if you’re reading this, you might be inspired to make your own art, or tackle your next project. Or just keep your chin up. It’s tough out there.
An Otherwise Quiet Room has taught me the importance of persistence, balanced self-belief, and starting every day (especially ‘on set’) with a positive attitude. I deeply respect these people who have cheerfully contributed their time and their names to An Otherwise Quiet Room, and to me. I’d like to thank them all. I hope I’ve made them happy that they did!
– Mandy Connell, February 2018